Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 2009

A Baby changes everything.


Three book winners for November are: Jane Squires – Wasola, Missouri, Jackie Colletta Miller – Hyndman, Pennsylvania, and Joyce Shelton, Natchitoches, Louisiana. You can choose either Montana Mistletoe or Snowbound Colorado Christmas. 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 - http://www.lenanelsondooley.com/ . 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 16 free books a month on my blog: http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/ . Most months we give away more than that. This month I’ll be interviewing these authors:

Ariel Allison – Eye of the God
Linda S. Clare – The Fence My Father Built
Julie Klassen – The Silent Governess
Margaret Daley – Christmas Peril
Melanie Dobson – Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana
Patti Hill – Seeing Things
Dan Walsh – The Unfinished Gift
Susan Page Davis – The Sheriff’s Surrender
James David Jordan – Double Cross
John B Olson – Powers
T. L. Higley – Guardian of the Flame
Cheryl Wyatt – A Soldier’s Devotion
Wanda Dyson – Shepherd’s Run
Margaret Brownley – A Lady Named Sarah
Denise Hunter – Seaside Letters
Jenny B Jones – Just Between You and Me
Debbie Fuller Thomas – Raising Rain
Cami Checketts – The Sister Pact

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.

Another place you can find out what’s going on in Christian publishing today:

Calendar of Events

February 21-25, 2010 – Writer’s Retreat

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

September 2010 - ACFW National Conference - Indianapolis

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.

Cowboy Christmas
By Mary Connealy
ISBN 978-1-60260-145-1
Historical Romance

Back Cover Copy:

A secretive singer reawakens a cowboy's wounded heart at Christmastime.

Singer Annette Talbot used her voice to spread the gospel with a traveling missionary troupe. When the Latrells take over and want Annie to dress provocatively and give up singing her beloved hymns, Annie flees to Ranger Bluff, Wyoming, dreaming of reuniting with her father for Christmas. But trouble chases her--right off the edge of a cliff!

Elijah Walker's heart turned as cold and barren as the high plains in December after his ex-fiancee betrayed him and caused his father's death. But when he rescues Annie out of a freezing river, Walker's instincts tell him he must help a stranger in need.

With her hermit father retreating to the high country and the Latrells intent on kidnapping her to make money off her singing, Annie may have no way out.

Has Annie hidden the truth about wanted posters bearing her face too long for anyone to believe her now?

Can Elijah overcome the painful past and learn to love again?

Will there ever be peace in their hearts in time for Christmas?

My Review:

This book is classic Mary Connealy with Christmas thrown in. Strong cowboy hero, heroine in peril, truly evil antagonists. A fast-moving story that takes many twists and turns.

One thing she left unexplained, and I really wish I knew the outcome of that particular thread. However, it didn't detract from the rollicking story.

Another book to add to your Christmas reading list.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells
By Cindy Woodsmall
ISBN 978-0-307-44633-4
Waterbrook Press

Back Cover Copy:

Beth Hertzler is unable to let go of a past tragedy.

Still in mourning, she cuts herself off from any hope of happiness.

A gifted carver holds the answer to both her past and future in his hands--but can Beth move beyond yesterday and embrace a second chance at love?

My Review:

I do not wonder that Cindy Woodsmall is a NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author. Her books have depth and width as well as giving the readers characters they can love.

This story shows people who listen to the lies of the enemy and keep painful secrets instead of getting help with healing from them. The way she crafts the story takes you into the very hearts of these people and leads you through the healing process. And there are many surprises along the way.

I highly recommend this book for your growing Christmas reading list.

Together for the Holidays
By Margaret Daley
ISBN 978-0-373-87559-7
Love Inspired
Fostered by Love, Book 5

A family guided them to faith, but only love could heal their hearts.

Back Cover Copy:

Her Holiday Hope

A single mother with a traumatic past, Lisa Morgan only wants to raise her son with love and values. But lately the boy is strugling. When his basketball coach becomes a reluctant role model, Lisa is relieved. Until she learns that David Russell is also a cop. She's not ready to share her past--or her heart. And neither is the world-weary detective. Yet as Christmas comes closer, the true meaning of the holiday brings them together in ways they never dared dream.

My Review:

I enjoy the Love Inspired novels, because they're not a long read, but they pack a punch. Margaret Daley is one of my favorite Love Inspired authors. As always, she delivered a wonderful story full of nuances.

TOGETHER FOR THE HOLIDAYS brings together people with a number of believable issues and throws them into situations they're not ready to face. I loved the way the characters developed and grew in the story.

And I really enjoy books that take place over the Christmas season. I recommend this book for a quick read in your limited time during the holidays.

Christmas Peril
By Margaret Daley & Debby Giusti
ISBN 978-0-373-44365-9
Love Inspired Suspense
Contemporary Novella Collection

Back Cover Copy:

Christmas Bells Ring With Danger in These Suspenseful Holiday Stories

MERRY MAYHEM by Margaret Daley

When single mom Annie Coleman unexpectedly arrives in Christmas, Oklahoma, police chief Caleb Jackson suspects she's hiding secrets. He'll be watching her closely. And his protection is just what Annie and her daughter need, as danger has followed them to their new home.

YULE DIE by Debby Giusti

It's hardly a happy holiday for medical researcher Callie Evans. . .until she discovers her ailing patient is her long-lost brother. And he's being watched by undercover police officer Joe Petrecelli. When the trio is abducted by a cadre of bad guys, Joe and Callie will have to fight to keep her brother--and themselves--alive.

My Review:

I loved both of these stories. With Margaret's story the suspense is softer than in Debby's book, but they're both page turners with lots of twists and turns.

Yule (you'll) want to add this to your holiday reading list.

Christmas Homecoming
By Debby Mayne, Paige Winship Dooly, Elizabeth Goddard, Elizabeth Ludwig
ISBN 978-1-60260-564-0
Contemporary Novella Collection

Back Cover Copy:

A Grandmother's Letters Bring Three Women Home for Christmas

Grandma Carol Scheirer never thought she'd marry again. But when Alex Knight, an old family friend, confesses his love for her, romance ensues. Using her wedding as the perfect excuse, Carol begs her granddaughters to return to Boulder, Colorado, for an old-fashioned Christmas family reunion. But will her family approve of the new man in her life?

Party planner Noelle Evans arrives in Boulder to help with her grandmother's wedding. But when she has an accident, she finds herself face-to-face with Rocky Carmichael, MD---the man who once jilted her. Will she find more than physical healing at the hands of her ex-fiance?

Writer Christmas Scheirer feels her greed led to her grandfather's death. When she comes accross her grandfather's letters, Christmas will do anything to get them published---even if it means butting heads with Marcus Taggart, the guardian of Grandpa's estate. How far will Christmas go to right her wrongs?

On furlough, missionary Holly Rivers arrives in Boulder for Grandma's wedding. When she runs into Nick Brohns, the man she left behind for God's work, tensions mount. Will God give them both a new mission in life?

My Review:

You won't want to miss this collection written by four of my good friends. Each author brings her own unique twist to the story she tells. And the stories are more than good romances. They're stories about second chances. Don't we all need one of those ever so often?

A Blue and Gray Christmas
By Vickie McDonough, Lauralee Bliss, Tamela Hancock Murray, Carrie Turansky
ISBN 978-1-60260-565-7
Historical Novella Collection

Back Cover Copy:

Christmas Love Captures Hearts During the Civil War

Despite the Blue and Gray troops advancing on their hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Leah Woods and Seth Madison vow to wed at the dawn of the New Year. But when Seth disappears, Leah is left alone, clinging to whatever faith she can muster.

On Christmas Day, Arabella Lambert accepts Barry Birch's proposal of marriage. But as Barry's pacifist leanings come to light, he's labeled a coward. Is their love strong enough to stand against public ridicule?

Rachel Thornton nurses the wounded James Galloway back to health, only to see him determined to head back to the front lines. Can Rachel risk falling for James? Or would her heart be better off in the hands of another man?

After the loss of her Confederate home and husband, Hannah McIntosh found refuge at the Haley ranch in Kansas. When Chris Haley, an embittered Union soldier, returns from war, Hannah knows her days at the ranch are numbered. How much time does she have before Chris throws the Confederate caretaker Hannah out of his home and life forever?

My Review:

To be totally honest, even with the lovely cover, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book. I don't like reading war novels that much. But I featured this book on my blog, and I made a promise to read and review the Christmas novels in October and November. I'm glad I did.

I would have missed a wonderful collection of character-driven stories that were strong on doing what is right in the face of extreme adversity. I fell in love with the characters and felt their pain with them. I knew this book would be good because of the quality of the authors who made up the team. I've read and loved other books by all of them.

Don't leave this book off your Christmas reading list.

December ACFW Book Releases

Eleven releases this month from ACFW members.
Congrats to all!

1. A Bouquet for Iris, by Diane Ashley & Aaron McCarver from Barbour Heartsong Presents. Iris Landon travels to Daisy, Tennessee, to care for two Cherokee children and finds romance and danger while aiding one family in the struggle to keep their land.

2. A Lady Like Sarah, Rocky Creek Romance, by Margaret Brownley from Thomas Nelson. He's a preacher. She's an outlaw. Both are in need of a miracle.

3. ANGEL WITH A BACKHOE, by Deb Kinnard from Desert

Breeze Publishing. A small-town widower and a spunky suburban transplant match wits over a church construction project, finding true love can mix with blueprints and concrete footings.

4. Child Finder: Resurrection series: Child Finder Trilogy, 2nd book, by Mike Angley from Total Recall Publications, Inc. Child Finder: Resurrection…the highly-anticipated sequel to the award-winning debut novel, Child Finder, which Library Journal placed on its 2009 Summer Reads list for Christian fiction!

5. Christmas Peril, by Margaret Daley from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Christmas themed, romantic suspense stories.

6. Cup of Joe, by Teri Wilson from White Rose Publishing. A grieving oman resists the cups of comfort offered by the shy, but handsome, owner of the neighborhood coffee shop.

7. Field of Danger, by Ramona Richards from Love Inspired Suspense. When April Presley can’t remember details of the murder she witnessed, deputy Daniel Rivers must help her recall the event and protect her from the killer determined to silence her.

8. Her Patchwork Family series: The Gabriel Sisters, by Lyn Cote from Love Inspired. In spite of opposition from the rich and influential, can Felicity Gabriel establish a home for children orphaned by the Civil War and heal two wounded hearts?

9. Patterns and Progress series: Michigan historical, book 3, by Amber Stockton from Barbour Publishing. A farmer's daughter would rather turn back the hands of time than accept the fact that advancement in technology could be in God's plan.

10. The Sheriff's Surrender series: #1 of The Ladies' Shooting Club Series, by Susan Page Davis from Barbour Publishing. The men of Fergus aren’t keeping the town safe, so a group of feisty women take matters into their own hands.

11. The Glassblower series: First book in the New Jersey Historical Series, by Laurie Alice Eakes from Barbour Publishing. Colin Grassick moves from Edinburgh, Scotland to Salem county New jersey to take a position as a master glassblower. He loves his work and hopes of bringing his family to America for a better life. But his love for Meg, the daughter of the owner of the glassworks, threatens his job...and then his life.

Happy Reading!


I’m happy to report that I will send the completed manuscript for Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, later today, which is the deadline date. Just a few more tweaks.

This is the last post of 2009, the year of the unexpected as per the word I received from God about the year. It certainly contained many and varied unexpecteds. And I praise God for every one of them.

At the top of this blog, I put a quote we read on a sign at a church we passed. “A Baby changes everything.” James laughed.

“That could mean several things.” We know that the church was talking about the coming of our Savior to the earth. That was the single event in history that changed everything that happened since the event. And we’re thankful for His presence in our lives today.

But sometimes the birth of a baby is unexpected and brings unplanned changes in our lives. That doesn’t mean the coming of the baby into the family is a bad thing. The birth of a child brings a hope for the future. A blessing from God.

That’s how I looked at every unexpected that we faced this year. And here we are at the end of the year, thanking God for walking through the highs and the lows with us. He’s the bright and shining star in our lives.

A final note: James and I went to see the movie Blind Side. Even though the local newspaper movie reviewer didn’t give it a very favorable review, the theater was packed. Actually, we had to buy tickets to the next showing after the one we came for, because it was a sell out.

I highly recommend this movie to you. Although it doesn’t gloss over the harder side of life, it brings a message of hope. A very uplifting movie.

See you again in January 2010.