Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 2009

God will bring to completion everything He starts in your life. . .in His time.


Three book winners for October are: Linda Wagner – St. Paul, Minnesota, Jackie Smith – Crawfordville, Georgia, and Ingeborg Fagin, Lighthouse Point, Florida. You can choose from Pirate’s Prize, Never Say Never, and A Daughter’s Quest. Click on the View Complete Profile link in the right hand column to find a link to my email. Send me your mailing address. Or you can go to my website and click on Contact Me.

Readers, if you want a chance to win one of my free books, please sign my Guest Book on my website - The winners are chosen from those who do. But remember to check back in the next month’s newsletter to see if you won. You can sign up at the top of the right hand column of this blog for Feedblitz. Then the newsletter will feed into your Inbox. I will only post a newsletter once a month.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

Want more free books. We also give away a minimum of 12 free books a month on my blog: Most months we give away more than that. This month I’ll be interviewing these authors:

Ramona Richards – Field of Danger
Tracey Bateman – Thirsty
Margaret Daley – Together for the Holidays
Ashley Ludwig – All of Nothing
Mary Connealy – Cowboy Christmas
Susan Page Davis – White Mountain Brides
Nicole O’Dell – All That Glitters
Siri Mitchell – Love’s Pursuit
Judy Christy – Gone to Green
A. K. Arenz – The Case of the Mystified M. D.
Shirley Connolly – Thorns ~n~ Thistles
E. R. Webb – Gemini’s Cross
Kay Marshall Strom – The Call of Zulina
E. R. Webb – The Pallium Project
Tricia Goyer & Ocieanna Fleiss – Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana
Elizabeth Wiseman – An Amish Gathering
Joyce Magnin – The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow
Rhonda McKnight – Secrets and Lies

You can find all kinds of information about my books on my Fan page on Facebook:
I’d love for you to come over and become a fan.

Calendar of Events

May 2010 – Release of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico

May 8, 2010 – ACFW The Woodlands (Writers on the Storm) – Two workshops Painting Historicals With Authenticity & Taking Settings to the Next Level

August 28, 2010 – ACFW Shreveport – Taking Settings to the Next Level

October 2, 2010 – ACFW Tulsa (WIN) – Taking Settings to the Next Level – a hands-on workshop

Book Reviews

Notice: In accordance with FTC regulations, I inform you that most of the books I review have been provided by either the author, a publicist, or the publisher. I review only books I have read and all reviews are the honest representation of my opinion of the book.

One Imperfect Christmas
By Myra Johnson

ISBN 9781426700705
Abingdon Press

Back Cover Copy:

Only Love Makes a Christmas Perfect

Christmas is the season of miracles, but when blame and guilt keep two people apart, sometimes a miracle needs a helping hand.

Natalie Pearce loves Christmas so much she'd gladly make a year-round celebration--until her mother suffers a massive stroke while taking down the decorations. Natalie's guilt over not being there to help her mom soon builds a wall that separates her from the rest of her family, including her husband Daniel and their teenage daughter. As the next December approaches, the last thing Natalie wants to be reminded of is another Christmas season.

Will her family's tenacious love and an unexpected Christmas gift from her mother help Natalie mend the broken pieces of their lives?

My review:

I love it when I start receiving the Christmas books from authors and publishing companies. I especially wanted to read this debut novel by Myra Johnson. I've known her for years and watched her grow as she honed her writing skills, and I was elated when she made her first sale.

The book is a good debut novel. The Christmas elements of newness and surprises were strong, and contributed to my enjoyment of the story. I did want to shake Natalie several times when she allowed her guilt to keep her from making the right decisions.

I found the young teenage daughter to be very believable. Her angst increased the level of the tension.

I recommend that you add this book to your Christmas reading list.

The Great Christmas Bowl
By Susan May Warren
ISBN 978-1-4143-2678-8
Contemporary Novella

Back Cover Copy:

Christmas is a magical season - except for this year.

Marianne Wallace loves the holidays. From dressing the tree to her traditional Christmas dinner, it's all about creating memories for her family. But when her children begin to leave home--and their traditions--behind, she has one last chance to create a holiday they'll never forget.

Unfortunately, she's soon in over her head, and one impulsive decision leads to a string of events that will change the way her family--even her small Minnesota town--sees the Christmas season.

My Review:

I've loved Susan's writing for years now. This book is no exception.
Full of traditions and unmet expectations, the book takes the reader through a serious transition time in many families. On the way, it brings laughter, tears, and the warm kind of feeling you want from a Christmas book.

You won't want to miss one. Put it on your list right now.

The Unfinished Gift
By Dan Walsh
ISBN 978-0-8007-1924-1
Historical Christmas

Back Cover Copy:

Can a gift from the past mend a broken heart?

Ian Collins is an old man without his son. Patrick Collins is a young boy without his father. On his Christmas list are only three items. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather's house. And he wants the dusty wooden soldier in Grandfather's attic--the one his is forbidden to touch.
My Review:

This novel was a surprise to me. A story that touched on the society and mores in the days of World War II. A story with a lot of heart that takes the reader down the road of broken dreams in the lives of two people who were thrown together by circumstances. Pain and pathos paint a detailed portrait of two hearts on a collision course.

Although this is a debut novel, we have a Christmas classic in the makings. A story readers will want to revisit year after year, much as they do with movies like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. So move this book to the top of your to-be-read list and grab a box of Kleenex on the way.

Bluegrass Christmas
By Allie Pleiter
ISBN 978-0-373-87556-6
Love Inspired
Contemporary Romance

Back Cover Copy:

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

That's what led new believer Mary Thorpe to start over in quaint Middleburg, Kentucky. As director of the church's Christmas pageant, Mary's job is to bring the townspeople together, to remind them what the season is really about. But everyone is all riled up over one very handsome man: the man daring to run against Middleburg's popular long-standing mayor. Mac MacCarthy wants change. Mary wants things to stay as they are. Is there a happy medium? Both Mac and Mary are in for one very big Christmas surprise.

My Review:

I love Christmas stories. They're usually feel-good stories that make you get into the holiday spirit. And as a trade paperback, BLUEGRASS CHRISTMAS should have fit that mold. It did not.

This wonderful story brought many surprises. The humor should have built to the big ending, but in this book, the author took the reader into a deep, well-crafted subplot that was profound. Without this depth, this story would have been just another fun read. Instead, it was a powerful look behind the facades people use to hide their deepest secrets, hurts, and longings.

You won't want to miss this story. Put it on the top of your to-be-read Christmas stack.

An Amish Christmas
By Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller & Barbara Cameron
ISBN 976-1-59554-821-4
Thomas Nelson
Contemporary Novella Collection

Back Cover Copy:

December In Paradise - A Time of Hope, Redemption, and New Life


After Daniel disappeared that long-ago Christmas Eve, Lydia built a life with his brother. But now she's a widow and Daniel has reappeared, asking for forgiveness. But can she go back to her normal life with her long-lost love as her neighbor?

A MIRACLE FOR MIRIAM by Kathleen Fuller

Seth is no longer the arrogant young man who shattered Miriam's confidence and broke her heart. But can he convince "plain" Miriam that she is truly beautiful to him?

ONE CHILD by Barbara Cameron

The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago. On a snowy Christmas night in Lancaster County, another child changes the world for two very different couples.

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed these three stories. Although each novella contains a stand-alone story, they are interrelated through the characters and events. I particularly liked the intermingling and contrasting of the Amish life and life of Englischers. The sense of understanding between those involved.

The characters were well-developed for a novella, and the internal and external conflicts really carried the stories along.

I highly recommend this good read.

November ACFW Book Releases

Seven more releases this month from ACFW members.

1. A Silent Pursuit, by Lynette Eason from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Gina Santino has something someone desperately wants. Now, she's on the hunt to find it. Her deceased fiance's best friend, US Ranger, Ian Masterson is her only hope of staying alive while they race to be the first to discover the treasure her fiance left behind.

2. Chasing Shadows, by Terri Reed from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. An heiress turns to her former love, a cop, for help when she fears for her grandmother's life.

3. Close to Home, by Carolyn Aarsen from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A reunion of old lovers brings up the shadows of past tragedy.

4. Fit To Be Tied, The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs, Book #2, by Robin Lee Hatcher from Zondervan. Who says a woman can't do a man's job?

5. I'm So Sure, A Charmed Life, Book 2, by Jenny B. Jones from Thomas Nelson. Its prom time and someone is trying to sabotage the queen contest. Can Bella solve the mystery in time AND keep it together as her life goes public on a wrestling reality show?

6. The Bartered Bride, by Erica Vetsch from Barbour Heartsong Presents. Tempests rage, in the board room, the ball room, and on treacherous Lake Superior as two hearts set sail on a collision course.

7. Together for the Holidays, Fostered by Love series-book 5, by Margaret Daley from Love Inspired. Can the true meaning of Christmas bring two loners together?

Happy Reading!


I had two fun booksignings in October. I met some new people, who hopefully will be come faithful readers.
My daughter and great grandson came to the first one at Mardel in Plano. Here's a picture of us.

I signed books with Amanda Cabot. This was the first time I met her face to face, but I wrote an
endorsement for her book, Paper Roses.

Then the second booksigning was at Mardel in Hurst, which is a couple of miles from my house. I love this store. It’s a fairly new store, very well designed with lots of stock that is easy to find.

And the store personnel treated us exceptionally well. I’ll be sure to schedule things in this store again.

I signed books with Leanna Ellis. We interacted with a number of people and had a really good time.