Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thunder in the Morning Calm - A New Favorite Author!!!!

If you know me in real life you know there are certain authors who could write the classifieds and I would buy it.  Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Nicholas Sparks.  I have a feeling Don Brown is going to be joining this list.  I could not put this book down.  I wanted to know what the next page held, what the next chapter would reveal.

The book is centralized around Lieutenant Commander 'Gunner' McCormick, an intelligence officer who changes careers as often as some of us change hairstyles.  In a top secret trip to Washington, D.C., he learns through classified materials that there may still be American POWs alive in North Korea.  Knowing his grandfather was captured and his body never recovered leads Gunner to put together a team or rogue, retired military people and venture into the unknown to see if the possibility of finding a missing piece of his heritage is possible.

Told from the perspective of 'Gunner', his mother, the aging, American POWs, and the North Koreans who hold them captive, seeing the story come together and wondering which piece will be uncovered next kept me entertained form start to finish.  I highly recommend you pick up this book and join the journey.  

If you'd like to buy this book (which you should) the link is:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ransome's Quest - A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Ransome’s Quest
Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
Kaye Dacus


Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing and Harvest House Publishers.

Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her blog and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.


The pirate El Salvador has haunted the waters of the Caribbean for almost ten years. When he snatched Charlotte Ransome, it was a case of mistaken identity. Now Charlotte's brother, whose reputation in battle is the stuff of legend, is searching for him with a dogged determination. But another rumor has reached El Salvador's ears: Julia Ransome has been kidnapped by the man feared by all other pirates--the pirate known only as Shaw. The violent and blood-thirsty savage from whom El Salvador was trying to protect her.

When word reaches William of Julia's disappearance, his heart is torn--he cannot abandon the search for his sister, yet he must also rescue Julia. Ned Cochrane offers a solution: Ned will continue the search for Charlotte while William goes after Julia. William's quest will lead him to a greater understanding of faith and love as he must accept help from sworn enemy and have faith that Julia's life is in God's hands.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Ransome’s Quest, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dancing on Glass - A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dancing on Glass
B&H Books (August 1, 2011)
Pamela Ewen


Until recently retiring to write full time, Pamela Binnings Ewen was a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P., specializing in corporate finance. She now lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, James Lott.

She has served on the Board of Directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, Texas, as well as the Advisory Board for The New Orleans Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans; Pamela is a co-founder of the Northshore Literary Society in the Greater New Orleans area. She is also a member of the National League of American Pen Women.

Pamela’s first novel, Walk Back The Cat (Broadman & Holman. May, 2006) is the story of an embittered and powerful clergyman who learns an ancient secret, confronting him with truth and a choice that may destroy him.

She is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed non-fiction book Faith On Trial, published by Broadman & Holman in 1999, currently in its third printing.

Although it was written for non-lawyers, Faith On Trial was also chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in the Spring of 2000, along with The Case For Christ by Lee Stroble. Continuing the apologetics begun in Faith On Trial, Pamela also appears with Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Darrell Bock, Lee Stroble, and others in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, a Campus Crusade for Christ production.

Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana family recognized for its statistically improbable number of successful authors. A cousin, James Lee Burke, who won the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove At Morning.

Among other writers in the family are Andre Dubus (Best Picture Oscar nomination for The Bedroom; his son, Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog, a Best Picture Oscar nomination and an Oprah pick; Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy); and Alafair Burke, just starting out with the well received Samantha Kincaid mystery series.


In the steamy city of New Orleans in 1974, Amalise Catoir sees Phillip Sharp as a charming, magnetic artist, unlike any man she has known. A young lawyer herself, raised in a small town and on the brink of a career with a large firm, she is strong and successful, yet sometimes too trusting and whimsical. Ama's rash decision to marry Phillip proves to be a mistake as he becomes overly possessive, drawing his wife away from family, friends, and her faith. His insidious, dangerous behavior becomes her dark, inescapable secret.

In this lawyer's unraveling world, can grace survive Ama's fatal choice? What would you do when prayers seem to go unanswered, faith has slipped away, evil stalks, and you feel yourself forever dancing on shattered glass?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dancing on Glass, go HERE.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Most Unsuitable Match - A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Most Unsuitable Match
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
Stephanie Grace Whitson


A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four homeschooled children Nebraska history, she was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year.

Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends. Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.


An unlikely attraction occurs between two passengers on a steamboat journey up the Missouri River to Montana...

She is a self-centered young woman from a privileged family who fears the outdoors and avoids anything rustic. He is a preacher living under a sense of duty and obligation to love the unlovable people in the world. She isn't letting anything deter her from solving a family mystery that surfaced after her mother's death. He is on a mission to reach the rejects of society in the remote wilderness regions of Montana. Miss Fannie Rousseau and Reverend Samuel Beck are opposites in every way... except in how they both keep wondering if their paths will ever cross again.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Most Unsuitable Match, go HERE.

Friday, August 05, 2011

A River to Cross - Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A River to Cross
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)

Yvonne Harris


Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a winner and three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante's Bride, which was her debut novel.


Texas Ranger Jake Nelson patrols the U.S.-Mexico border, protecting the settlers from cattle rustlers, outlaws, and bandits. Sparks fly when Manuel Diego stirs up a revolt against the government, which leads to the murder of a newspaperman, who is the son of a U.S. senator, and the kidnapping of his sister, Elizabeth Madison, a journalist in the making.

With Elizabeth's photograph in hand--a dark-haired beauty with smiling eyes--Jake rides over the border to find her. After the Rangers defeat the marauders and rescue Elizabeth, Jake is surprised to learn she's not the spoiled daughter of a senator that he was expecting. In fact, he finds himself taken by her. And she by him.

But the Mexicans won't give up that easily, as Elizabeth becomes the target of an all-out hunt. Leaving Elizabeth back at Fort Williams, Jake and his men set off again, this time to go after Diego himself--to apprehend him and his renegades and bring them all to justice.

Meanwhile, Jake knows what's begun between him and Elizabeth is undeniable. Amid all the turmoil, Jake finally admits how much he loves her. She tells him the same. Until now, they've lived in different worlds, yet it is those differences that drew them together.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A River to Cross, go HERE.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Out of Control - A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Out Of Control
Bethany House; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
Mary Connealy


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.


Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father's homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe--until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family's cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch--and Rafe's controlling ways--as soon as they were able. He's haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn't expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels--or to be forced to kiss her!

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he's ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Out Of Control, go HERE.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Gift Tags

This past week I spent some time in the glorious hills of East Tennessee.  Due to the fact that it is HHH (hazy, hot, humid) there most of my time was spent indoors.  I recently have attended several baby showers and after purchasing gifts/cards/etc. I was trying to figure out how to cut costs a little.  I'd rather keep the same gifts but I figured the card was an added expense that could be reduced.  So I made the trek across town to Hobby Lobby where much to my delight cardstock was 50% off.  I picked up some browns, grays, and purples to go with some green and pick wrapping paper I have.  Using my mom's Cricut, this is a sampling of what I was able to create. 

The grays and purples were my first attempts.  I must admit I'm much happier with the tags I created out of the brown cardstock.  And the best part is, on a few of them I was able to incorporate the actual wrapping paper!  I always save my wrapping paper scraps for my niece to do craft projects with and decided I would take a few inches for myself.  I bought some colors to do Christmas tags last year so I think in November I'll be making a few more tags to go with my Christmas wrapping paper as well.  

Monday, August 01, 2011

Salsa - It's What's for Snack (Lunch and Dinner)

If I had to choose one food group to eat for the rest of my life it would be Mediterranean.  I love hummus, baba-ganoush, grape leaf rolls, falafel, etc.  Plus I figure the Mediterranean really encompasses Italy so I'll get my pasta and pizza.  However, a close second on my list of foods would be Mexican.  Now, before anyone goes and tells me the Mexican food I eat is not really Mexican, I know.  But it's all I know.  And I know this.  It is good in my belly.  So a few years ago I wanted a good salsa at home.  I was over the stuff in a jar, what I really wanted was something finely processed and tasting like the local Mexican dive.  So I researched the world wide web and found this recipe: D's Famous Salsa.  And I decided I would make it.  But that I would be like my Granny and just use the recipe as a suggestion.  And thus we now have what I make.  And apparently what 82% of my RiverChurch family makes (or so they tell me.)  So here goes:

1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can Ro*tel
1/4 - 1/2 onion
3-4 cloves garlic or 1 heaping TBSP of the garlic in a jar
cilantro (I use a lot, I'm a fan)
garlic powder <-- really, can you have too much garlic?

  1. Throw the onion and garlic in your food processor.  (Whitney can tell you that the food processor works better than a blender because she did an experiment.  Whitney can also tell you the onion is necessary.  Do not leave it out, but adjust the amount you use to your tastes or based on the strength of the onion.)  
  2. Once the onion is to chopped finely status, add the tomatoes and Ro*tel.  (I have learned there are people in American who do not know what Ro*tel is.  I am sorry.  It is goodness in a can.  Check it out.)  Pulse a few times to incorporate with the onion and garlic.  
  3. Then throw in the cilantro (a heaping TBSP to 1/8 of a cup I would think is good...or more.)  Put in a few dashes of garlic powder at this stage as well.  Pulse again.
And voila, you have salsa!  The best part is you have so much salsa, you can use 16 ounces of it to make this recipe: Crockpot Chicken Tacos.  This may be my new favorite recipe as I am in love with the tortilla soup that you make with the finished product.  Yummy!  


  • There are 15-20 varieties of Ro*tel and stewed tomatoes on the market these days.  Part of the fun of this recipe is to use different combinations while trying to find your current favorite.  
  • My friend Lauren uses the cilantro in a tube and it works well too.  It's really whatever you feel like purchasing.  The fresh stuff is good, but it doesn't keep more than a week so if you know you'll want several batches of this over several weeks (and you will) then the cilantro in a tube is probably the way to go.