Friday, May 24, 2013

Follow the Heart -- A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Follow the Heart
B&H Books (May 1, 2013)
Kaye Dacus


Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, is a former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, and currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is a full-time academic advisor and part-time college composition instructor for Bethel University.

Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and educator 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. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an academic advisor and English Composition instructor for Bethel University.


Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, Follow the Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money.

At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America.

Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess.

While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake?

Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?

If you would like to read the first chapter of >Follow the Heart, go HERE

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Undeniably Yours -- A Book Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Undeniably Yours
Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2013)
Becky Wade


During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. Her first contemporary Christian romance, My Stubborn Heart, has been named a finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award. Her newest release, Undeniably Yours, is available now.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.


When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted--more interested in art than in oil--she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father's empire.

The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo's determined to resent the woman who's decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them--her wealth, his unworthiness, her family's outrage--and earn the right to love her.

But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their love--and their belief that God can work through every circumstance--survive?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Undeniably Yours, go HERE.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


"Fairies aren't even real except the tooth fairy!" 

Brought to you by a 1st grade boy in my friend Abi's class.  If that doesn't make you smile, well, you're broken.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jennifer -- An O'Malley Love Story

I already professed my love for Dee Henderson in this post.  And again, she has outdone herself.  After re-reading the O'Malley series after reading Full Disclosure (twice) I was more than ready to dive into Jennifer's story.  Jennifer was such an integral part of the O'Malley family and their journey to Christ yet we didn't know her story, how she found Christ, or how she learned the news that made it all so very important.

I couldn't do a better job of summing up this book than this, so here you go...


It's a summer of change for Jennifer O'Malley. The busy physician has a pediatrics practice in Dallas, and meeting Tom Peterson, and falling in love, is adding a rich layer to her life. She's sorting out how to introduce him to her family--she's the youngest of seven--and thinking about marriage.

She's falling in love with Jesus too, and knows God is good. But that faith is about to be tested in a way she didn't expect, and the results will soon transform her entire family.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story, go to HERE.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Seriously, I just want to brain dump so that is probably the lamest post title ever.  But whatever.  I'm blogging, which is something, right?

1. Frontera -- I am seriously in love with this line of products by Rick Bayless.  The sauce mixes are so tasty.  It makes for the easiest meal.  In fact this week we have already had the red enchilada sauce and the green one will go down this weekend. We've also had the salsa.  True story: I love flying through Chicago because there is a Tortas Frontera restaurant in O'Hare.  A former co-worker clued me in to it, and I have been known to walk from E to B for food and back again.  Yes, it's that good.

2. Gardening -- I need to do a whole post on our garden.  If you'll remember, one of my goals for this year was to plan a garden that would feed my family for the Summer and beyond.  We are well on our way to achieving this goal, unless the slugs eat my plants.  Dern slugs.

3. Work -- It's been interesting for the past month or slow.  Anyone who knows me in real life knows that my job has been a little slow the past 9 months or so.  I am in between clients so I've been a jack of all trades helping out different departments with internal needs while supplementing with actual payroll work anywhere I can get added to a ticket.  However, about a month ago I was request to loan into our mobility group to help with testing (or breaking as I like to say) our new app.  It has been very eye-opening and interesting being involved in an app behind the scenes and what goes into making it work.  I know a lot of acronyms now, but don't ask me what they mean!  The work has been fun, but no worries, payroll is still my first love, this is just a fun "fling."

4. Food -- I bit the bullet a couple of months ago and got a haircut.  It's not that I dislike getting my hair cut, it's that I dislike finding someone who will cut it the way it needs to be cut since it has a mind of its own.  So I went, the guy was fabulous, and we spent 45 minutes discussing sports.  (Note: I am not a sports girl, but I know enough to be able to carry on a conversation with a guy which I have found is necessary to not go nuts when traveling with a bunch of guys.)  One question the guy did ask me before we dove into the world of sports was when I travel back to the South do I miss any food here?  The answer is a resounding "No."  I mean, yes, I would miss the local Thai restaurant we frequent and I would miss good Dim Sum, but here is what I really miss: Chic-Fil-A, Sonic, Firehouse Subs, Krystal and don't even get me started on the amazing food Charleston has to offer.  Oh, and Mexican restaurants here don't have queso.  There aren't even words for how wrong this is and how wronged I feel when I ask and they say no.

Yeah, so we'll end with that.  No queso.  No worries, I've pinned a couple of options on Pinterest and I'll learn to make my own queso.  And I'll eat it with my yummy Frontero enchiladas.  And all will be right with the world.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Katie's Choice -- A Book Review

I have a love/eh relationship with Amish fiction.  I either love it of I'm like "eh, I read it, let's move on with life."  Katie's Choice falls into the first category.  This book really entertained me and made me think.  Told from the perspective of modern day journalist Zane Carson, a man used to covering stories or war, poverty,  and violence, the story dives into what makes Amish culture work.  The hard work, helping your neighbors, and kindness of the community all built around a faith in God.  Zane, who grew up an orphan raised by a detached uncle, this is his first experience in a community of people who love and help each other out without having to constantly watch that you are stepping into a trap to be fooled or taken advantage of.

The book follows Zane's evolution from someone removed from technology and the luxuries of the first world (electricity) to someone who realizes there is value in faith, a hard day of work, and helping your fellow man.  It also follow's Katie's journey from being a slightly older, single woman who feels called to help her brother raise his children to learning to give this outsider a chance.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story of the Amish culture, learning to live more simply, and simply the idea of God always giving us second chances, whether it's the choice to fall in love with Him or a second chance at love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Katie's Choice by Amy Lillard, go HERE.