Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Centurion's Wife~ by Davis Bunn and Jannette Oke

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Centurion's Wife

Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2009)


Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

My Review: This book takes you to the time of death of Jesus where Leah the niece of Pontius Pilate and Alban a Centurion are searching for the truth about his death and disappearance.

Pontius Pilate’s wife is continually plagued with nightmares she has had concerning Jesus and sends Leah her niece and servant to go to Jesus’ followers and to see if they are a threat to her husband.

Alban seeking a marriage that will help him advance his career and status asks for the hand of Pontius Pilate’s niece and in exchange for her hand he is given an assignment to find out what happened to the body of Jesus and to see if Jesus’ followers are planning a revolt.

This book a captivating look at the time surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. I happened to be reading the book of Acts as a part of my personal study when I read this book, Acts gave the novel a deeper perspective for me. It was really neat to read them together. This book is the first in the Acts of Faith series so I am looking forward to the next installment.

Davis Bunn is an internationally acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in fifteen languages. His audiences span reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include My Soul To Keep, and Full Circle. A sought-after lecturer in the art of writing, Bunn was named Novelist in Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University.

He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write.

Her first novel, a prairie love story titled Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. This book was followed by more than 75 others.

After Love Comes Softly was published, Oke found her readers asking for more. That book led to a series of eight others in her Love Comes Softly series. She has written multiple fiction series, including The Canadian West, Seasons of the Heart and Women of the West. Her most recent releases include a beautiful children's picture book, I Wonder...Did Jesus Have a Pet Lamb and The Song of Acadia series, co-written with T. Davis Bunn.

Janette Oke's warm writing style has won the hearts of millions of readers. She has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medallion Award, The Christy Award of Excellence, the 1992 President's Award for her significant contribution to the category of Christian fiction from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and in 1999 the Life Impact Award from the Christian Booksellers Association International. Beloved worldwide, her books have been translated into fourteen languages.

She and her husband live nearby in Alberta, Canada.


Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma.

Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions.

Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor.

This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, the story unfolds the testing of loyalties--between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Centurion's Wife, go HERE

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stand-In Groom by~ Kaye Dacus

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stand-In Groom

Barbour Publishing, Inc (January 2009)


Kaye Dacus

My Review: I enjoyed reading Stand-In Groom. It is a cute story about a wedding planner who is waiting for God to bring the right man into her life and when she thinks she has found him he turns out to be the groom in a wedding she is planning. Little does she know that he is just a stand-in for the real groom, so as the planning progresses needless to say things get complicated. This book is a good read, romantic with a dash of mystery and suspense. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series which will be coming out in the fall of 2009.


Kaye Dacus 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 website and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.


When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman?

George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancee when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Stand-In Groom, go HERE

What they're saying about it:

Dacus pulls off a delightful story that places readers in the heart of the South with the debut of the Brides of Bonneterre series. Readers will enjoy this look at how lives are transformed through devastating events and how forgiveness is the key to a promising future. Nothing is as it seems in this heartwarming story.”
Romantic Times, 4-Star Review

“Absolutely delightful! I enjoyed Stand-In Groom from cover to cover! Ms. Dacus’s clever story and wonderful prose will draw you away to a place deep in the heart of Louisiana, surrounding you with the scents, sounds, and sights of the deep south. A story filled with romance and intrigue, betrayal and forgiveness, I found myself laughing, crying and rejoicing right along with the characters.”
M.L. Tyndall, author of The Falcon and the Sparrow and the award-winning Legacy of the King’s Pirates series

“Stand-In Groom is as sweet, beautiful, and chaotic as a perfectly planned wedding. Anne is a bright and wounded heroine you’re going to care about for a long time. George is a hero to capture your heart. Kaye Dacus will take you along for a fun, poignent ride in Stand-In Groom.”
Mary Connealy, author of the Lassoed in Texas series and Of Mice...and Murder

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Perfect Match~ by Susan May Warren

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Perfect Match

(Tyndale House January 1, 2009)


Susan May Warren

I actually just got this book today so I will post my review as soon as I finish it :)


Susan grew up in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis, and became an avid camper from an early age. Her favorite fir-lined spot is the north shore of Minnesota is where she met her husband, honeymooned and dreamed of living.

The north woods easily became the foundation for her first series, The Deep Haven series, based on a little tourist town along the shores of Lake Superior. Her first full-length book, Happily Ever After, became a Christy Award Finalist published in 2004 with Tyndale/Heartquest.

As an award winning author, Susan returned home in 2004, to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods and the beautiful town that she always dreamed of living in.

You can sample a chapter of each and every one of Susan's novels, on her website, HERE.


Ellie Karlson is new to Deep Haven. As the town’s interim fire chief, she is determined to lead the local macho fire crew in spite of their misconceptions about her. But when someone begins setting deadly fires, Ellie faces the biggest challenge of her life. Especially when sparks fly with one of the volunteers on her crew: Pastor Dan Matthews. As Ellie battles to do her job and win the respect of her crew, she finds that there is one fire she can’t fight—the one Dan has set in her heart.
(This book is the repackaged edition published in 2004)

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Perfect Match, go HERE.


2004 American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year

A Romantic Times Magazine TOP PICK – 4½ stars


Romantic Times Magazine:
Vibrant characters and vivid language zoom this action-packed romance to the top of the charts. This is a one-sitting read –once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down.

Home Another Way~ by Christa Parrish

My Review:

When I first posted about this book for the blog tour I hadn't had the chance to read it yet. But since I have been sick in bed with some sort of bug I have had some reading time and I just finished it.

This book was beautifully written and the story was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. The brokenness that we can go through life with is so overwhelming apart from Jesus. I loved the variety of characters in the book and the way the reader gets a small peak into each of their lives in a way that draws you into the story without it becoming tedious. I thoroughly enjoyed Home Another Way and anxiously await the next book by Parrish.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Stepping into Sunlight~ by Sharon Hinck

Penny Sullivan is a mom to an active seven-year-old and husband to a navy chaplain. When her husband answers his call to minister to the soldiers her family is uprooted and moved into a new area. In spite of the daunting reality of being a navy wife Penny is confident that God will be with her. And the separation from her family and her husband when he is on deployement will be okay because she knows that this is where God wants them to be.

Then the unthinkable happens....

After witnessing a violent crime Penny is left reeling and overcome with fear and to make matters worse her husband leaves very soon after that so she is left to deal with the aftermath all alone. Faced with questions like "why did this happen?" and "why can't I get over this?" Penny struggles to hold on to her sanity and keep up a good front for her son and her husband.

I thought this book was fantastic. It is definently a must read. It shows you how even in the midst of horrible circumstances that God will always be with you. After reading Symphony of Secrets I was excited to read another book by Sharon Hinck, and though completely different the book was just as good. So check it out for yourself...and let me know what you think.