Monday, May 19, 2014

Elsewhere

You can find more from me here and here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

CFBA presents Rise and Shine

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rise and Shine
River North; New Edition edition (May 1, 2014)
by
Sandra D. Bricker


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. "I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost," she says. "So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line."

Sandie's real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor's proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects ... and still pursue my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"

And one of the author's pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy -- a red-haired collie with "killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown."

ABOUT THE BOOK

Shannon Malone thought she'd found her happy ending when she married Edmund Ridgeway, but a diving accident on their honeymoon left her in a coma. Waking up to the news that she's thirty years old would have been daunting enough . . . but she also learns that Edmund has lost his interim battle with cancer and the world has marched on without her. Her gorgeous doctor, Daniel Petros, seems to know everything about her and becomes Shannon's tour guide into a whole new world of madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone's life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones! As Shannon struggles to navigate through the changes-both in the world and in her-she also must discern real memories from imagined ones. Did she really ever wear capris pants and entertain in her living room, or was that Laura Petrie from her favorite classic TV show? And where is her beloved dog, Freeway? Oh, wait! That was Jonathan and Jennifer Hart's dog, not hers. Shannon's three elderly aunts flit through her life in true Sleeping Beauty style with her well-being always a priority. And Edmund's sister Millicent descends like the Evil Queen she is, trying to extract Shannon from any claim on the Ridgeway family fortune. When a tornado moves through town and Shannon is knocked unconscious, will Daniel's kiss awaken her once and for all?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rise and Shine, go HERE.

Pattie's Review:

I enjoy Sandra Bricker's writing, and this novel is no exception. "Rise and Shine" is a comfortable blend of humor and sorrow, dogs and doctors. In some ways it's predictable, since it's a modern retelling/revisioning of "Sleeping Beauty." At the same time, however, it's a nice contemporary spin with both dealing with the entire past catching up with Shannon in a very short time, reacquainting herself with God and her family, and determining her purpose in life now that she has a second chance to live. I am glad that it ended happily.

Other reviews of her books on this blog:
http://freshbrewedwriter.blogspot.com/2012/04/always-designer-never-bride.html
http://freshbrewedwriter.blogspot.com/2013/12/cfba-presents-merry-humbug-christmas.html

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Miracle Thief by Iris Anthony

I was surprised and delighted to learn that one of my favorite Christian fiction authors, Siri Mitchell, has two other books under her pen name, Iris Anthony. (She made the announcement recently, so I'm not outing her!)

The Miracle Thief at my local Barnes & Noble


Book Description:

Do you believe in miracles?

Sister Juliana does. She's seen miracles happen as she tends Saint Catherine's altar and guards her relic. Yet she doesn't quite dare to believe that even Saint Catherine could help her atone for her wicked past. 

Anna does. And she so desperately needs one. In a time when a deformity is interpreted as evidence of a grievous sin, in a place where community is vital to existence, Anna has no family, no home, and no master. 

Princess Gisele wants to. A miracle is the only thing that can save her from being given to a brutal, pagan chieftain in marriage. 

For those who come in faith, saints offer the answer to almost any prayer. But other forces are plotting to steal Saint Catherine's relic, to bend the saint's power to their own use. Penitent, pilgrim, princess — all will be drawn into an epic struggle where only faith can survive. But in a quest for divine blessing, only the most ruthless of souls may win the prize.

Review:

"Possession makes prisoners of us all; the benefit is in the coming, and the blessing comes through faith."

These words were spoken by one of the characters in this medieval tale, a relic hunter on a pilgrimage to the altar of Saint Catherine. It seems to encapsulate the message of this novel: It's faith that matters. Not works, not pilgrimages, not our station in life, not who our family is or is not.

This story of three different women on a similar and entwined journey of faith is well-written, enjoyable, and engrossing. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in this period of history.

Just a note about religion: This book is not overtly Christian in the sense of some Christian fiction, where the gospel is laid out as a witnessing tract. In fact, this is a general market release. That said, the subject matter is highly religious, as life was in Europe in this time, where belief in God was expected, any other beliefs were considered pagan, and relics were treasured.  I think the thread of faith woven into the story is beautiful in its subtlety.

Note on book link:

You can purchase the book at any book retailer, but if you choose Amazon Smile, you can donate to your favorite charity at the same time. My charitable organization is Wives of Faith Inc., a ministry dedicated to supporting and encouraging military wives.

**FTC disclaimer: I received a direct link to a NetGalley copy of this book from the author herself in exchange for posting a review on my blog and on social media outlets. No other remuneration was received, intended or implied.**