Mark of Distinction by Jessica Dotta


I have known readers who refused to begin reading a series before all its books had been released because they did not want to wait for the next volume to be published before they could continue reading.  Jessica Dotta’s Price of Privilege series might actually be one that would make that practice seem like a good idea. After reading the first two installments of this series I can confirm that the second depends greatly on the first for background details. It has been awhile since I read “Born of Persuasion” with quite a few other books in between so it took me a bit to remember what had transpired in it.

In a style reminiscent of the best gothic novels I once devoured, “Mark of Distinction” carried a dark and brooding atmosphere throughout and revealed only enough details to keep me thoroughly confused about what was actually going on. Of course that is part of the attraction of this type novel and I loved wondering exactly who were the villains and who were the honorable characters. At times the lines between them were definitely a bit sketchy to say the least.

There was little not to like about “Mark of Distinction” except maybe the wait for the publishing date of “Price of Privilege”. Once again the characters were superb, the plot well-crafted, and the atmosphere and setting perfection. Then there was the surprise ending – I’ll admit I never saw that coming! I can’t wait to find out what will happen next.

This book was provided for review by The Tyndale Blog Network.


Mark Of DistinctionLondon is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.

Now under the watchful eye of Lord Roy Pierson, one of most influential men in England, Julia begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well, and he is eager to assert his claim over her.

Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.

Read an excerpt from Mark of Distinction HERE.


Jessica DottaJessica Dotta has always been fascinated by England during the Regency and Victorian era. Her passion for British Literature fueled her desire to write in a style that blends the humor of Jane Austen and the dark drama of a Bronte sister. She lives in the Nashville area with her family and works as a freelance media consultant and publicist.

Visit Jessica Dotta’s website.

Jessica Dotta’s Facebook.

Lip Reading by Harry Kraus

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lip Reading
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
Harry Kraus

A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife’s urging: “Now doesn’t seem the right time for this dream.”

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I’d written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn’t until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the “rules” without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I’d have made faster progress if I’d have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you’ll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Lip Reading, go HERE.



Lip Reading is a riveting contemp0rary medical novel that held me spellbound until its somewhat surprising end. It would be misleading to say that it doesn’t end with a happily-ever-after but it is definitely not the one I expected.  A story filled with drama, tragedy, romance, suspense, sacrifice, and redemption, Lip Reading moves along at a fairly rapid pace. Characters are well-rounded and realistically portrayed. There were times I didn’t agree with the choices made but those choices took the storyline to an inevitable conclusion.

Lip Reading was a very satisfying novel and I recommend it to all fans of contemporary medical fiction.

Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin – Litfuse


Maybelle In Stitches is one of the latest additions to the Abingdon Press Quilts of Love series. Although I did have a bit more difficulty getting into the story, I found plenty to interest me once I did. The story takes place during World War 2 with a primary focus on the wives of soldiers fighting in the war. As these women waited for their husbands to return home, they not only managed their homes but often worked in factories to help the war effort. Maybelle and her best friend Doris both work as welderettes on ships but their evenings and weekends are extremely lonely and long. Working together on a quilt started by Maybelle’s mother, the friends and a few other military wives fill their free time putting together a quilt of hope.

The story manages to give the reader insight into the lives of these women as they experience life without their husbands and go through good times and tragedy together. A strong emphasis on the faithfulness of God no matter what the circumstance is present throughout the narrative. Another major theme is the importance of friendship in our lives.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


Maybelle in StitchesMaybelle In Stitches | A Quilts of Love book.

Maybelle Kazinzki can’t sew. She was after all, the only girl in the seventh grade Home Economics class to sew the zipper in the neck hole of the A-Line dress they were supposed to make. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house she gets the crazy idea to finish it—somehow, come heck or high water. She thinks it will help fill the lonely nights while her husband, Holden, is serving overseas during World War II.

Her recently departed mother’s quilt is made from scraps of material Maybelle traces back to her mother’s childhood, her grandmother’s childhood and her own childhood. She tries to add one of Holden’s stripes to it but the sewing is not going well and neither is her life. After receiving some harsh news, Maybelle’s faith falters and she puts the quilt away and stops trusting God. But God is faithful- no matter what. And it’ll take a group of neighborhood women armed with quilting needles to help Maybelle believe that.

Learn more and purchase a copy at the Quilts of Love site.


Joyce MagninJoyce Magnin is the author of the Bright’s Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Find out more about Joyce at

Win a NEW Spring Wardrobe from @TheQuiltsofLove | “Maybelle in Stitches” Giveaway!


Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Maybelle in Stitches, by Joyce Magnin. Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it.

Joyce is celebrating the release with a $200 Modcloth giveaway. Enter today for a chance to spruce up your spring wardrobe!


One winner will receive:

  • A $200 gift card
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced on April 21st on the Quilts of Love blog!


Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER.

What Follows After by Dan Walsh


Many people are able to remember defining moments in their lives. In “What Follows After” Dan Walsh tells the story of the Harrison family and the traumatic event that would change their family forever. The fact that it took place during the Cuban Missile Crisis just made it that much more memorable.

A visit to an inherited house in Florida brings back those memories to an adult Colt as he contemplates whether to keep or sell the property that played such a pivotal role in the life of his family. His memories serve to relate the story within a story that is common in some of Walsh’s books. Once again I found myself viewing events through the eyes of a child – events powerful enough to shape the future of his family.

Walsh’s characters are marvelous. I loved Colt and Timmy and the two ladies who were so instrumental in helping rescue Timmy. Although the story was told through several points of view, I had no problem following it. With plenty of action, suspense and emotional scenes, “What Follows After” shares several important lessons for us all including the importance of truth, forgiveness, and some excellent pointers on how to keep trust in a marriage.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will continue to view Dan Walsh as one of my respected authors.

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


What Follows AfterIn 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy.
And when they weren’t, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they’ve actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they’ve even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie–to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt’s house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life–love, truth, and family. With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we’ll know that what follows after . . . is not what we expected at all.

“Dan is an artist and his canvas is the novel, where he uses different colors and hues of words to create a masterpiece. What Follows After is a story that will surely touch your heart and soul.”–John M. Wills, New York Journal of Books


Dan WalshDan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and The Reunion, as well as The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley. He has won three Carol awards, and three of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year (2011-2013). Dan lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he’s busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit for more.

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman


“Claiming Mariah” contains all the elements I look for in a good historical western romance novel including cowboys, plenty of action, conflict, a bit of mystery, and of course, romance. I liked the premise of the story which had a strong, somewhat angry man on a mission to take back the ranch he believes rightfully belongs to his family. He just doesn’t expect to have second thoughts about how it will affect the current occupants.

I really liked Slade. Hidden by his tough exterior was a heart of gold filled with compassion and the need to protect those unable to protect themselves. Mariah was strong and hard working and put the needs of everyone else above her own needs. It was inevitable that the two of them would butt heads repeatedly. I liked how the author gradually introduced tiny clues along the way about the identities of those involved in the cattle rustling. My suspicions grew and it was fun to learn that my instincts had been correct. The story is filled with misunderstandings, revealed secrets, faith, and forgiveness.

All-in-all, “Claiming Mariah” is exactly the kind of western romance I enjoy and I look forward to reading more by this author. I am hoping she has one in the works featuring Slade’s brother Buck and possibly Mariah’s sister.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


Claiming MariahAfter her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he unearths more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal, and murder threatens the well-being of the ranch, endangering those who hold it dear. As the days dwindle until the rest of the Donovan clan arrives at the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed changes their futures forever.

Purchase a copy HERE.


Pam HillmanPam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of!

Learn more about Pam HERE.

Claiming Mariah Giveaway
Claiming Mariah released February 1st, and Pam Hillman is hosting a cool Giveaway during the month of April. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to sign up to win a Kindle Fire!