Tempest’s Course by Lynette Sowell


Once again, the Abingdon Quilts of Love series features a novel whose plot is woven around a quilt. In “Tempest’s Course” the quilt in question may hold clues to the history of the former residents of the Gray House with possible links to present day New Bedford, Massachusetts. When Kelly Frost accepts a job to restore a badly damaged quilt for Firstborn Holdings , she is surprised to find that she is required to live in the long vacant home of a New England whaling captain. While living there, Kelly discovers the journal penned by the original homeowner’s wife whose tragic story offers some unexpected information about the home and current families in New Bedford. As she works on the quilt, Kelly also gets to know Tom Pereira, the caretaker of Gray House whose gruff exterior hides a wounded but tender heart. Just as they seem to be growing close, details about Kelly’s past threaten to destroy their relationship.

Complete with a sweet romance, mysterious events, and even some terrifying and dangerous moments, “Tempest’s Course” takes the reader on a journey through its pages with several twists and surprises before it reaches its expected satisfying  conclusion. While “Tempest’s Course” is a story about trust in God and the importance of family, reconciliation is also a major theme.

A welcome addition to the series, “Tempest’s Course” is well worth the time and effort to read.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.

Tempest's CourseKelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal town of New Bedford to restore a 150-year-old Mariner’s Compass quilt, with one stipulation: she must live and work in Gray House where the quilt is stored. Tom Pereira, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky coastline, is the caretaker employed by the mysterious absent owner of Gray House.

Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she is drawn out of her self-imposed shell and embraces the family God has given her after her own family failed her. As Kelly reads stories in a journal penned by Mary Gray, she learns there is no transgression beyond God’s forgiveness, but the real obstacle is forgiving herself. During her and Tom’s journey to grace and love, an unknown force works to keep both of them from discovering a long-buried truth that will change their lives forever.

Purchase a HERE.

Lynette SowellLynette Sowell is the award-winning author of five novels and six novellas for Barbour Publishing with sales topping 250,000. In 2009, Lynette was voted one of the favorite new authors by Heartsong Presents book club readers. Her historical romance, All That Glitters, was a finalist in ACFW’s 2010 Carol Awards. When Lynette’s not writing, she divides her time between editing medical reports and chasing down news stories for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Lynette was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband and a herd of cats who have them well-trained.

Learn more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay


I have a terrible confession to make. For some reason I totally missed out on the Jane Austen books and if I have read any of them, I don’t remember. Of course I have probably read thousands of books during my lifetime since I have always been such a voracious reader and have been know to buy books I already own simply because I can’t keep up with what I have read or not read. All this to say that many of the quotes and allusion to certain books in “Dear Mr. Knightley” went right over my head. Despite that alarming fact, I did indeed enjoy the book.

When I realized that a large percent of the story would consist of letters written to an unknown Mr. Knightley by Samantha Moore, I was not sure I would enjoy it. It was definitely not my usual style preference. However, Samantha’s voice was so engaging that I found myself totally mesmerized by her story. I saw life through her eyes as she poured out her heart to Mr. Knightley, the only person with whom she felt safe. I loved reading along as Sam gradually and painfully began to emerge from a life buried within her favorite books and begin to interact with the people around her. I especially liked Alex, Kyle, and the Muirs. Little did I know when I began reading how involved I would get in Sam’s story and the surprises that lay just ahead.

“Dear Mr. Knightly” is superbly written and certain to be well-loved by Jane Austen fans. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite my deficiencies. I look forward to more from Katherine Reay in the future. Well done!

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


Dear Mr. KnightleyAbout the book: Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others-namely her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story-by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we care about most.
But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself “Mr. Knightley”) offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it’s pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is — once again — made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

Purchase a copy HERE.


KatherineReayKatherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in “Focus on the Family” and the “Upper Room.” Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. “Dear Mr. Knightley” is her first novel.

Learn more about Katherine HERE.


Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace)
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 

But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the “Dear Mr. Knightley” Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine’s next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!

Merry Humbug Christmas by Sandra D. Bricker

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Merry Humbug Christmas
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)


Sandra D. Bricker

For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television’s hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. “I’m a Christian woman, first and foremost,” she says. “So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line.”

Sandie’s real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient…Decaf is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor’s proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
“Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects … and still pursue my writing dream,” says Bricker, “well, that’s the best of all worlds, as far as I’m concerned!”

And one of the author’s pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy — a red-haired collie with “killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown.”

Learn more about Sandra and her books on her Website .


A Merry Humbug Christmas features two holiday romance novellas from hilarious and heartwarming author Sandra D. Bricker. — the perfect gift to yourself or someone else at this most wonderfully stressful time of year.

In “Once Upon a Jingle Bell,” A Bah! Humbug cruise to the Mexican Riviera is Joss Snow’s answer to this year’s quest to avoid the holidays completely; at least until she’s rebooked on a different kind of cruise altogether. Candy canes, holly wreaths, reindeer and ornaments seem to be stalking her on the 12 Days of Christmas holiday cruise extravaganza. An escape back to land is her only goal . . . until she meets a kindred spirit in rugged Irishman Patrick Brenneman, and then the game is on! Avoid Christmas festivities at all costs . . . except maybe for that one stop under the mistletoe.

In “It Came Upon a Midnight Deer,” Reese’s guilt over abandoning best friend Joss on their holiday tradition of avoiding all things Christmas is trumped by the joy of her recent engagement. Meeting Damian’s family for the first time on idyllic Sugarloaf Mountain is about as far from that Bah! Humbug cruise as she can get, and Reese can hardly wait to get there. But from the moment they hit that deer in the road just two miles from the cabin, everything seems to go wrong. There are no drummers drumming or pipers piping this particular year! And once she sets her future in-laws’ family cabin ablaze, she’s pretty sure there won’t be even ONE golden ring in her future.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Merry Humbug Christmas, go HERE.



It seems as though nearly every book on my recent review list has focused on characters who struggled with an unfortunate (to say the least) childhood and whose coping methods usually consisted of building walls around their hearts. For that reason Merry Humbug Christmas was a welcome diversion with the trademark humor of author Sandra Bricker. I have always enjoyed her quirky humor and knew I would be in for a treat as soon as I saw the title on my review list. I was NOT disappointed.

Merry Humbug Christmas is actually two related novellas under one cover – each telling the Christmas tale of one of two best friends who have always made a point to spend the holidays together purposely not celebrating Christmas.

In Once Upon a Jingle Bell, Joss Snow’s plans to take a Bah, Humbug cruise for her Christmas vacation fall through and she is rebooked on another cruise. Too late, the Christmas-hating Joss finds out that the cruise is an over-the-top celebration of all things Christmas but she has no choice but to endure it after finding she cannot book a flight back home from any of the ports where the ship will dock. Things begin to look up when a handsome Irishman takes an interest in her and helps her pass the hours. Could it be love?

It Came Upon a Midnight Deer features Ross’s friend Reese who is meeting the family of her new fiance Damien and spending the holidays in their fabulous Sugarloaf home. Brought up in a quirky vegan family, Reese has never experienced what most people would consider a normal Christmas celebration so the chance to do so in such a perfect setting is the answer to her dreams. Only those dreams did not include one near disaster after another, usually because of something Reese did or failed to do as well as a family pet that took an intense dislike to her. Is there any possibility that Damien will still want to marry her once their holiday is over?

I loved Merry Humbug Christmas with all its quirky and sometimes even slapstick humor. But most of all I loved how in the midst of all the fun and games and even catastrophes, both Joss and Reese learned the true meaning of the season. Merry Humbug Christmas is a don’t miss addition to your Christmas reading list. It will become a permanent addition to my growing Christmas book box.

Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish


I’ll be perfectly honest. When I first began to read “Stones for Bread” I was very tempted to read just enough to get by with a review because not only did it read a bit slower than I prefer but it also touched on emotional issues that I would rather not think too much about. Fortunately I persisted through to the very end and was happy that I did. Yes, the story moved very slowly but that is a good thing because this book is one to savor.

Liesl is a well developed protagonist who is both easy to identify with but also quite frustrating at times. I was not at all happy with all of her decisions and might have ended the story differently if I were the author. I’m sure everyone is happy that I’m not the author.  The actual story of Liesl’s day to day life as the baker/owner of Wild Rise, a bread bakery, moves at a steady pace, mostly detailing her interaction or lack thereof with the people who surround her. Emotionally scarred by events of her childhood, Liesl’s life is somewhat isolated by choice and her social skills are fairly limited. As her story progresses, she is faced with several surprises that force her to take a closer look at herself.

Interspersed within Liesl’s narrative are several recipes and many facts, fables, and details – all related to bread. Some are historical facts, some are details about the art of bread making, others explore beliefs and practices regarding bread over the ages including spiritual references. I came away from “Stones for Bread” with a new appreciation for bread making and feel that I also learned quite a bit in the process as I enjoyed a very intriguing story. I am almost tempted to try a bit of wild yeast bread crafting myself. The fact that I need to avoid bread as much as possible due to health issues is all that prevents my doing so.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


Stones For BreadA solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara’s life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits her recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour — a single father with strange culinary
habits — seems determined to win Liesl’s affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family’s past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

Purchase your copy HERE.


Christa ParrishChrista Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she’s not writing, she’s a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church’s youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

Learn more about Christa HERE.