Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dead Dog Like Me by Max Davis

Check out "Dead Dog Like Me", courtesy of the CFBA, including my review at the end!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dead Dog Like Me
Worthy Publishing (June 23, 2015)
Max Davis


Max Davis is the author of over twenty books, has been featured in USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly, and has appeared on The Today Show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies. In addition to his own works, he’s done a variety of ghostwriting and collaboration projects. Max and Alanna have three grown children and a grand baby.


Nick Gregory regains consciousness after a horrific car accident to find he’s been transported back in time and that he has become Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson. Aware that he’s experiencing another man’s life, he has to learn fast. When mega-church pastor, Nick Gregory, regains consciousness after a horrific car accident, he’s on the ground in agonizing pain. Nick realizes he is in a bizarre place – a foreign, parched, ancient land, having been transported back in time to 800 B.C. Unbelievably, he is in the body of a prince named Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan and King Saul’s grandson. Nick is fully aware of who he is and that he’s now living in Mephibosheth’s body, strangely able to speak and understand Hebrew. This experience helps him see that he, like Mephibosheth, is a broken man desperate for God’s outrageous grace and healing (2 Samuel 9:8). Returning to present day, Nick’s experience motivates a changed life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dead Dog Like Me, go HERE.

Buy a copy of the book here: 

My review...

With emotion-filled prose, Max Davis will grab your heart and your mind with his latest book, "Dead Dog Like Me". The story is quite well-written with an intriguing plot about a man who loses everything, and encounters the grace of God along the way. There is always a danger that when authors try to portray characters in the pit of despair that the story can drag along the way. I didn't find that to be the case here, except for one or two moments, but overall felt that there were enough drama filled scenes to keep the story moving along. The characters are realistically portrayed and Nick is one of those characters that you will both love and dislike at the same time, at least until God's done an amazing work in his life! I will admit to a tiny bit of disappointment that more of Nick's story didn't take place as the character of Mephibosheth. I was hoping for more time spent in ancient Israel encountering the life of this unique character in the Bible. However, the glimpses we did see made me want to race back to my Bible to find out more, and I always appreciate stories that do that. The themes of forgiveness and reconciliation that permeate this story are also wonderful to behold, and are sure to leave readers with an encouraging perspective on what really matters in life.

Readers who are looking for a contemporary novel that will encourage their walk with God while providing them with some well-spent hours of reading at the same time should pick up a copy of Dead Dog Like Me. I award this story 4 out of 5 stars.

A review copy has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the CFBA for the purposes of this unbiased review.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another fun book from Jen Turano: "In Good Company"

Cover Art

about the book....

After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren't always well-received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position. 

Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he's desperate for competent childcare.

At wit's end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance--with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children's parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?

my review....

The oh-so-loveable Millie Longfellow, who we met in "After a Fashion", returns in hilarious form in Jen Turano's latest novel, "In Good Company". As with the first book in the "A Class of Their Own" series, I found myself chuckling from the beginning to end of this book, as Millie stumbles from one situation to the next with her well-intended ways. Her down to earth nature in the way she cares for children simply is not appreciated by the upper class, and made for quite the adventures! I enjoyed the way that the children in this novel bring many of the scenes to vivid life. I also thought that Turano handled the romance that developed between Millie and Everett with a sure hand. I did find that some of the dialogue was a bit wordy, and I think that may have been in an effort to emulate the prose of novels like "Pride and Prejudice". The result was that though much of the dialogue was quite witty, at other times it seemed to drag down the pace of the story a bit. All in all, however, there was plenty of action-packed scenes (many involving peacocks!) and dramatic moments to keep me riveted to the pages, and I am sure that fans of Turano will agree that this book is another fine addition to her growing collection. The author seems to be able to serve up just what readers are looking for - entertaining stories with both genuinely funny moments balanced with sweet serious ones as well, always accompanied by cleanly written romance sure to leave readers with a smile on their face. Really, what more could you ask for?

I greatly enjoyed this second installment in the series, and am looking forward to what Millie's friend, the talented actress Lucetta Plum, has in store for us in the next book! I award "In Good Company" a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

 about the author....

Jen Turano

Jen Turano, author of six books, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Another heart-warming novel from Ann H. Gabhart: "The Innocent"

Cover Art

about the book....

She longs for peace--for her land and her heart--but can it truly be found at Harmony Hill?

Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.

my review....

With an engaging plot that is sure to warm your heart, Ann H. Gabhart's latest addition to her Shaker novels was probably my favourite Shaker book to date. Carlyn is one of those characters who seizes your sympathy from the first page as she struggles to survive in the years after her husband has been proclaimed missing - including fending off the unwanted advances of a frightening man. I honestly don't know what would be worse - to know your spouse is dead, or to be told they are missing and then to just wonder as years go by, all while trying to eke out an existence. As Carlyn moves into the Shaker village, an ominous feeling begins to build in the story until you aren't sure who is good and who is seeking her harm. So much about the Shakers seemed good hearted, and yet they were so very confused in their beliefs! I can't imagine embracing a belief system that preaches that marriage is wrong and evil, and involves elders whose job is to simply stay up in their rooms and watch who is and isn't obeying the rules. In this day and age it seems bizarre, but for the time this novel is written in I can certainly see why people in desperate situations, with no where else to turn, would embrace the simplicity of the Shaker lifestyle. I really enjoyed encountering their belief system through the eyes of Carlyn, someone who wasn't afraid to ask the hard questions, even when they led to hard consequences.  The novel moves at a moderate pace throughout, with plenty of twists and surprising events to keep me engrossed in the book from start to finish.

Fans of Gabhart will be pleased to not only find another Shaker novel, but one that has been deftly woven together. I recommend this book and award it a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

 about the author....

Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author ofAngel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Action-packed tween fiction: "Jack Staples and the Ring of Time!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Jack Staples and the Ring of Time
David C. Cook (September 1, 2014)
Mark Batterson and Joel Clark


Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church ( in Washington, DC. One church with seven locations. NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase and the two most recent, The Grave Robber and Jack Staples and the Ring of Time. Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah.


Eleven-year-old Jack's ordinary life is upended when mysterious creatures attack his hometown and he is whisked into a fantastical adventure filled with danger at every turn.

Jack learns that most live in a shadow of the world, their vision blinded by invisible scales that have covered human eyes since the beginning of time. But the Awakened experience the world as it truly is, where war rages between good and evil—and Jack is at the heart of it. The Awakened are searching for The Child of Prophesy who will both save the world and destroy it. When Jack joins in their epic battle he must learn to trust his friends and face his fears if he is to make his life count.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Jack Staples and the Ring of Time, go HERE.

Buy a copy of the book here: 

My review...

"Jack Staples and the Ring of Time" is an action-packed adventure that the 8-12 year old child in your life is going to enjoy.  My 10-year-old daughter roared through the book in short-order as she wasn't able to put it down! She loved the colourful characters and the exciting plot. Now, she did say that she found some of the book confusing as she couldn't always figure out who was good and who was bad. Sometimes she had to go back and check what she'd read because she didn't always understand it the first time. However, this didn't detract from her pleasure in reading the book, as she enjoyed all the different well-drawn characters and interesting details in the book.  The book is very allegorical and points to God, with a classic battle between good and evil that is told in a truly unique way. As a parent, I am always a fan of books that are clean, have good morals, and are entertaining at the same time. Too many books publisher in this day and age have questionable storylines and characters you just don't want your child reading about, but I'm glad to see this is not one of those books.

When asked to rate Jack Staples and the Ring of Time, my daughter gave it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars - and as she is the best authority on whether this book is a good fit for your youth, I concur. I strongly recommend this book, and my daughter is looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series.

A review copy has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the CFBA for the purposes of this unbiased review.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Experience Healing and Mending with Cynthia Ruchti’s New Book and Reclaimed Treasures Giveaway

How can the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live be mended and healed? In Tattered and Mended, Cynthia Ruchti walks readers through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

Celebrate the release of Tattered and Mended with Cynthia by entering to win her Reclaimed Treasures giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 27th. The winner will be announced July 28th on Cynthia's blog.


Plus, now through mid-July, sign up for Cynthia's mailing list for a five-day virtual tour around Madeline Island for the chance to win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack. Each day begins with an email from Cynthia that introduces where you'll be “visiting” that day (all key places from As Waters Gone By) with various interactive elements, including“I wish you were here” postcards, trivia quizzes, and an ongoing Island scavenger hunt. The person who interacts the most will win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack (valued at more than $200).


That includes:
  • The letterpress block Hope sign from DaySpring
  • A set of 6 Hemmed in Hope notecards showing a hope-themed Bible verse
  • A leather “I can’t unravel, I’m hemmed in hope” journal
  • Signed copies of each of Cynthia’s books, fiction and non-fiction

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A powerful, gripping novel: "Center of Gravity" by Laura McNeil

Having put her career as a school counsellor on hold to embrace a new marriage, new step-son, and a new baby, Ava couldn't be happier. Her husband Mitchell is a good provider, her stepson Jack keeps her on her toes with his frequent misadventures carrying out his superhero ambitions, and her son Sam loves nothing better than to remind her she's loved and needed. But when a hidden dark side of Mitchell emerges, Ava isn't prepared for the war he is about to unleash. As Ava loses custody of the children and finds that Mitchell has turned even her friends against her, she must find the strength to fight for the truth...and her very life.

"Center of Gravity" is one of those books that I picked up because the plot intrigued me, but I wasn't sure entirely what to expect as Laura McNeil is an unknown author to me. But let me tell you that this is one wild ride! If I was prone to biting my nails, I'm pretty sure I would have lost them all in the course of reading this book. As more and more of Mitchell's dark side arises and Ava's seemingly perfect life falls utterly apart around her, you can't help but feel her depth of despair. But this isn't one of those books that gets bogged down in emotion. Rather, the plot races along and I found myself captivated by Ava's struggle, and also that of Jack, who emerges as one of the true heroes in this story. Now, a word of caution is in order. There was some mild profanity in this novel, which I was a bit surprised by coming from a publisher like Thomas Nelson. Though I can enjoy a book without being offended by such things, I didn't feel it added to the book and hope it doesn't stop people from adding this author to their "must-read" list.

Center of Gravity is very well-written, and will entertain you, grab hold of your emotions, and leave you both drained and filled with hope after reaching the conclusion of the story. I award this book a very solid 4.5 out of 5 stars, and look forward to what is next to come from Laura McNeil!

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and the Booklook program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Laura McNeillAfter six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. 

Laura's debut novel with HarperCollins (Thomas Nelson), Center of Gravity, set in Mobile, Ala., will be published in July of 2015. Her writing awards include those from William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, Writer's Digest, RWA, and the Eric Hoffer competition. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

She holds a master's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing from New England College.

Buy it now on Amazon:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Good luck puttin' this one down! "No Place to Hide" by Lynette Eason

Cover Art

about the book....

She'll defend her friend until the bitter end--but is she in over her head?

It's not every day you see your childhood friend and onetime crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes it were under different circumstances. She can't believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she's determined to find him and help him clear his name. Unfortunately, she's not the only one looking for him. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to prove his innocence and prevent a catastrophe. 

Jackie and Ian travel a dangerous road--one that may lead straight to destruction.

my review....

The third book in the "Hidden Identity" series, "No Place to Hide", is one of the best romantic suspense books I've read this year! The words simply explode off the page, with gripping action from start to finish. When I cracked open the cover, I knew I'd be in for a good ride - but I didn't expect to be up quite so late at night! The scenes are tautly written, the characters developed enough to connect with them while not taking away from the pace of the story, and the underlying plot kept me intrigued from start to finish. I think my only moment of questioning the plot was at the beginning when Jackie chooses to break into Ian's house as she's worried about him and wants to find out how he is. Since she hasn't seen him in years, I questioned whether someone would actually do this. But as I got into the story, I totally got how Jackie does what she needs to do to keep those she loves safe (and is able to kick some serious butt while doing so!) And can I just say that Eason does a tremendous job at crafting romance in her stories, as it is totally accessible to readers of all shapes and sizes, male and female alike. There is nothing over the top in her stories, nothing that would make the most unromantic type of reader roll their eyes. Rather, the dialogue is witty and the love that is in the air unfolds in a totally believable way that will have you cheering the characters on.

All in all, "No Place to Hide" is a wonderfully entertaining, suspenseful book filled with lots of plot twists. Do the characters get themselves out of their tight spots a tad too easily? Well, maybe, but who doesn't want to see the good guys win? I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and award it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Lynette EasonLynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust,Nowhere to Turn, and No Place to Hide in the Hidden Identity series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

buy now from


No Place to Hide (Hidden Identity Book #3): A Novel

Friday, July 3, 2015

A pleasant read: Summer's List by Anita Higman

Summer's List PK

about the book...

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.

Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

my review...

Summer's List is a pleasant read filled with unique, quirky characters who encounter the beauty of forgiveness, second chances, and love. Summer is a sweet soul, and she is sure to endear herself to readers with her loyalty to her grandmother, her servant's heart, and her tragic past. I enjoyed the underlying plot of the story where her grandmother sends her off on a life changing adventure, with lots of unexpected encounters along the way. Like Summer, Granny Snow is also such a loveable person, as she embodies what it means to put others first, and her words and her life are full of wisdom and a love for God. I can just see the twinkle in her eye as she sends Summer down a path to find love with her childhood friend Martin! Now, I must say that I bogged down a bit in places, such as the scenes where we are introduced to Martin's very dysfunctional brothers and things just got plain weird with them. Also, the ease with which Summer breaks her engagement seems a bit too unrealistic, even if her former fiance appeared to be an empty-hearted cad. However, despite these story elements, there is much to enjoy in the mysteries and secrets of this story, and the way that Summer is allowed to find real love with someone who appreciates her just the way that God has made her. May we all blessed to discover that person in our lives!

Readers who are looking for a book to bring to the beach with them on a hot summer's day should grab a copy of Anita Higman's latest novel. This sweet story may be just what you were looking for! I award this novel 3 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, River North, and the Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Anita Higman
Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find out more about Anita at


Check out what other people are saying as part of the Litfuse tour at:

Buy the book from Amazon

Summer's List