Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Prize of My Heart
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
by
Lisa Norato
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A life-long New Englander, Lisa Norato lives in a historic village with homes and churches dating as far back as the eighteenth century. She was born into a close-knit Italian family that hungered as much for the things of God as they did for lasagna. After church, the family spent Sunday afternoons gathered in fellowship around a never-ending feast that featured her grandmother’s homemade spaghetti and pizza.

From the time she learned to read, her mother impressed her with the joy of getting lost in a good book. She passed novels along to her as early as age thirteen, but it wasn’t until many years later that Lisa felt compelled to write one herself.

She first discovered a love of writing when assigned to write and illustrate a children’s book at the art college she attended. She balances writing with a career as a legal assistant specializing in corporate law. When not creating stories, she enjoys domestic pursuits like precious time with her dog and family, cooking, baking and eating vegan, reading, her Bible, her favorite television shows and crocheting.

Lisa is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Rhode Island Romance Writers (RIRW) and American Colonial Christian Writers.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son–his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child’s whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder’s daughter, Lorena Huntley.

Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own–until the day anothers evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.

As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all–love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Prize of My Heart, go HERE.

Learn more about Lisa and her books on her Website.

MY REVIEW:

Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love



MY REVIEW:

“Beauty for Ashes” is a historical romance with a post Civil War setting. Childless widow Carrie Daly finds her well ordered world turned upside down when the brother she has lived with since losing her husband marries a demanding woman with two naughty and disrespectful sons. Her good friend Nate has encouraged her to set a date for their own wedding but Carrie’s uncertainty keeps him at bay. Then a stranger, Griff Rutledge comes to town and despite the disapproval of most of the town, Carrie finds herself irresistibly attracted to him.

In some books I’ve read, the beleaguered Carrie might be portrayed as a perfect angel with no faults who is taken advantage of by everyone. While people in “Beauty for Ashes” do tend to take advantage of Carrie’s good heart and generosity, she is by no means perfect. She reacts to situations much as the rest of the real world does with hurt, anger, and even a small tantrum or two. Why she even slapped someone when provoked! So one thing I really liked about this novel is that the characters were portrayed realistically and actually demonstrated some spiritual growth as the story progressed.

With excellent characters, a great setting, a captivating story, and a touching romance, “Beauty for Ashes” has just about everything a lover of historical romance would require. My only complaint would be that one situation was left unresolved – but I suspect a sequel might just take care of that.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

She’s a beautiful young widow. He’s a Southern gentleman with a thirst for adventure. Both need a place to call home.

After losing her husband in the Civil War, Carrie Daly is scared she will never have the family she longs for. Eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, but Carrie has found love. Not the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still, she isn’t quite ready to set a wedding date with Nate Chastain.

Griff Rutledge is a former member of Charleston society, but has been estranged from his family for years. He’s determined to remain unattached, never settling in one place for too long. But when asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay awhile.

Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness has eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff’s kindness and charm. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God’s promise to give beauty for ashes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Before returning to her writing roots in historical fiction, Dorothy Love published twelve novels for young adults. Her work has garnered numerous honors from the American Library Association, the Friends of American Writers, the International Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and many others. The Hickory Ridge Novels mark her Christian fiction debut.

For more about Dorothy visit her website, www.dorothylovebooks.com or friend her on Facebook.com/DorothyLoveBooks.

Purchase a copy of “Beauty for Ashes” HERE.

See what other bloggers have to say about “Beauty for Ashes” HERE.

GIVEAWAY AND PARTY:

Dorothy Love’s Beauty for Ashes Kindle Fire and a Sapphire Ring Giveaway! Enter Today & RSVP for 3/20 Facebook Author Chat Party!

We’re thrilled to announce the fun giveaway Dorothy is hosting! First, she’ll be giving away a Kindle Fire (3/1-3/20), then on the evening of the 20th she’s inviting everyone to her Facebook Author Page for a fun Author Chat party! Don’t miss a minute of the fun … sigh.

One beautiful winner will receive:

  • A Brand new Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love
  • Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/20/12. Winner will be announced at Dorothy’s Facebook Author Chat Party on 3/20. Come for an evening of chat, trivia, and a sneak peek at the next book in Dorothy’s Hickory Ridge series – bring your friends! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books and a stunning sapphire ring!

So grab your copy of Beauty for Ashes  and join Dorothy and friends on the evening of March 20th for an evening of fun.

Don’t miss Dorothy’s delightful giveaway and party. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 20th!

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Messenger
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
by
Siri Mitchell
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith

…until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah’s world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him–and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God’s voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Messenger, go HERE.

Learn more about Siri and her books on her Website.

MY REVIEW:

From the opulence of society functions to the squalor of the British prison, Mitchell takes her readers on a fascinating historical journey through British occupied Philadelphia during the American Revolution. Laced with factual details, The Messenger also raises several issues that will leave the reader with something to ponder after the last page has turned.

The Messenger features the unlikely pair of Hannah Sunderland, a young Quaker woman whose brother has been imprisoned by the British and Jeremiah Jones, an embittered former soldier who blames the British for the loss of his arm. Each of them has their own reason to work towards freeing the colonial prisoners and most of the narrative centers on their efforts to work together as spies despite their extreme differences and strong dislike of each other.

Related through first person points of view of both Hannah and Jeremiah, the story gives the reader an intimate understanding of the thought processes and values of each character. Hannah’s absolute refusal to lie was a source of frustration to Jeremiah but her steadfast spirit soon began to affect his own outlook. It was interesting to watch how both Hannah and Jeremiah changed as the story progressed.The romance was subtle and took a backseat to the drama and danger involved in working to free the prisoners.

The Messenger is a must read for those who enjoy historical fiction, especially those interested in the Revolutionary War.

Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble



MY REVIEW:

Lucy’s life cannot get any worse. After her father’s recent accidental death, she and her younger step-siblings were abandoned by her step-mother. On the very day that Lucy lost her job, she also received notice that she had less than a week to vacate her home. To top that off a threatening visit from her mother’s boyfriend and an attempted break-in placed Lucy and the children in an extremely vulnerable position. An offer from a total stranger who claimed to be her father’s friend seemed to be the answer to prayer. The only catch was that she had to marry his son by proxy and travel to Texas to take her place as his wife.

With a beginning like that and my familiarity with Coble’s earlier novels, my expectations for a great read were high. “Blue Moon Promise” met my expectations and more. As can be expected, Nate was not very receptive to having a wife brought home to him by his dad and his first impression of Lucy was not favorable. During much of the story Lucy did everything she could to prove to Nate that she could meet his requirements but never felt like she could ever attain her goal. Unknown to her, Nate had been quickly won over by her spunk, determination, and her big heart – and he had fallen head over heels for the children.

With plenty of action, a touch of mystery, a bit of humor, and a huge dose of romance, “Blue Moon Promise” is sure to please. Coble’s skill at creating a background for her stories had me experiencing everything right along with Lucy from the dust and smells and noise of cattle roundup and branding to all the other aspects of life on a Texas ranch and the nearby small town.  I fear that I’ve already given away too much about this book. I encourage you to read it for yourself if you enjoy historical romance – especially if you like those with old West settings.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Book Number One in the Under Texas Stars series

A love like Lucy and Nate’s only comes along once in a blue moon . . .

Lucy Marsh’s worldly resources are running out, but she’s fiercely determined to care for her younger brother and sister. When she discovers that their father’s recent death was no accident, Lucy is eager to leave town. She accepts a proxy marriage she believes will provide safe refuge. But trouble follows her to Texas where her new husband is surprised to suddenly have a wife and children to care for.

Nate Stanton always hoped he’d marry someday, but running the family ranch meant he had no time for romance. When his father deposits Lucy Marsh—a city girl—on his doorstep, with two siblings in the bargain, he expects ranch life will send her running on the first train out of town. But Lucy is made of tougher stuff than Nate imagined. When danger moves in, Nate finds he’d give anything to protect Lucy and the children he’s grown to love. Even if it means giving up his ranch.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

For more about Colleen and her other books visit www.colleencoble.com

Purchase a copy of Blue Moon Promise HERE.

FACEBOOK PARTY:

Blue Moon Promise is a story of hope, romance, and suspense . . . immersing the reader in a rich historical tale set under Texas stars.

To celebrate Colleen is teaming up with her publisher Thomas Nelson for a “Blue Moon Promise” Facebook Chat party where she will giveaway a KINDLE Fire and a Texas-sized gift basket (fabulous Texas treats and fun Lucy-inspired housekeeping products)!

Click the banner, RSVP today for the Facebook Party and mark the date on your calendar!

Invite your friends and don’t miss Colleen’s evening of chat, trivia, prizes, and more.

Kindle Giveaway and More! Save the Date – 3/13!
Colleen Coble's Blue Moon Promise Facebook Party

Chasing the Sun by Tracie Peterson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Chasing The Sun
Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2012)
by
Tracie Peterson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings’ Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership’s vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family–especially her three grandchildren–Rainy, Fox and Max. She’s active in her church as the Director of Women’s Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer’s retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.
ABOUT THE BOOK:

When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction.

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family’s ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter at this turn of events, he’s surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family’s land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Chasing The Sun, go HERE.

To learn more about Tracie and her books on her website.

 

MY REVIEW:

Chasing The Sun is classic Tracie Peterson and is filled with all the characteristics that have kept me reading her books for years. I love how her characters are realistically flawed, each with their own blend of strengths and weaknesses that make it easy for me to identify with them. Her stories and their settings make history come to life.

In Chasing The Sun, both Hannah and William have their share of problems and pain but they do not let it stop them from doing the right thing for others including members of a Comanche tribe who are in need of their help. Despite the fact that Hannah and William both lay claim to the same ranch property, perhaps it is their very similar values and outlook on life that creates a mutual attraction. The only question is whether they can overcome all the obstacles in their way and find out if they are meant to be together or possibly even survive.

Set in Texas during the Civil War, Chasing The Sun illustrates life during that era including attitudes and the deprivations that result from war. The story includes some action, a bit of mystery, and a good romance that develops naturally and slowly. Spiritual content is genuine and believable. I recommend Chasing The Sun as well as any other book Tracie Peterson has written. Of course I have my favorites but in my opinion you can’t go wrong with Peterson’s novels.