Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Into the Whirlwind
Baker Publishing Group (August 15, 2013)
by
Elizabeth Camden
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.

Learn more about Elizabeth and her books on her Website.
ABOUT THE BOOK:

After her father’s death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek is an influential attorney with powerful ties to the political, mercantile, and ethnic roots of Chicago. His only weakness is Mollie Knox, a woman who has always been just beyond his reach. However, all bets are off after the fire destroys Chicago, and Mollie is in desperate need of assistance. Just as Zack finally begins to pursue the woman he loves, competition arises in the form of a hero from her past who can provide the help she needs to rise from the ashes. While Mollie struggles to rebuild, the two men battle for her heart. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her. In the race to rebuild the city, can she survive with her business and her heart intact?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Into the Whirlwind, go HERE.

 

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MY REVIEW:

I seem to rediscover Elizabeth Camden’s talent with each of her novels that I read. Each one is a special experience and are always highly recommended to my friends. If they are lucky, I might just loan them my copy. I definitely have a place for each and every one of them on my bookshelf. Somehow each novel seems to get better but that might just be because it is the one I am currently reading – they have all been SO good.

Into the Whirlwind is a fascinating look into the lives of a few Chicago residents during the great Chicago fire and its aftermath. Camden made the actual fire come to life with all the danger and terror experienced by everyone as they ran for their lives and then the shock as they realized they had nothing left. A strong testimonial to the human spirit, the novel illustrated the determination, the compassion, and the hard work that brought the city back to its feet after such a tragic event.

I loved both Mollie and Zack’s characters although each of them were sometimes exasperating. Their loyalty and faith in the midst of such tragedy were truly inspirational. I enjoyed reading the details of Mollie’s watchmaking business as well as the specifics of Zack’s duties as lawyer for an exclusive department store. This is too good a book to risk spoilers so I will close by encouraging everyone to read not only Into the Whirlwind but also Elizabeth Camden’s previous novels. I personally cannot get enough of them.

The Lost Medallion by Bill Muir and Alex Kendrick

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Lost Medallion
B&H Kids; Mti edition (June 1, 2013)
by
Bill Muir and Alex Kendrick
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Bill Muir is a popular speaker, an international award winning film maker and a sought-after consultant.

Having completed his new novels The Lost Medallion and A Hidden Treasure, Bill has turned his creativity to his new Children’s novel, Howdy Neighbors.

When Bill isn’t writing a novel, he’s busy directing and producing movies. He recently spent four months in Thailand filming, The Lost Medallion: the adventures of Billy Stone. The movie will be in theaters this fall. When he isn’t working on movies, he’s having fun with his family working their farm.

Alex Kendrick is associate pastor of movie outreach for Sherwood Baptist Church. He is also an actor, writer, and director whose film credits include Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous. He and his wife, Christina, have six children.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Archaeologist Dr. Michael Stone looked for the lost medallion his entire life, and now his son Billy has taken up the search. Amazingly, the medallion ends up in Billy’s hands and a spontaneous wish in a precarious situation takes Billy and his best friend Allie, back 200 years to what they realize is a very different Aumakua Island.

When Billy and his friends are not jumping off waterfalls, avoiding animal traps, crossing the ocean, sneaking through caves or escaping a prison they’re facing their nemesis Cobra, who wants nothing more than for them all to disappear.

With no other way to get home, and the well being of the entire island resting on his shoulders, Billy must discover the key to reclaiming the medallion and its tremendous power. One way or another, this adventure will change Billy, and life on the island, forever.

Best-selling author and film director Alex Kendrick (The Love Dare, Courageous) and Youth for Christ veteran Bill Muir bring us this exciting novelization of The Lost Medallion movie.

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

Welcome To Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong



MY REVIEW:

While “Welcome to Last Chance”, the debut novel by Cathleen Armstrong is not perfect, it definitely shows plenty of promise for future novels by this author. The story is set in the small New Mexico town of Last Chance whose very name is indicative of the point Lainie Davis has reached in her life. The first person Lainie meets is Ray, a bartender whose life has been on hold for awhile.

One thing I usually enjoy in novels about small towns is the eclectic blend of local characters. “Welcome to Last Chance” has its share of them. Lainie was not exactly a likeable character at first. A product of an unfortunate background, she has learned to protect herself by not allowing anyone to get very close and the walls around her heart discourage trust in any form. After some time passes the residents of Last Chance manage to penetrate her walls through their loving and nonjudgmental acceptance.

“Welcome to Last Chance” includes both drama and a bit of humor with the romance between Ray and Lainie playing a prominent role with its ups and downs. At times the plot gets a little busy but keeps on track most of the time. The author is not afraid to write about real life issues and is to be commended for the way she handled them. I will definitely be on the lookout for her next novel.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Welcome to Last ChanceThe red warning light on her car dashboard may have driven Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico, but as she meets the people who make this one-horse town their home, it’s her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life-especially since she’s on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

Yet in spite of herself, Lainie is increasingly drawn into the small-town dramas and to a handsome local guy with a secret of his own. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
CathleenArmstrongCathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, but her roots remain deep in New Mexico, where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. Her debut novel, Welcome to Last Chance, has already won the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women’s Fiction.

 

 

Praise for Welcome to Last Chance

“With equal parts hope, charm, and tender faith, Cathleen Armstrong spins a tale as warm and welcoming as a roadside cafe on a dusty highway. Exit from the fast lane and visit Last Chance. It’s a place you won’t soon forget.”
Lisa Wingate, bestselling and award-winning author of Firefly Island and Blue Moon Bay

 

“Cathleen Armstrong packs a lot into her debut novel: the suspense of danger lurking on the edges of Lainie Davis’s life, a touch of can-this-really-go-anywhere romance, small-town friendships becoming like family, and the disappointment of family being less than ideal. With an eclectic cast of characters and well-developed plot, Welcome to Last Chance pulls the reader in from the first blink of the warning light on the dashboard of Lainie’s car to the happily-ever-after waiting at the end of her last chance to get her life right.”
Beth K. Vogt, author of Catch a Falling Star and Wish You Were Here

 

“An outstanding debut novel! Welcome to Last Chance gives us a warm but never sentimental view of small-town life, sprinkled with characters full of quirks and faults–all seen through the eyes of a tough but fragile heroine. Cathleen Armstrong has crafted a story to cherish.”
Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of With Every Letter

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman



MY REVIEW:

“Winter in Full Bloom” is the story of the adult twin sisters of a highly dysfunctional family and a male friend who is also separated from his own family. It is a beautiful tale of God ordained encounters, emotional healing and eventually family reconciliations. I loved the way the relationships played out between each of the characters, especially the sweet romance between Marcus and Lily. The author made the people and the places come alive for me and I appreciated the strong Christian theme that was a vital but unobtrusive part of the story. “Winter in Full Bloom” is definitely a keeper for my already overflowing library.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Winter In Full BloomLily Winter’s wings are folded so tightly around her daughter that when empty nest arrives, she feels she can no longer fly. But Lily’s lonely, widowed life changes in a heartbeat when she goes to visit a woman who is almost a stranger to her-a woman who also happens to be her mother. During their fiery reunion, her mother reveals a dark family secret that she’d been hiding for decades-Lily has an identical twin sister who was put up for adoption when they were just babies.

Without looking back, Lily-with her fear of flying-boards a jumbo jet and embarks on a quest to find her sister which leads half way around the world to Melbourne, Australia. Befriended by imprudent Ausie, he might prove to be the key to finding her sister. But her journey becomes a circle that leads her back home to attempt a family reunion and to find the one dream she no longer imagined possible-the chance to fall in love again.

Purchase a copy here.

Find out more at Anita’s website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Anita HigmanBest-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rules of Murder
Bethany House Publishers (August 1, 2013)
by
Julianna Deering
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014).

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Downton Abbey Meets Agatha Christie in This Sparkling Mystery

Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

Soon, financial irregularities at Drew’s stepfather’s company come to light and it’s clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer–and trying harder to impress Madeline–Drew must decide how far to take this game.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rules of Murder, go HERE.