Tag Archives: women’s fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — I Want More!

8 Jun

This week’s Top 10 Challenge is books that made us want more. For my list I went to my past If You Liked . . . posts. Every month I take my book club’s selection and list more novels that feature some of the same elements as the book we just read. For today’s list I have chosen a variety of genres — something for every reading taste. I hope you find some books to love. (And for more reading recommendations, you can find past posts by clicking on the If You Liked . . . link in the side bar.)

For more great reading recommendations, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

If You Liked . . .

The Escape by Lisa Harris


US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are thrust into a high-profile case when they are called on to transport two prisoners across the country on a private plane. But when the plane experiences engine trouble en route from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, the pilots crash-land the aircraft deep in the heart of the sprawling Salmon-Challis National Forest. 

When Madison and Jonas regain consciousness, they find both pilots and one prisoner dead–and one fugitive on the run. They’ll have to negotiate the rugged and remote backcountry through Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado while tracking a murderer who is desperate to disappear–and will do anything to stop them.

This high-octane game of cat-and-mouse from bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris will have your heart pumping as you try to catch a fugitive with nothing to lose.

US Marshall Service — Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman

Strong Female Character — Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill

Edge of Seat Suspense – Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills

The Woman in The Green Dress by Tea Cooper

A cursed opal, a gnarled family tree, and a sinister woman in a green dress emerge in the aftermath of World War I.

After a whirlwind romance, London teashop waitress Fleur Richards can’t wait for her new husband, Hugh, to return from the Great War. But when word of his death arrives on Armistice Day, Fleur learns he has left her a sizable family fortune. Refusing to accept the inheritance, she heads to his beloved home country of Australia in search of the relatives who deserve it more.

In spite of her reluctance, she soon finds herself the sole owner of a remote farm and a dilapidated curio shop full of long-forgotten artifacts, remarkable preserved creatures, and a mystery that began more than sixty-five years ago. With the help of Kip, a repatriated soldier dealing with the sobering aftereffects of war, Fleur finds herself unable to resist pulling on the threads of the past. What she finds is a shocking story surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress. . . a story that, nevertheless, offers hope and healing for the future.

Exotic Locale — A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

Curiosities and Mystery — Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Interwoven Dual Timelines — The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name — but no one knows your secret. At least that’s what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.

Lane must work with Walton’s newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she’ll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.

Debut novelist Natalie Walters pulls you to the edge of your seat on the first page and keeps you there until the last in this riveting story that will have you believing no one is defined by their past.

Suspense in A Small Town — Trial by Fire by Kathy Herman

Heroine with Struggles — Fragments of Fear by Carrie Stuart Parks

PTSD — Without Warning by Lynette Eason

Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson

Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except . . . she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south — into the storm.

The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting — even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.

Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?

Importance of Family — Practically Married by Karin Beery

Overcoming Fears — When You Look At Me by Pepper Basham

Past Impacts Present — Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh

Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria’s royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what — but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery. 

Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life. 

The Hebrew People in Egypt — Miriam by Mesu Andrews

More on Cleopatra — The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy Higley

Remaining Faithful — A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

Top 10 Tuesday — Favorite Audiobooks

1 Jun

Over the weekend a friend asked for audiobook recommendations. As a big fan, I had a few recommendations — I had to stop myself! 😉 Since this week’s Top 10 Tuesday is a Freebie, I thought I would share some of my favorite audiobooks. The stories are great and the readers are excellent, capturing just the right pacing and accents needed to make the experience enjoyable. Whether you have a road trip planned or need something to help while away the hours next to the pool or beach, or if you need something to help get thought an exercise routine or boring chores, all on my list will fit the bill.

Do you like listening to audiobooks?

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Ten of My Favorite Audiobooks

A Bridge Across The Ocean by Susan Meissner

The Last Year of The War by Susan Meissner

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

The Number of Love by Roseanna White

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

State of Lies by Siri Mitchell

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser

Book Review: The Secret Place

6 May

About The Book

Book:  The Secret Place

Author: Camille Eide

Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction/romance

Release date: April 15, 2021

The Secret Place (1)

How far can love bend before it breaks?

Josie Norris became an instant mommy when her twin sister Nadine handed over her newborn son and vanished. What Josie saw as a temporary arrangement grew into a mother-son bond too deep to uproot. But with her irrational sister threatening to steal him back, Josie has been living the last few years with Kennedy in hiding, afraid to go home.

When Aunt Libby—the only person who knows the truth about Kennedy—suffers a traumatic head injury, Josie rushes to her McKenzie River home to help Gram care for the woman who raised her. But not only is Libby’s injury causing family secrets to spill, it’s forcing Josie to see the women in her life in a new light.

Will—a ranger who Kennedy adores and who Josie is determined not to—is desperate to help the woman who has stolen his affections. But can Josie ever truly be authentic with the man she loves? With her son’s fate hanging in the balance, she is faced with the choice to risk everything she loves in order to bridge the most impossible gulfs.

In this story of mothers, daughters, and sisters, Josie must find the grace to forgive people for not being who she needed them to be…and the courage to surrender her fears to the God who has never once left her side.

Click here to get your copy!

*****

My Impressions:

Complicated and messy are two good words to describe the relationships depicted in Camille Eide’s newest contemporary novel, The Secret Place. And the main relationships in question are that of sisters making this novel a good choice for fans of women’s fiction. The main plot features Josie, a single mom-by-proxy who does whatever it takes to protect her son, Kennedy. That she does so while wrestling with feelings of regret and guilt just underscores the tumult her life has become. With a theme of abandonment and elements of mental illness and drug abuse, this is not really an easy book to read. And while I often found it hard to like the characters (their continued mistakes and attitudes), their struggles are certainly true-to-life. The message of hope in a Father who does not abandon and the peace He can bring in the midst of turmoil is strong, yet not every preachy. The resolution at the end will surprise you too — I kept the pages turning faster and faster as I raced to find out what would finally happen.

A novel to contemplate and discuss, I think The Secret Place would make a good book club choice. Recommended.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

About The Author

Camille Eide

Camille Eide (EYE-dee) is the award-winning author of poignant, inspirational love stories including The Memoir of Johnny Devine. Camille lives in Oregon with her husband and has three adult kids and five grandkids. She loves baking, muscle cars, and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She also loves the liberating truth and wisdom of God’s word, and hopes that her stories will stir your heart, strengthen your faith, and encourage you on your journey.

******

More from Camille

Secrets That Won’t Stay Hidden

Josie, the heroine in The Secret Place, faces more than one dilemma as a result of imperfect confidantes and their unkept secrets. So what inspired this story?

Many years ago, my late father-in-law suffered a traumatic brain injury and was life-flighted to a hospital 150 miles away. Family members gathered and were told to prepare for the possibility that he wouldn’t last the night. In an answer to many prayers, he made it through the night, but was in a coma, and no one knew what his future held or what long term effects his injuries would have.

His recovery was long, strange, and uncertain. In the first two weeks, he went from unconscious to incoherent to muttering. Then he progressed to forming real words, but what he said made no sense.

As his communication began to improve, his speech turned into an ongoing narrative. He talked about events and people and things long ago—including things we hadn’t heard before, things that confused and surprised family members young and old. We realized that these revelations were not simply a product of his addled brain, but in fact true. To our dismay, his social filters and verbal etiquette were gone, which made his kids and grandkids more than a little nervous. What kinds of memories and expressions would we hear from this beloved man of faith whom we all suspected had been a bit of a rascal as a youth?

To everyone’s relief, though my father-in-law said peculiar things and told us stories no one knew about, he didn’t have any shocking skeletons in his closet, and after eight weeks, he was pretty much back to his sensible, knowing self. But the fact that his private thoughts and potential secrets had at one point been so completely exposed sparked some intriguing “what if” questions in this writer’s mind:

  • What if you lost the ability to keep your private thoughts and secrets safe?
  • How might your life change if your secrets or some hidden past were exposed?
  • What if the person to whom you’ve entrusted a most crucial secret suddenly couldn’t?

The book’s title refers to several kinds of secret place. I look forward to hearing how many secret places readers can find in this story.

-Camille

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 27

Genesis 5020, April 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 30

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 30

deb’s Book Review, May 1

For Him and My Family, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 4

Mary Hake, May 4

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

By The Book, May 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 8

Pause for Tales, May 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 9

The Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, May 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Camille is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon card & a signed book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Top 10 Tuesday — Recent Reads

4 May

After a slow reading year in 2020 and a busy wedding schedule this year, I am trying to get my reading groove back. It’s been a slow process, but I think I am hitting my stride again. That being said, I’m sharing my most recent reads for Top Ten Tuesday this week. Have you read any of these books?

For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Recent Reads

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham

The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

The Secret Place by Camille Eide

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Currently reading:

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

Circling The Sun by Paula McLain

Whispers in The Branches by Brandy Heineman

Top 10 Tuesday — Crazy Crayola Color Titles

13 Apr

I have to admit I didn’t know that Crayola had crazy colors. My kids have been grown for a while and my granddaughter is not quite old enough for coloring. But this Top 10 Tuesday challenge sounds like a lot of fun — Book Titles That Could Be A Crayola Color.

Do you know a book title that sounds like a crazy Crayola color?

For more colorful fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Crazy Crayola Color Book Titles

The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey — dark marine blue

Dead of Winter by Tom Threadgill — dark gray

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti — pale yellow

Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl — dark orange

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton — grayish green

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz — ivory

On A Coastal Breeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher — pale sea blue

Star Rising by Janet W. Ferguson — silver

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin — grayish lavender

Book Spotlight And Author Interview — Hosea’s Heart

30 Mar

About The Book

Book:  Hosea’s Heart

Author: Linda Wood Rondeau

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release date: 2018

How much should a wronged husband forgive?

Aubrey Beaumont has spent the last fifteen years in search of his runaway, drug-addicted wife. Now a respected Silver Spring pastor and chaplain, ready to give up and move on, his life takes unexpected turns when she suddenly contacts him. Terminally ill and having found faith, she begs Aubrey’s forgiveness. How can he overlook her past prostitution and liaison with one of Washington’s most vicious drug lords?

Grateful for a chance at reconciliation, Joanna Beaumont prays that her seemingly wasted life might serve some purpose in her final days. Perhaps her testimony against her former lover’s cartel will bring her the peace she craves.

Joanna and Aubrey’s paths will crisscross the Capital District’s underworld where they discover how God weaves threads of failure into tapestries of hope.

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau has earned critical acclaim for her heart-warming stories of deliverance and forgiveness. The author now resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband of forty years. Active in her local church, she enjoys playing the occasional round of golf, a common feature in many of her books. Readers may contact the author through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Instagram or visit her website: www.lindarondeau.com.

More from Linda

Folks ask me why I kept searching for Joanna.

I don’t really see myself as a martyr, self-sacrificing, or even like the prophet Hosea as some have compared me to.

Perhaps I searched so long because Joanna was the only woman I ever truly loved. We met at the Top Notch Lounge when I had stopped in to buy a getaway package for my parents’ twenty-fifth anniversary.

I turned to my friend, Gregg, a private detective, and said, “See that girl over there? I’m going to marry her.

Gregg shook his head “You’re crazy. That broad is nothing but trouble.”

“And you know this, how?”

“Instinct, buddy.”

I left Gregg standing at the reservation desk and walked confidently toward a future that I could only guess. She smiled at me as I approached her table and glanced at her beverage. “Cinnamon tea?” I asked.

I sniffed the scent. Then, it was like an aphrodisiac. Now the aroma makes me nauseous. If I had known then what I know now? Moot question because life rarely offers a mulligan.

Gregg gave me a sign that he’d wait for me at the restaurant.

I sat down next to her. “Aubrey Beaumont.”

“Joanna Curtis.”

We talked, though not about anything of importance. I knew no more about her after an hour than her name and that she’d been deserted by her boyfriend. Yet, I knew I loved her.

“Have you had dinner yet?”

“No. Actually, I haven’t eaten all day. I should keep up my strength. I’m eating for two.”

I suppose most men would be scared away at that point. But something tugged at me. I sensed she didn’t need me—but I needed her, as intoxicating as any drug.

“Why not join me and my friend at the restaurant downstairs.”

Despite Gregg’s loud protests, Joanna and I married two days later. I adopted her unborn daughter, though not of my flesh, a child of my heart. I didn’t know about Joanna’s addiction until the first time she left us. Though she had been to rehab numerous times, she relapsed again and again. The last time she left, I held her note in my hand, my heart sliced by the knowledge she’d not be back.

The intelligent thing would be to let her disappear … what she wanted. I always led with my heart, not common sense. Perhaps why God called me into the ministry after Joanna’s first relapse.

My fruitless search took me into the Capital District where I pastored a church in Silver Spring.  Hope waned … and I even thought I might find love again with a woman named Cynthia. Until Joanna found me and called me to her side.

Fifteen years have passed since she left me the last time. Now, here I stand … face-to-face with reality. Cancer will  take Joanna away forever. What does God require of me now? I can forgive her addiction. But sometimes a wife’s betrayal goes beyond the forgivable –her liaison with Joey Juarez, the worst drug czar in the Washington, D.C. area.

I have every right, scripturally and logically, to divorce her and move on. Yet, that same voice that called me to her so many years ago calls to me now. “Till death part us.”

READER: What would you do if you were Aubrey? How would you advise him?

Q & A with Linda Wood Rondeau

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I’ve always been a hobbyist throughout my childhood and most of my adult life. I won school awards for writing, and enjoyed being a storyteller to the kids I babysat. I even entertained my friends on the school bus by mimicking and storytelling. So, yes. I’ve known I wanted to be a writer all my life. So what stopped me?

My first instinct was to take creative writing in college. Unfortunately, I listened to well-meaning adults who counseled me to prepare for a career that would be more financially beneficial. I had little encouragement from my family, although a high school teacher encouraged me to be a writer as did one of my college professors. Life got in the way of my dreams. Instead of writing, I worked in human services for many years. Perhaps God’s way of preparing me for the type of books he wanted me to write. At age 54, God stepped in. “The time is now.” The road to publication has been hard and bruising. But I never once doubted this is what I’m supposed to be doing at this stage of my life. 

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Many times I heard seasoned writers say, “God’s timing.” Easy enough to say but very hard to trust. I secured an agent early on, but she was unable to land a contract for me until eleven years (to the day) I committed my life to writing. (The Other Side of Darkness/Pelican). I did publish short stories and articles along the way. During that time, I kept writing and had a number of completed manuscripts. Soon after, another publisher wanted to contract several works from me. A few months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I did suffer from chemo brain, a side affect of chemotherapy. God knew I’d need those completed manuscripts to fulfill my contracts. Yes … God’s timing is always perfect. There have been many obstacles. I’ve yet to release a book without stumbling blocks. Satan’s way of trying to convince me God didn’t want me to write. Truth is God is more interested in my spiritual condition than book contracts … yet, he has been my faithful companion in this journey, and the book contracts keep coming. Through this process, I have learned that I’m not called to write … this is a career he’s given me in my quest to spread the good news. I am called to be his child. 

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Seriously? A schedule? I’ve never been able to make one and keep it. By the nature of my life, I cannot assume tomorrow will resemble today in any way shape or form. I do set goals, however, and hope-to-complete tasks. I’m grateful God has given me a flexible personality and a creative mind to “adapt” to surprises. Marketing requires a portion of my brain that doesn’t exist. God makes up for this deficiency in numerous ways. While it’s important to trust, I know I have to put effort and feet into the work. 

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel.

Hosea’s Heart is not my most recent novel. Before I started writing professionally, I worked in the human services field: family services, adult protective services, child protective services, medical services, senior services, and nursing home social services,  as well as hospital social services and as an in-school case manager. All these roles gave me many insights into the spiral of addiction and the profound impact addiction has on those who love the victim of substance abuse. Those who don’t understand are quick to judge and slow to develop compassion … much like my character Gregg Fischer, who hated drug addicts because of his personal loss. I wanted to write a book to show addicts are as much in need of love as anyone and how true love can only be extended through the power of the Holy Spirit. I hoped to show how God’s healing power transcends our failures.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I am pleased to report I have four novels under contract at this time. Actual release dates at this time are uncertain. 

First up is Wolf Mountain Legacy, an Adirondack Romantic Suspense.

A widowed high school history teacher, on leave for mental health problems, is hired as a research assistant by her former lover and college professor, on sabbatical to write a history of Adirondack Railroads. The research begins to unravel the 150-year-old mystery of the death of a railroad tycoon who died as a result of a suspicious fire that destroyed his Wolf Mountain estate. Marci is convinced she and Blake are being followed. But no one sees these people but her.

Second is The Ghosts of Trumball Mansion, a paranormal 

Set between Manhattan and New Haven, Connecticut

A romance writer and her estranged publisher husband spend a summer together in their historic  Connecticut estate. The closer the couple come toward a reconciliation, the more virulent the unexplained “ghosts” become, as if the house is determined to prevent their reunification. 

Third is G.L.I.C.K (a middle-grade science fiction)

Three earth children befriend a stranded alien, a sort of cosmic librarian sent to study Earth’s culture. His name is an acronym for Gatherer of Lore and Intergalactic Cultural Knowledge.

Fourth is Jolly Angel, a contemporary novelette expected to release in October, 2021.

A young women flees her abusive New York City home in hopes of starting a new life in Northern New York only to find her problems are compounded by an unwanted pregnancy.  

Thank you for hosting me today.  

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 17

Susan K. Beatty, Author, March 18 (Author Interview)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 19

Texas Book-aholic, March 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 24 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 25

For Him and My Family, March 26

Inklings and notions, March 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 28

deb’s Book Review, March 29

By The Book, March 30 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a book from her Amazon Author page!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Book Launch — Providence

27 Mar

Welcome to the book launch of Providence by Jennifer Sienes hosted by Celebrate Lit!

About The Book

Book:  Providence

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: April 13, 2021

How can she forgive a man she isn’t sure she ever knew?

Melissa Bainbridge doesn’t have time to grieve. She has three kids to feed, bills stacked high enough to crush her, and guilt–oh so much guilt.

When her husband’s death is  ruled a suicide, her financial stability and identity die with the man she now wonders if she ever knew.  How could he choose to leave them like this?  How could she have lived with him for 15 years and not known of his fragile mental health?

A journey of discovery reveals more questions than answers until Melissa finally faces her fears and tries to understand the mind of the man she thought she knew and never did.

The journey from despair to hope leads Melissa beyond grief and into the light of forgiveness in Providence.

EXCERPT

Where the Wild Things Are,”I repeat for the crowd. “By Maurice Sendak.” I turn the page and begin to read. Eli tucks his head beneath my chin, and I inhale. When did the aroma of a sweaty boy become so endearing?

Can life get any better than this?

I let this morning’s argument with Trevor dissipate in the lyrical prose—forget the last two weeks of his getting home later and later. Chalk up his recent moodiness to artistic temperament and embrace gratitude.

A Shirley Temple lookalike leans against my thigh, and I flash her a smile. Is that grape jelly staining the corners of her mouth? I suppose it would be awkward to fish a tissue from my pocket and wipe it.

Eli takes charge of the page-turning until…

“The end.” With a flourish, I close the book. Ten pairs of eyes look up at me as if waiting for an encore.

“Read it again,” Eli demands.

“Yeah,” a couple voices chime in.

“How about this?” I struggle to get my larger-than-child-size fanny out of the beanbag nest, then hand the book to Eli. “Why don’t you read it aloud for everyone?”

He scrunches up his nose. “Okay.”

Purchase Link

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing–and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies – two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

EXCERPTS

Excerpt One:  https://vickysluitercom.wordpress.com/book-tours/
Excerpt Two:  https://beckiebythebook.com/2021/03/27/book-launch-providence/
Excerpt Three:  https://janemouttet.wordpress.com/2021/03/27/book-launch-excerpt-providence/
Excerpt Four:  http://www.simpleharvestreads.com/posts/providence-book-excerpt/
Excerpt Five:  https://abakersperspective.com/providence-by-jennifer-sienes/
Excerpt Six:  https://litteraegaudium.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/providence-epic-book-launch/
Excerpt Seven:  https://www.susankbeatty.com/providence-by-jennifer-sienes/

Top 10 Tuesday — Ruin A Book With One Letter (Or Two)

23 Mar

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday challenge is Funny Titles. I posted on that not too long ago, and frankly I don’t read many funny books, so the titles aren’t either. So I decided to share the ever popular Ruined Titles. Basically, you change one or two letters of one of the words in a book’s title so that a great read becomes, well, ruined. 😉 My apologies to the authors.

For more funny titles, make sure to visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Ruined Book Titles

All Manner of Strings by Susie Finkbeiner

small town sewing

Collision of Pies by Tom Threadgill

pastry train derailment

Daughters of Northern Snores by Joanne Bischof

sleeping in Scandinavia

Echoes Among The Scones by Jaime Jo Wright

past mystery in a pastry shop

Facing The Lawn by Cynthia Ruchti

grief and lawn care

The Mouse at The End of The Moor by Michelle Griep

Victorian city and country mice

On A Coastal Sneeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher

love and hay fever in Maine

The Traitor’s Prawn by Lisa Harris

Chinese spies and seafood

Under a Turquoise Sty by Lisa Carter

desert pig farming

Book Spotlight — Facing The Dawn

15 Mar

facing the dawn

About The Book

Book:  Facing the Dawn

Author: Cynthia Ruchti

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release date: March 2, 2021

Facing the Dawn-Book CoverMara Jacobs has been struggling. While her humanitarian husband is digging wells in Africa and caring for widows and orphans, Mara has been battling the home front—working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage three detention-prone kids, and suffering from exhaustion and depression. Even her own marriage is deteriorating after a three-year separation.

Then Liam’s absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara leans on those around her to find her way to healing and renewed faith, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten . . . or unloved.

Facing the Dawn is an emotionally evocative novel that will resonate with readers’ lives and their life challenges. Hemmed in hope, this tender story will be one readers will not soon forget.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions:

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti wrecked me. And reached me. I don’t think I have ever read a novel more Spirit-filled than this one. Oh, its genre is women’s fiction, but the story that unfolds is one we all face at one time or another. I don’t mean that our lives will mirror main character Mara Jacob’s, but that we all face loss — of loved ones or security or dreams. And God can seem so far away and our lives so parched that we feel we will shrivel up. At first the story seemed too much. But as Ruchti weaves the hope through the hopeless, we see glimpses of God’s grace, mercy, and provision. I may be making this book sound super-religious. It’s not. It’s about how God can take our hurts and turn them into something useful and beautiful. Mara’s internal voice is snarky and so human. I loved that Ruchti did not shy away from Mara expressing anger and lostness. Supporting characters, and I do mean supporting, are wonderful. The transformation Mara goes through, along with that of her children, is a testimony of the faithfulness of those who come alongside us in our life journey. One particular sentence resonated with me — What we thought was pain upon pain paved the way for the work of God. See, Spirit-filled.

Facing The Dawn was not an easy or quick read for me. I needed breaks to ponder and rest. If you read this book you will understand. And I do hope that you will read it because from me it is very highly recommended.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

About The Author

Cynthia Ruchti Revell Facing the DawnCynthia Ruchti is the award-winning author of more than 30 books, including the novels Afraid of the Light, Miles from Where We Started, As Waters Gone By, Song of Silence, A Fragile Hope, and They Almost Always Come Home. Her books have been honored with more than 40 readers’, reviewers’, and retailers’ awards, including Romantic Times’s Inspirational Novel of the Year, four Selah Awards, and five Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and has been a finalist for many others, including the Carol and the Christy. Former president of and current professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Cynthia lives in Wisconsin and can be found online at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com.

More from Cynthia

When I sit down to write a novel, I sometimes have little more than a title or a single scene in my head. For Facing the Dawn, I had a mental picture of a woman who felt like circumstances had drained all the “color” out of her life, as if she were a piece of fabric that had been left out in the sun too long. Faded. Threadbare. Bleached out.

Where was I supposed to go from there? What would have made her feel like that? (Oh, I could imagine, but I needed to know THIS character’s story.) I visualized her called in the principal’s office at her kids’ school, not knowing which of the three was in trouble this time. But it was her. The ridiculousness of it all was almost enough to push her over the edge. Ever been there?

For Mara in the story, a long string of disappointments clogged her life like a backed-up sink (which she also had). Then true tragedy struck. And again. But I couldn’t leave her in that place.

When I wrote the last few words of the story, my heart was full. Tears fell on the pages—or the keyboard. And I reflected back on all the symbolism in the story that actually revealed bits of hope embedded in its fabric.

I’m excited to see how readers respond when they discover those little bits—a cardinal in a stand of birch trees, an oil painting with unusual brushstrokes, a papered wall, a cup of soup, a long-forgotten song, an envelope of ashes…

A story comes to life when readers dive in. I’m looking forward to hearing what they find when they do.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 4

lakesidelivingsite, March 4

Through the Fire Blogs, March 4

Rebecca Tews, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations , March 5

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 6 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 7

Reviewingbooksplusmore, March 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 8

Kathleen’s Blog, March 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 8

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Cats in the Cradle Blog, March 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 10

Simple Harvest Reads, March 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 11

Artistic Nobody, March 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Older & Smarter?, March 12

deb’s Book Review, March 12

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 13

Inklings and notions, March 13

Pause for Tales, March 13

For Him and My Family, March 14

Mary Hake, March 14

By The Book, March 15

Christian Bookaholic, March 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Spoken from the Heart, March 16

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 16

A Baker’s Perspective, March 17

Writing from the Heart Land, March 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a DrinkCo Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated BPA-free beverage container (keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours/hot up to 12 hours), two Sunprint Notecards (Cynanotype art by Anna Atkins), an autographed copy of the novel Facing the Dawn, two Hemmed in Hope magnets/notecard inserts to encourage you or a friend, a Hemmed in Hope flash drive, and Facing the Dawn bookmarks (not shown in picture above)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/108ce/facing-the-dawn-celebration-tour-giveaway

First Line Friday — Facing The Dawn

5 Mar

Happy Friday! This week I’m featuring one of my favorite authors and her newest novel. I’ll be starting Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti soon. Her book are always so good — can’t wait!

Here’s the first line:

He held the paper — the indictment against her — six inches from his face, which made him look like a blank sheet with bushy hair.

 

While her humanitarian husband Liam has been digging wells in Africa, Mara Jacobs has been struggling. She knows she’s supposed to feel a warm glow that her husband is nine time zones away, caring for widows and orphans. But the reality is that she is exhausted, working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage their three detention-prone kids, failing at her to-repair list, and fading like a garment left too long in the sun.

Then Liam’s three-year absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara struggles to find her footing, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous, faith is fragile, and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten . . . or unloved.

With emotionally evocative prose that tackles tough topics with tenderness and hope, award-winning author Cynthia Ruchti invites you on a journey of the heart you won’t soon forget.

 

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through award-winning novels, novellas, devotionals, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. She makes potato corn chowder for her husband of more than four decades and loves on her three kids and six grandchildren. Cynthia recently retired from 33 years of writing and producing a daily radio broadcast called THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, is past president of American Christian Fiction Writers, and now serves as ACFW’s Professional Relations Liaison, all while working on more book projects in addition to the more than 30 already on the shelves. Her books have been honored with Selah Awards, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and Book of the Year awards from Golden Scrolls, as well as finalist or top honors in awards programs such as ACFW’s Carol Awards, ForeWord Book Reviews Book of the Year, RT Reviews Book of the Year, Family Fiction’s Book of the Year, Cascade Awards Book of the Year, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and the Christy Award, among others.
You can connect with her at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com, at http://www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, at http://www.twitter.com/cynthiaruchti, or in the kitchen, brewing herself another cup of tea.

For more first line fun, check out Hoarding Books.