Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I want to apologize to all authors and tour hosts for missing tours this week.  My mom decided to have a stroke on Sunday and I have been with her and let the reviews go!  I will get everything up as soon as possible.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Here's a guest post from author Courtney Rene.... Author of Shadow Warrior... It's all about coming up with the story and how she does it. I was so impressed with all she wrote that I'm giving her this post and I'll post another post with book details and my take!

Thank you Courtney for coming!!

By Courtney Rene

First and foremost, I am not an outline person.  Never have been and most likely never will be.  For me, part of the fun of being a writer is seeing where the story will go.  If I sit down and plan it all out, piece-by-piece and event-by-event, it takes all the mystery out of it.  Why write the story if I already know how it’s going to end?

When I came up with the idea for Shadow Dancer, I had no idea when I started that I would have to come up with a whole new world.  Although Shadow Dancer didn’t really need the thought out landscape and details of Acadia, the next book Shadow Warrior did.  You can’t go to another world if you haven’t created it yet.  I was at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed. So I did what any writer would do…I went to google.  I did research on fantasy worlds and I did research on the elements (since I had created four semi-elemental realms this was a must).  I also went to the library and did more research.  I printed out photos and descriptions and made notes and photocopies and when I was done, I had so much crap that I didn’t know what to do with it all.  Frankly, in trying to get an idea for my fantasy realm, Acadia, I had quite overwhelmed myself.  That pile sat and sat and haunted me for about a month.  I didn’t touch it or look at it or even move it.  

Then one day I was laying out in the sunshine thinking and watching a hoard of butterflies eat the peaches off my trees (I didn’t know they did that) when I suddenly realized I was making Acadia way to hard.  I closed my eyes and let my mind simply create the landscape of Acadia.  What did I know about Acadia?  For one, it was hot there and it never rained. From there, Acadia slowly but surely began to form.  But how was I to keep it all straight and clear in my head while writing the book?

First thing I did was chuck all the prior research I had done, all of it, except for the elemental stuff.  The next thing I did was purchase a  “project” board.  It’s like poster board only about ¼ inch thick.  Then I started making notes on note cards and notebook paper about the world I was creating.  I drew by hand a rough outline of Acadia (it was a sad little drawing).  I made notes of the new people and their powers and their personalities.  Then I tacked and tapes and stapled them all up on my board.  

When that was done, I sat down and started to write Shadow Warrior.  Anytime I was confused about something, all I had to do was flip through the pages on my board.  Anytime a new person or new element of the story presented, I added it to the board.  By the time I was finished writing the book, I had two full boards going.

Creating and keeping track of a new fantasy world was a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.  But the boards?  They worked for me.  Someone told me once that those boards are actually my way of outlining.  Ummm, no way!  As I said, I am not an outliner.  

Quickly, before I head out, I wanted to say thank you to Goodfamilyreads for having me over at their blog today.  Have a great one everyone!



Title: Shadow Warrior
Author:  Courtney Rene
Publisher:  Rogue Phoenix Press
Source:  Author
Available:  now
Series:  Shadow Dancer (BK 2)

About the Book:

Sunny finally makes her first jump over to the Kingdom of Acadia that is on the other side of the shadows, for what she hopes is a vacation.  Only her vacation turns into quite an unwanted adventure.  Aside from new and unexpected issues regarding her relationship with Leif, Sunny meets the rebel group, makes new friends, fights with controlling her powers, and finds herself neck deep within a county that is torn apart by two sides, each fighting for power.  Acadia is not quite what she imagined.  How is she, one young girl, suppose to unite the Kingdom as well as unseat a King to take her place as ruler of Acadia.  

My Take:
I love fun fantasy....this is a great continuation of the first story and lets the reader believe in the unknown. It is a fun and pretty quick read...perfect for winding down a hectic overloaded day by escaping into another world. I love how Courtney was able to leave us filling satisfied...yet still wanting more! I also really appreciated the view she painted of Acadia...it made the book more enjoyable to know where I was. Can't wait for book 3!

About the Author:

Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.  She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature.  Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, and her Shadow Dancer series, published through Rogue Phoenix Press.  For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com.  Please feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com.  
For more ways to keep in touch.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/Ctnyrene

And now the Giveaway!
Courtney will be giving away $10 Amazon.com gift certificates to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the LINK, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Again, I felt more energy slip inside me as I tried desperately to hold on and stay up on Poppy. I lost my battle for balance and flailed myself right off of the horse.

As I fell to the ground, someone grabbed my arm and tried to jerk me onto their lap. A burst of energy lashed out of me and directly into him. I didn't know who he was. Was he from my group or the other?

Our screams, both of shear pain, echoed around us. As he let go of my arm, the energy got the better of me and took control. In a show of bright white light, it pulsed out of me. It encircled me and took everything in its path down. Horses and men alike were thrown into the air, where they hung for but a moment before they crashed back down to the ground.

I dropped down to my knees and began to cry. The battle hadn't lasted very long. Not with me in it anyway. I had taken out everyone.

Gabriel was the first to rouse. He sat up and shook his head before he got to his feet. I jumped to my feet and ran over to him. I just about tossed myself on the poor guy. "I'm so sorry, Gabriel. I didn't mean to."

He gave me a quick once over and then pointed at my face and said, "You're bleeding."

I lifted my hand to my face and sure enough, my nose was bleeding. "It's fine," I said with a quick shake of my head. "Are you all right?"


Title:  Straight to the Heart (Romans)
Author:  Phil Moore
Publisher:  Monarch Books
Source:  Kregel
Available:  Now

About the Book:
Straight to the Heart is a series of devotional commentaries for those who appreciate the insights and sound research found in commentaries but find scholarly writing dry and lacking in personal application. The Straight to the Heart series does not cover the whole text, but focuses on key sections that communicate the main themes of each book. Although the tone is light, the text is full of useful application and backed by substantial scholarship. Its clear, thought-provoking insights will feed both mind and soul.

My Take:
I took this book and used it as a starter book for my Jr. High Sunday School class.  While it didn't dive really deep into the entire book, it was great to get into a basic overview for my class.  They really liked the historical view that was presented to know what was going on when the book was written.  If you are new to studying the Bible, I suggest you pick up on of the Straight to the Heart books to learn a little more about each book without getting too overwhelmed as many study guides tend to do.

About the Author:

Phil Moore leads a thriving church in Wimbledon, London. After graduating from Cambridge University, Phil spent time on the mission field and then in the business world. He has devoted many years to the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, and he brings them to life in the language of today in the Straight to the Heart series. www.philmoorebooks.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Title:  A World Apart
Author: Camelia Miron Skiba 
Publisher:    Create Space
Source:  Author
Available:  Now
Pages:  370

About the Book:

In a war that’s not hers, she loses everything.
Everything she loses is because of him.
Forgiveness is not an option.
Or maybe...

Lieutenant Cassandra Toma, trauma surgeon in the Romanian National Army starts her deployment at a joint-unit air base on a wrong foot, clashing on her first day with her new commander, Major David Hunt. Her rebellious nature and sassiness rival her excellent performance in the operating room—the only reason why she's not reprimanded, or maybe not the only reason.

They meet. They clash. A forbidden passion consumes them with the intensity of an erupting volcano, leaving her heartbroken and him with tarnished honor and pride as an officer. The only way out for David is disappearing into the dangerous warzone in Iraq. Their flame was supposed to be over when destiny brings them back under the same roof, this time with a common goal—to find Cassandra's brother, Maj. Robert Toma, kidnapped by insurgents while on patrol.

To rescue Robert, Cassandra and David put aside their resentments, uniting forces against a common enemy. Trying to forget the painful past, Cassandra opens up to give David—and their love—another chance. What she doesn’t realize is that her anguish is the result of David’s impetuous action—one reckless choice he made for which she may never forgive him.

His mistake, his secret, could cost them both the love they've finally found.

One e-book copy will be given away to one lucky winner!
If you would like a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post with your email address included and I'll draw a winner
on 4/21/12!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Title:  Beyond Molasses Creek
Author:  Nicole Seitz
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source:  Publisher
Available:  Now
Genre:  Christian Women's Fiction

About the book:
Three lives are bound by a single book . . . and the cleansing waters of Molasses Creek.
Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Lowcountry to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship—he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she’s stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn’t through with her yet.
As Ally’s wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there’s more to her story than she’s ever been told, and she’s determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.  A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.

My Take:
This was quite a different story than what I had been reading.  It is told in 3 different views and at first I thought it would be confusing it really wasn't.  There was a lot woven into this river of faith and freedom and their stories.  This is another first from an author for me and I really enjoyed the way she can put two or more words together to convey a very poignant scene.  The writing takes you to another time and lets you see deep inside the minds of her characters.  If you are looking for a book with more meaning and depth, be sure to add this to your winter reading list.  This book is about the past and finding forgiveness and learning to have faith in God.  

To see more reviews..visit Litfuse for the blog tour schedule

About the Author:

Nicole Seitz is the author of several critically acclaimed novels - The Inheritance of Beauty, Saving Cicadas, A Hundred Years of Happiness, Trouble the Water, and The Spirit of Sweetgrass. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, and also has a degree in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Her paintings are featured on the covers of her books. Visit her at@NicoleSeitzFacebook and www.nicoleseitz.com for more information. 

And now the contest!
Nicole is celebrating the release of Beyond Molasses Creek with a fabulous "Friendship" Facebook party! She'll be giving away a ton of great stuff (KINDLE TOUCH, some of her own beautiful artwork, a Book Club Prize Pack (10 copies of the book for your small group/book club and a Live Skype Chat with Nicole), and more! 

CLICK the button (above) to RSVP for the party - then join us on February 16th for a book chat, story sharing and prizes! Hope to see you there!

Save the Date! 2/16!


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Sixty Acres and a Bride
Bethany House (February 1, 2012)
Regina Jennings


A Word from Regina:

See me laughing. That’s what I do when someone calls me an author. Yes, it’s always been my dream, but I still can’t keep from giggling over it.

Other things I am – a Christ-follower, a wife, a homeschooling mother of four, a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, and a voracious reader.

Getting reading time isn’t easy. Seems like my family does more than our share of traveling. My husband is an insurance adjuster (I know, save the hate mail) and travels with the catastrophe team often. That’s allowed us to see a lot of the United States. True many times it’s in the middle of a hurricane or blizzard, but after spending three weeks in a hotel room with six people, you’ll brave anything to get out and see the sights – no matter how damaged they might be.

We also serve on the Missions Team at an amazing church, so we break out the passports frequently. Highlights include singing at a leper colony in India, holding church inside a Mexican prison and showing the Jesus film to a tribe in Senegal who’d never heard the gospel.

But I don’t have to go far away for unusual. My family provides plenty of colorful material with their love for practical jokes, pithy observations and strong agricultural roots. Because of the family business, a significant chunk of my life has been spent at sale barns and auctions – often behind the scales where I weigh pigs. I like to think of myself as a “redneck bluestocking” but I brought an entire marketing team’s discussion to a screeching halt when I said those words, so you didn’t hear it from me.

When I have spare time I love to talk books and quirky characters (real and fictional).


With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to Texas and the family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have only three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa can't keep herself from falling in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. Learning the American customs is not easy, however, and this beautiful young widow can't help but catch wandering eyes. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, to what lengths will Rosa go to save her future?

My Take:
Another great debut!  I love finding new voices...and this one did not disappoint.  Inspired by the Ruth and Boaz story and set in the wild wild west!    Rosa is a strong character, so those attracted to someone that can stand on their own will love this book!  A wonderful book with lots of twists and turns along the way to keep your attention!  Looking forward to many more books by Regina Jennings!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Sixty Acres and a Bride, go HERE.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Title:  Four Letter Words
Author:  Bill Giovannetti
Publisher:  Endurant Press
Source:  Pub through Litfuse
Available:  Now

Pages: 204
Genre:  Christian Non-fiction
Rating:  PG

About the Book

Thou shalt tolerate every opinion... except the Christian’s. Today’s postmodern “prime directive” leaves many followers of Jesus tongue-tied. In the global village, isn’t it unreasonable—and even dangerous—to suggest that the Bible has a monopoly on truth?
The church needs a new breed of Christ-follower. We need Christ-followers who are alert to today’s touchy ideas—the truths that fire up more heat than light. We need Christ-followers who can make a clear case for the Bible’s worldview; who are ready to help our friends think through their beliefs; who can recognize inconsistencies and challenge them; and who can do all of this with humility, confidence, humor, and love.

When the questions are hard and the answers unpopular, will you stay devoted to Christ?

Are you ready to speak the truth even when your friends roll their eyes, take offense, or walk away? There has never been a creed more life-giving and logical than the biblical, Christian worldview. Four Letter Words helps you say so with courage, compassion, and grace.

My Take:
This book didn't stay in my hands very long, I have three teenagers who are all readers, (thankfully) and took this book as soon as I was done.  There is a lot of meat in this book and should be read as a study guide or for further exploration on what it takes to be a Christian than just reading through in an evening or two.  I really liked the talking points and all of the scriptures that were included.   I didn't have access to a IPhone so I didn't do the extra QR codes, but I can see how it would be a plus for young adults who like to investigate further.  If you are looking for something to help walk the life and not just sit back, I'd pick this up to add to your training.  Highly recommended for the young adults who are just beginning to make their mark on the world.  What would the world be like if everyone lived as they said they believe? 

For more thoughts on the book...visit LitFuse

About the Author:
Dr. Bill Giovannetti is a professor at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary and the senior pastor of Neighborhood Church of Redding. An experienced speaker and author, Bill informs the mind in ways that touch the heart. He enjoys life with his wife and two kids in northern California. For more information about Bill and his other books, visit http://maxgrace.wordpress.com and http://fourletterwords.org.

Bill is celebrating the new Kindle edition of Four Letter Words (for only $4.99)! He’ll be traveling coast to coast over the next few weeks on this virtual book tour and he’s celebrating by hosting a great giveaway!
Check out the Four Letter Words Website to find out how you can win two gift certificates to Amazon (in the amount of $50 and $25) and free downloads of his yet-to-be-released title, Recession-Proof: Living a God-Blessed Life in a Messed Up World.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Blue Moon Bay
Bethany House (February 1, 2012)
Lisa Wingate


Lisa Wingate is an award-winning journalist, magazine columnist, popular inspirational speaker and a national bestselling author of sixteen books. Her first mainstream novel, Tending Roses, is in its eighteenth printing from Penguin Putnam. Tending Roses is a staple on the shelves of national bookstore chains as well as in many independent bookstores.

Recently, Lisa’s Blue Sky Hill Series, set in Dallas, received national attention with back-to-back nominations for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award for A Month of Summer (2009) and The Summer Kitchen (2010). Pithy, emotional, and inspirational, her stories bring to life characters so real that readers often write to ask what is happening to them after the book ends.

Lisa is one of a select group of authors to find success in both the Christian and mainstream markets, writing for both Bethany House, a Christian publisher, and NAL Penguin Putnam, a general market publisher. Her bestselling books have become a hallmark of inspirational fiction. Her works have been featured by the National Reader's Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, Crossings Book Club, American Profiles and have been chosen for numerous awards.

When not busy dreaming up stories, Lisa spends time on the road as a motivational speaker. Via internet, she shares with readers as far away as India, where her book, Tending Roses, has been used to promote women's literacy, and as close to home as Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the county library system has used Tending Roses to help volunteer mentors teach adults to read. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.


Heather Hampton returns to Moses Lake, Texas, to help facilitate the sale of a family farm as part of a planned industrial plant that will provide the area with much-needed jobs. Heather's future fiance has brokered the deal, and Heather is in line to do her first large-scale architectural design--if the deal goes through.

But the currents of Moses Lake have a way of taking visitors on unexpected journeys. What was intended to be a quick trip suddenly morphs into Valentine's week--with Blaine Underhill, the handsome banker who just happens to be opposing Heather's project. Spending the holiday in an ex-funeral parlor seems like a nightmare, but Heather slowly finds herself being drawn into the area's history, hope, and heart.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Blue Moon Bay, go HERE.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

a+ attitude

Title: A+ Attitude
Author:  Sephanie Perry Moore
Publisher: Moody Publisher
Source: Pub
Available:  Now

Pages: 144
Genre:  Early Chapter Book
Rating:  G

About the Book:
The Morgan Love Series is a chapter book series written for girls, 7 9 years old. The series provides moral lessons that will aid in character development. It will also help young girls develop their vocabulary, english and math skills as they read through the stories and complete the entertaining and educational exercises provided at the end of each chapter and in the back of the book.Morgan is sad and mad at the world because things are not going the way she wants them to go. Why does my daddy have to leave again to save the country' Why do I have to go live with mommy and her new husband' Why does my mommy have to have a new baby' Why do I have to go to a new school' Why do I have to make new friends' Why' Why' Why' If Morgan got a grade for her attitude and her actions it would be an F. But after her mommy gets really sick and Morgan thinks her mommy is going to die she starts to feel bad about her attitude and realizes how mean she's been to almost everybody. Though she is having a hard time adjusting to all the new things in her life, especially her new baby brother and stepdad, Derek, Morgan makes up her mind that no matter what is going on, she is going to have an A+ attitude

My Take:
I was so excited to get this book!  I think I'm going to have to get the rest of them for my daughter, she really was excited about this one too.  She loved the exercises at the end of the chapters and really enjoyed reading the book.  I liked it because of all the Biblical truths that were evident as well as the extra stuff that kept her busy on a long car ride we recently took!  I'd have to give this book and the series and A+ too.  Pick it up now for a special little girl in your life!  If you have a boy who likes to read, they'd probably like it too, but most boys prefer to read about boys!

About the Author

STEPHANIE PERRY MOORE is the author of many Young Adult Christian fiction titles, including the Payton Skky series, the Laurel Shadrach series, the Perry Skky Jr. series, the Faith Thomas Novelzine series, the Carmen Browne series, and the Beta Gamma Pi series. She is also the co-editor for the impactful BibleZine, REAL. Mrs. Moore speaks with young people across the country, showing them how they can live life fully and do it God’s way. Stephanie currently lives in the greater Atlanta area with her husband, Derrick, a former NFL player and author, and their three children. Visit her website at www.stephanieperrymoore.com.


Title:  The Sound of Red Returning
Author: Sue Duffy
Publisher: Kregel
Source:  Publisher

Pages: 288
Genre:  Christian fiction
Series:  Red Returning Trilogy BK 1

About the Book:
After losing everyone she loves, concert pianist Liesl Bower has nowhere to go but to escape into her music. Searching for the peace shThe e usually finds in her concertos and sonatas, Liesl can't shake the feeling that she is being haunted by her past . . . and by someone following her. When she spots a familiar and eerie face in the audience of a concert she's giving for the president in Washington, DC, the scariest day of her life comes back to her with a flash. It has been fifteen years since Liesl watched her beloved Harvard music mentor assaulted on a dark night in Moscow and just as long since the CIA disclosed to her that he'd been spying for Russia. She had seen that man--that eerie face--the night Professor Devoe was attacked. And now he's back--and coming for her.
On the run and struggling to rely on the protection of CIA agent Ava Mullins and handsome newspaper reporter Cade O'Brien, Liesl learns she is the prey of an underground cell of Russian KGB agents determined to restore their country to its former Soviet might. But what she doesn't know is that she is in possession of something--a piece of sheet music--that Russian intelligence is now frantic to find. Inside that music is a secret code, the hidden transcriptions of her deceased mentor, that clearly identify a Russian mole operating inside Israel's Department of Defense, a mole with enough power and access to execute a daring assassination that no one would see coming.
Caught in a deadly conflict between American and Russian undercover agents, this innocent young pianist is just trying to survive her own personal trauma. Through it all, Liesl must learn that no matter how dark her world grows or how fiercely her enemies pursue her, God is still in control--if only she can yield herself to His grace.

My Take:
Wow..another new author to me, but I was left with a need for more!  It was a great run of espionage, intrigue, music and learning about God.   The characters were pretty well written, although Liesl most of all.  It went rather quickly, took me a little bit to get into the book because of the 'memories' I have of the cold war, I wasn't sure I'd like it, but after a slow opening it grabbed my attention and didn't let go!  I'd suggest this for anyone who likes spy books!

About the Author:

Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody Magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and TheChristian Reader. She is the author of Mortal Wounds (Barbour, 2001) and Fatal Loyalty (Kregel, 2010). Sue has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children.

Find out more at www.sueduffybooks.com
Link to buy the book:  http://ow.ly/8B9HT

Win a Kindle Fire from @SueDuffy2 and @KregelBooks in the "Red Returning" Giveaway!

Sue Duffy and her publisher, Kregel Publications, are celebrating the release of The Sound of Red Returning by giving away a Kindle Fire prize package worth over $200 to one lucky winner!!!! (1/23-2/11)

Enter the Sue Duffy’s Giveaway today and you could win:

* A brand new Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi

* The Sound of Red Returning (Book One in the Red Returning series) by Sue Duffy

To enter click one of the icons below. But, hurry! The giveway ends on 2/11. Sue will be announcing the winner of the “Red Returning” Giveaway on February 13th on the Litfuse website!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. 

Monday, February 6, 2012


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Song of My Heart
Bethany House (February 1, 2012)
Kim Vogel Sawyer


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and numerous grandchildren.


Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent--though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.

Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.

Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he's come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?

My Take:
I really liked this book and  a different approach to the building of America.  I often wonder what early American women did have to endure and this was a good suspenseful story.  The writing was great and kept me involved in the story from start to finish!  The love story is full of wonder and wonder if God can overcome hardships.  If you are looking for something a bit different, I'd pick this up soon!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Song of My Heart, go HERE.


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Realms (January 3, 2012)

***Special thanks to Jon Wooten of Charisma House for sending me a review copy.***


Martha Rogers is the author of Becoming Lucy; Morning for Dove; Finding Becky; Caroline’s Choice; Not on the Menu, a part of a novella collection with DiAnn Mills, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y’Barbo; and River Walk Christmas, a novella collection with Beth Goddard, Lynette Sowell, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. A former schoolteacher and English instructor, she has a master’s degree in education and lives with her husband in Houston, Texas.

Visit the author's website.


A painful past has left Doctor Elliot Jensen uninterested in love.

Until he meets Abigail.

Single, educated, and looking for a new start, Abigail Monroe decides to join her brother and his wife in Portersville, Texas. Near her twenty-fifth birthday and without a suitor, she fears she will become a spinster if she stays in Briar Ridge, Connecticut.

A sprained ankle sends Abigail to the new doctor in town, Elliot Jensen. He is smitten, but tragedy in his past has left him bitter, guilt ridden, and afraid to fall in love again.

When the town’s deputy sheriff rescues Abigail after a robbery, Elliot’s feelings for her get stronger. He is jealous of the attention Abigail is getting, but he fears he can’t compete with the handsome deputy sheriff and his heroic deeds.

Has he waited too long to share his feelings for her? Or will Christmas bring them both the gift they seek?

Set in the late 1800s, the Seasons of the Heart series follows the lives of four women and their families, weaving together their stories of faith, life, and love as they bond in friendship only God could orchestrate.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Realms (January 3, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1616384980

ISBN-13: 978-1616384982


Porterfield, Texas, 1890

Porterfield, next stop in ten minutes.” The conductor’s announcement sent the butterflies to dancing again in Abigail Monroe’s stomach. Ever since they entered the state of Texas,

her mind had flitted from one thing to the next in a series of images that blurred one into the other. What she remembered from her visit last spring had been enough to give her the

desire to return as a permanent resident.

All around her passengers began gathering their belongings and preparing to leave the train. Mrs. Mabel Newton, who had accompanied her on the trip, adjusted her hat and picked

up her handbag. “Well, your adventure will begin shortly.”

Abigail grinned at the elderly woman. If it had not been for Rachel’s aunt’s desire to come west to visit her daughter, this trip may have been delayed indefinitely. “Thank you so

much for coming with me, Aunt Mabel. You know how Father worried and didn’t want me to travel alone.” Abigail had fallen into calling the woman “Aunt Mabel” due to her close friendship with Rachel.

“And well he should have been. It isn’t safe for a young woman of your standing to be crossing the country by train without an escort.” She tilted her head toward Abigail, and the

feathers on the black hat covering her gray hair quivered with the movement.

Her parents had at first refused to even consider such a move for their only daughter, but as they began to realize that she was almost twenty-two years of age, their objections lessened.

They had been in Porterfield a few months earlier for the wedding of Daniel, Abigail’s brother who came to Porterfield a year ago as the town’s only attorney. Now he served as county attorney and prosecutor. When Mabel Newton had said she wanted to visit her daughter and niece, Father had finally agreed to let Abigail go.

Another factor in her decision to leave Briar Ridge had been Rachel Reed, her very best friend since childhood. Rachel’s husband, Nathan, had taken Daniel’s place as an

attorney for the citizens of Porterfield, and now they too lived in the Texas town. As far as Abigail was concerned, God had orchestrated a great symphony of opportunities, and she had

seized the score to become a part of the music.

“Aunt Mabel, do you think my plan for establishing a library is a sound one? Nathan and Daniel have found a building they think is suitable and will negotiate the purchase

of it if I approve.” “Every town needs a library whether they know it or not. Your brother and Nathan have good judgment, so the place must be about perfect.”

A snicker escaped Abigail’s throat. Daniel had always been her protector, and if the building suited him, it most definitely would suit her. She’d been so angry with him for leaving her

behind in Briar Ridge last year. Of course he thought it was because she’d miss him, but it was really because she’d been jealous of his new adventure.

“I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you and that young Wentworth. He seemed very interested in you when you and Rachel were in Boston.”

Abigail had been interested too at first, but when she realized what all would be expected of her as the wife of a Wentworth, her interest cooled, and so had his. Now she had this new adventure ahead of her.

“It worked out for the best, but life became so dull in Briar Ridge without Rachel or Daniel that I could hardly bear it. I’d grown tired of entertaining with Mother and taking part on church committees. I want to do something on my own for a change.”

“I see. So the fact that Porterfield has an overabundance of single men of all ages didn’t have anything to do with your decision.” Aunt Mabel’s blue eyes sparkled with merriment.

Abigail’s cheeks filled with heat. She truly wasn’t interested in finding a husband anytime soon, even if other people thought so. The train whistle screeched through the early

afternoon air. Abigail clutched her handbag and closed her eyes. Please, Lord. Don’t let this be a mistake. Help me to dothe things I want to do for Porterfield with books and accept

whatever else You have planned for me.

The train stopped with a jolt that sent her forward with

a lurch. She assisted Aunt Mabel with her bag then followed

the older woman down the aisle. Dozens of people lined the

platform waving as the train emptied itself of its load of passengers.

As she stepped from the train car, Abigail scanned

the crowd, and her heart leaped with joy when she spotted


Rachel rushed forward and grabbed Abigail. “Oh, I’m so

glad you’re finally here. I thought the last three months would

never end.” Then she turned to hug her aunt. “I’m glad you’re

here too. With Seth, Sarah, Abigail, and you, I won’t feel at

all lonesome, not that I could the way the Muldoon clan has

taken us in.”

“When I met them at Daniel’s wedding, I knew they would make all of you feel right at home. I’m anxious to talk with Mrs. Sullivan again.” Abigail had been impressed with

the boardinghouse and looked forward to living there.

“You’ll get to see her soon enough. She’s waiting for you and has your room all ready. The Muldoons are having us all for dinner at the ranch tonight.”

That meant a quick study of the members of the Muldoon family would be in order before the trip out there. She hugged Rachel again and noted the glow in her eyes and face. “You

must really be happy here with Nathan.”

Before she could answer, Aunt Mabel stepped back and

eyed Rachel. “My dear, are you in the family way?”

Heat flooded Rachel’s cheeks, and she grinned. “Yes, I am, and so is . . . “ She clapped her hand over her mouth. “Oh, I almost slipped. She wants to tell everyone herself at dinner.”

Abigail ran through the list of possibilities. Kate? Erin? Sarah again? Whoever it was, the baby would be welcomed by many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Arms wrapped around her shoulders from the back, and she craned her neck to see who it could be. “Daniel!” She turned and hugged her brother. “Isn’t this exciting? I’m here at last. We had a delightful train trip, and I can’t wait to see your new house. And where’s Kate?”

“Hey, slow down, little sister. No need to get it all out at once, but to answer your question, Doc Jensen and Elliot had an emergency at the infirmary, so she’s there. She said she’d meet us wherever we were when she finished.”

“I believe Aunt Mabel will be staying with Sarah and Donavan. At least that’s what she plans on. Mrs. Sullivan said she has a room for me at the boardinghouse, so that’s where I’m headed.”

Daniel frowned and peered at her. “But Kate is hoping you’ll live with us.”

“Oh, Daniel, you two are newly married. Besides, I’d rather be closer to town so I can take care of the library.” Kate and Daniel didn’t live far from town, but her staying at the boardinghouse would be less of an intrusion on their new marriage.

They headed toward the cart where the baggage had been unloaded. Aunt Mabel busied herself with telling Rachel all about the trip cross-country. Abigail gazed at the town beyond

the depot. Porterfield, Texas, would be her home now, and it looked just as friendly and nice as it had when she’d been here in the spring. A little more primitive than Briar Ridge, it still

had all the stores and businesses one could need, including a delightful bakery.

Daniel heaved down a trunk and headed to his surrey with it. Abigail walked along beside him and noted how the men stopped to stare. Her cheeks filled with heat. She may as well

be on display in a store window.

“I didn’t realize . . . never mind.” She grinned and hopstepped to keep up with her brother.

He pushed the trunk onto the floor behind the front seat.

“By the way, the building Nathan and I have in mind for you is across the street from the infirmary. It’s where the land offices were until the new courthouse opened. Now it’s vacant, and it’s just about the size you’ll need for the library.”

“I’m sure it will be fine if you and Nathan think so.” She shook her head and giggled as they headed back for more of her things. “I still can’t believe he and Rachel moved away from Connecticut. I always figured that when they did move, it would be to North Carolina, his home.”

Another man had joined the group and helped unload Aunt Mabel’s bags. She recognized him as one of Kate’s older brothers she had met at the wedding. What was his name? Oh, yes, Cory, the lawman and only single male in the Muldoon family, as well as one of the most handsome men Abigail had ever met.

Daniel grabbed her arm and took her over to greet him. “You remember Cory, one of Kate’s brothers.”

Abigail smiled and extended her hand. “I certainly do. You and your brothers were quite the pranksters at the wedding.”

Red tinged Cory’s well-tanned face. His eyes, more green than blue, sparkled with humor. He pushed his white Stetson back on his head, revealing sandy red curls on his forehead, much like her brother’s dark ones. “Guilty as charged, but we had to make up for not doing anything at Erin’s. Didn’t want to play tricks on the reverend.”

Getting to know the Muldoon family would be fun, but getting to know Cory might be even more so. Perhaps she should reconsider her decision not to become involved with any of the eligible young men in Porterfield.

Elliot finished the stitches to close the wound on the balding head of Cyrus Fuller. He’d tripped coming out of the bank and fell, cutting his head on the edge of the boardwalk. Elliot used five stitches to close it. “There, now, Mr. Fuller. You’ll be right as rain. Come back to see me in a few days and let me check on the stitches. Don’t get it wet for a while.”

He pushed back his rolling stool and picked up a bottle. “If you experience any pain, take a few drops of this and it should be all right, but don’t take more than a few drops. Understand?”

The bank teller nodded and took the bottle. “I do, and I won’t take it unless I really need it.” He stood and grasped the edge of the bed for support.

Kate Monroe picked up the tray with the suturing supplies and equipment. “Aunt Mae will make certain you’re comfortable, Mr. Fuller. She’ll take good care of you.”

The man’s face, including his bald head fringed in gray, turned a bright red. “I’m sure she will, but I don’t want her to go to any trouble.”

Kate laughed. “It won’t be any trouble. You know that.”

Elliot turned to put the bandages back in the cabinet to hide his smile. Everyone in town knew Cyrus Fuller was sweet on Aunt Mae, and she didn’t spurn his attention either. This

was one patient he wouldn’t have to worry about.

He walked with Mr. Fuller to the front door of the infirmary just to make sure the man was steady on his feet. At the door Cyrus shook Elliot’s hand. “Can’t thank you enough, Doctor Jensen. You did a fine job, and it hardly hurts at all. Tell your uncle I said hello.” He lifted his hat to set it on his head, felt the stitches, and promptly put his hand down, still holding the hat.

Mr. Fuller took off in the direction of the boardinghouse, a few blocks down the street. Elliot continued to observe the man as he made his way home. Satisfied that he was all right, Elliot turned to walk back inside when he spotted Daniel in a buggy with a young woman beside him. Her golden brown hair peeked from beneath a black hat trimmed with yellow flowers, which matched the yellow dress she wore. She shifted her gaze toward him and locked with his. Something inside Elliot clicked, and a feeling he hadn’t experienced in a long time came over him.

Elliot looked away and forced the emotion back into the deep recesses of his soul. He’d never let those feelings back into his life. They hurt too much.

A voice beside him caused him to blink his eyes and turn. “What did you say?”

Kate stood beside him. “I said that’s Abigail, Daniel’s sister. She was at his wedding, and she’s come to live here in Porterfield. Remember I told you about her coming to set up a

library for the town?”

“I remember.” But he never expected her to be so pretty. He cleared his throat and hurried back into the infirmary. He needed to clean up the room where they’d just worked on Mr.

Fuller, and it would help him forget the girl in yellow.

Kate’s voice followed him. “If you don’t have anything else for me, I’m going to run down to Aunt Mae’s and meet up with Daniel and Abigail. I’ll be there if you need me.”

He waved her out. Kate was a good assistant. He and his uncle had come to depend on her for so many things at the infirmary. Doc should be back shortly, that is if everything went well at the Blalocks’ place. Mrs. Blalock didn’t usually have trouble with her deliveries, and as this was the fifth one, no problems were anticipated today.

Cleaning up didn’t take long, and when he’d finished, Elliot went to the desk to fill out a report for Cyrus Fuller’s medical file. The image of Abigail Monroe swam before his eyes. Porterfield sadly lacked young women of marrying age, so Elliot had no trouble staying away from what social life existed in town. He’d left Ohio with the vow that he’d never become

involved with a young woman again. Everything had been fine until today when that little spark had jumped in his chest.

“I hear Cyrus Fuller had an accident. Get him all taken care of?”

Elliot jumped and dropped his pen. He greeted his uncle. “When did you come in? Yes, he’s fine. How did things go at the Blalocks?”

His uncle grinned and set his bag on the desk. “Just like it should. This little boy decided to take longer than necessary, but he’s good and healthy.” He removed his hat and hung it on

a hook then removed his coat. “I saw Daniel Monroe with a pretty young woman down at Mae’s. Must be his sister from back east.”

“It is. Kate was here to help with Cyrus, and then she left to go meet them.”

“She’s a pretty little thing from what I remember of last spring. It’ll be nice to have a young woman like her around her for a change. You, Cory, and Philip Dawes are about the most

eligible young men in town, and one of you ought to set your sights on her.”

“There’s a lot of men over at the sawmill, and many more on the ranches. That’s why Frank Cahoon and Allen Dawes sent off for those brides. Remember?” So many other men in town would take an interest in Abigail and keep her busy. He’d managed to stay clear of any kind of relationship so far, and that was just the way he wanted it. Never again did he want to feel the pain he’d experienced in Cleveland.