Down and Dead in Dixie by Vicki Hinze


After witnessing a mob hit, Daisy Grant finds herself on a race for her life. She quickly determines that the police are not able to protect her, so with both sides of a Mafia rivalry after her, Daisy knows she is on her own. With advice from a friend, Daisy attempts to evade her pursuers by faking her own death and ignoring her friend’s instructions makes her way to New Orleans where she encounters more bad luck. Surely the new job and immediate connection she feels with handsome Mark Jensen is a sign that her luck is beginning to change…or is it?

“Down and Dead in Dixie” is a story that hits the ground running and doesn’t stop for more than a quick breath or two until the very end. Filled with action, danger, suspense, and romance, a huge dose of humor adds a welcome sense of relief at frequent intervals. I loved Daisy and Mark as well as their sometimes quirky cast of supporting characters. Although the story is likely improbably, it had me hooked for its entire length and rooting for Daisy and Mark’s successful “deaths”.

“Down and Dead in Dixie” is highly entertaining and I look forward to reading its sequels. Hope I can manage the wait!

I received this book from in return for my honest opinion.


Down And Dead In DixieTo live, sometimes ya gotta die! Daisy Grant is in a heap of trouble. She stumbles into a mob turf war and now somebody wants her dead. Daisy may be small-town to the bone, not at all the kind of woman to deal with the Southern Mafia, but she knows how to get creative fast!

Enters the way-too-attractive Mark Jensen…  He didn’t mean to rescue anybody, and he certainly didn’t mean to go on the run because of a stubborn, sassy woman.  Soon they are up to their ears in so many wacky characters they don’t know who’s on their side. Daisy and Mark decide that to live, sometimes ya gotta die.  And sometimes to die right takes . . . practice.

Clean Read.  This book is suitable for most readers.

Over 1.5 Million Books In Print
Vicki Hinze

Vicki’s first published novel, a romantic suspense, was a bestseller that sold in nearly a dozen foreign countries. Since then, she’s shifted writing focus several times. After co-creating the first single-title open-ended continuity series, she turned to military life and has been credited with a Career Achievement Award for being one of the first to write military romantic suspense, military romantic intrigue, and military romantic thrillers. Recently, she has shifted focus to Christian fiction. Her willingness to take risks and blaze trails has won her many prestigious nominations and awards


The Quilted Heart Omnibus by Mona Hodgson


My favorite thing about “The Quilted Heart” was seeing how the hearts of the women in the quilting circle became knit together as they shared their lives in so many different ways. Although each novella featured a different young woman, they were all tied together almost seamlessly. The stories were a picture of life following the Civil War for the women who lost husbands and sons, the women whose husbands came home changed men, and the women who still had no closure and did not know whether their husband would ever return.

I enjoyed reading about each of these women and how they overcame various challenges and found romance. I also liked most of the men in the novellas with the exception of one who did not accept his circumstances and made sure everyone else paid dearly for his unhappiness. Wooly, Quaid, and Garrett were all honorable men who worked hard to protect and cherish the women in their lives which made them the perfect heroes for this series. The narrative was easily followed and held my interest until the end. I was a tad disappointed that there was not closure to “Ripples Along the Shore” but expect that will take place in the follow-up novel “Prairie Song”. Looks like I will need to pick up a copy to learn how everything ends.

In “Bending Toward the Sun”, Mrs. Brantenberg sums up the author’s theme on page 151 – “God, the Divine Quilter, has the perfect patchwork pattern for our lives. Each will be different as sunshine and snowfall…It’s the batting that gives warmth to the quilt. Otherwise we may end up with a beautiful, but limp, blanket. We may choose wool or cotton for fillint our quilts. In our quilted heart, our faith in the good Lord is the filling.”

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group Blogging for Books Program.


The Quilted HeartLike a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?
Dandelions on the Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

Bending Toward the Sun
Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn’t have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

Ripples Along the Shore
Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone’s Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?

Praise for The Quilted Heart Series

“Like a warm breeze ripples across a lake, Dandelions on the Wind offers a gentle crossing in this first-in-a-series novel. Mona Hodgson gives readers characters we care about, a bit of intrigue, love, and a satisfying ending that promises more in the second series book. Well done!”
—Jane Kirkpatrick, best-selling author of Where Lilacs Still Bloom

“Filled with true-to-life characters and fascinating historical details, Dandelions on the Wind is a heartwarming story of second chances in the turbulent days immediately after the Civil War. Don’t miss this, the first of Mona Hodgson’s The Quilted Heart trilogy. If you’re like me, you’ll be waiting eagerly for the second.”
—Amanda Cabot, author of Waiting for Spring

“Dandelions on the Wind
is a sweet tale about the merging of two hurting hearts. The characters drew me, and I can’t wait to read more about their lives…and their love!”
—Tricia Goyer, best-selling author of thirty-three novels, including The Memory Jar

“In Dandelions on the Wind, Mona Hodgson weaves a tale of broken promises, wounded hearts…and the power of forgiveness—a heartwarming reminder that we walk by faith, not by sight. Maren is a heroine you’ll cheer for!”
—Carol Cox, author of Love in Disguise and Trouble in Store

“Mona Hodgson’s Bending Toward the Sun captures Saint Charles following the Civil War so well. Quaid returns home—a man changed by the war. Emilie is a delight—a young woman pursuing her education, who knows her own mind. And even though the war has changed so many things, this story reminds us that some things, like love, never change.”
—Dorris Keeven-Franke, archivist, Saint Charles County Historical Society

“Mona Hodgson has written a warm, tender tale of family loyalties and forbidden love. When Emilie’s father objects to her seeing the handsome McFarland boy, recently returned from war, the couple struggles to do the right thing. But they are about to discover that God has another plan. Filled with charming characters and godly themes, this
heartwarming story is pure delight.”
—Margaret Brownley, New York Times best-selling author of A Rocky Creek Romance Series and the Brides of Last Chance Ranch Series

“With believable characters, an historic setting, and a gripping love story, Mona Hodgson gives the reader an uplifting account of a time when our country was recovering from a dark period and looking forward to a brighter future.”
—Martha Rogers, author of the Winds Across the Prairie Series and the best-selling Christmas at Holly Hill

Click HERE to download chapter one of The Quilted Heart.


Mona HodgsonOver the last twenty-five years, Mona Hodgson’s publishing credits have grown to include nearly thirty children’s books, contributions to more than ten books for adults, and four historical novels, including her debut, Two Brides Too Many in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. Mona is a popular speaker for women’s groups, schools, and educators’ and writers’ conferences. She lives in Arizona with her husband and has two daughters and several grandchildren

The Dream Dress by Janice Thompson


I have enjoyed each and every one of the books in Janice Thompson’s Weddings by Bella and Weddings by Design series as well as a number of her other novels. I love this author’s blend of a sweet romance with a large dose of humor that is well seasoned with wisdom and practical faith.

I believe that “The Dream Dress” may just be my favorite of all Janice’s books. I liked the character of Gabi Delgado – her dogged loyalty to her job despite the despicable way she was treated by her boss and her willingness to stay up all night working on a wedding dress for a friend. I also loved they way her friends and Jordan encouraged and stood up for Gabi, especially the way each one of them pointed her toward the Father who would never let her down.

There are so many things to love about “The Dream Dress”. Gabi and Jordan were wonderful additions to the series and characters from the first two books, Scarlet and Armando and Hannah and Drew made numerous appearances throughout its pages, especially Scarlet. And of course the story would be incomplete without Bella, the Rossi family, and of course the Spendora Sisters. I would probably never grow tired of new additions to Thompson’s wedding series set in Galveston and the nearby area.

I heartily recommend “The Dream Dress” as well as any of Janice Thompson’s other novels to those who love a good romance with a generous helping of humor and faith.

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

The Dream DressBig dreams take big leaps of faith . . .
but what if you trip on the way?

A lowly seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique, Gabi Delgado dreams of doing more than ripping out seams and fitting dresses to doe-eyed brides. She wants to see her own original dress designs gracing the young women of Texas. But when Jordan Singer, reporter for Texas Bride magazine, visits the shop to do a feature, Gabi is humbled in his influential–and unnervingly handsome–presence.

Convinced she’ll never get her dreams off the ground now, Gabi needs lots of encouragement–especially from her friend Bella Neeley–to take a chance and start her business. And as she gets to know Jordan, she discovers that she may have to take a chance on love as well.

Praise for the Weddings by Design Series

“Funny one-liners and absolutely lovable characters combine with just enough romantic tension to keep the pages turning.”–RT Book Reviews on Picture Perfect

“This breezy, fun-filled romance is sure to please readers who have been eagerly awaiting the second series installment.”–Library Journal on The Icing on the Cake


Janice ThompsonJanice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect and The Icing on the Cake. She lives in Texas. Visit for more.

Dating, Dining, and Desperation by Melody Carlson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)
Melody Carlson

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults–with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

Learn more about Melody and her books on her Website.

Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column.

But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child — whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.



Dating, Dining, and Desperation, the second installment of Melody Carlson’s Dear Daphne series continues where “Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel” ended. Time seems to be running out for Daphne to keep the inheritance left by her Aunt Dee and her best option seems to have disappeared. A new neighbor becomes a new friend who pushes Daphne to improve her image and to date more actively. During the course of the book Daphne meets several new possibilities but none of them seem to be a good match. It is only when she learns to wait on God and becomes involved in reaching out and helping others that Daphne finds real joy and is content with whatever her life brings – even if it means giving up her inheritance.

Once again Carlson has given her readers a fun and humorous story that is filled to the brim with wisdom and encouragement. Dating, Dining, and Desperation is a prime example of why I keep reading her books and recommend them to others.

Where Courage Calls by Janette and Laurel Oke


It has been awhile since I have read a book by Janette Oke but “Where Courage Calls” reminded me why I once enjoyed them so much. In fact, this collaboration between Janette and her daughter Laurel may just be the best one yet. I enjoyed the fact that although there were several men who showed interest in Beth, the story was so much more than a romance and actually left that aspect unresolved for the most part. I loved Beth’s determination to fulfill her obligations despite adverse conditions. I also liked the way she did everything she could to help the children and the miners and managed to bring the entire community together to help each other. I was honestly sorry to see the book come to an end and look forward to hopefully reading more about Beth and her new friends in Coal Valley in the near future.

“Where Courage Calls” is a must for fans of Janette Oke and a good place to start for those who are not familiar with her novels.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


WhereCourageCallsHer courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected…

Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father’s wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she’d feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don’t even speak English. There isn’t even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth’s heart is torn between two young men–both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she’s had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?


Janette and Laurel OkeJanette Oke is celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of numerous awards. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.

Laurel Oke Logan is the daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, is the author of “Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie,” as well as the novel “Dana’s Valley,” which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.

Purchase a copy and read an excerpt here.

Don’t miss beloved author Janette Oke’s latest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan). The storyline and characters in Where Courage Calls are based on Hallmark Channel’s TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.


One winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th 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 on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!