Friday, November 30, 2012

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch (Book Spotlight & Top Tens List)

Tour Schedule

"What if history didn't happen that way ... the first time?"

Garison Fitch was one of the most revered scientists in the Soviet Americas until he left fame behind to work on a secret project in his log cabin in the mountains of Marx.

But something went wrong. Instead of traveling interdimentionally, Garison has traveled through time ... twice.

Now, he's in something called "The United States of America" and a woman he's never met before is calling herself his wife. It it a hoax? Or, has he somehow changed history?

If so, can he return the world to what he believes is "normal", or must he live in this strange world he created?


"Sam continues to weave his magic as a storyteller. I always find myself anxious to find out what will happen next and what kind of twist will befall the adventurers. It helps to be familiar with the places that the heroines go, which adds to the story."
~Labdaddy, Texas

"I've had a few very unproductive but enjoyable days thanks to Samuel Ben White. If you haven't read Sam's books you have been missing a treat. These were funny, suspenseful, spiritual and kept you turning the pages."
~Karen S.

"Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your books. I have a Kindle and I have purchased all of the Garison Fitch novels. I am in Saudi Arabia and your books have really helped take me away from here."
~Scott, Saudi Arabia

Also Part of the Series:

Saving Time

Two years ago Garison Fitch traveled through time and rewrote history. An accident in the eighteenth century created a whole new world, and even gave Garison a wife he had never met before. Now, he’s got a daughter and he’s coming to enjoy this world he created. Until he’s attacked by men masquerading as Indians, and a funeral procession from out of the past enlists his help, and a tree grows from sappling to full-grown in a matter of minutes, threatening his daughter’s very life. Time itself is unraveling and Garison’s trips through time seem to be the cause. Garison must go back in time once again and keep himself from making the original trip that started the problem. But he can’t use his time machine to go back. How does one sew up a rip in time?

Lost Time

Jason Kerrigan and Brownwyn Dalmouth are pilots with the Republic of Texas Army Air Corps. A world war is going on and bombs have just brought an end to Crockett Air Field in south Texas. Jason and Bronwyn, though, are called away from the battle to be test pilots for a new aircraft that-they're told- will bring the war to an end. The experimental craft lives up to expectations in early tests, but then it lands them somewhere it never should have sent them. Another place? Another time? Another dimension? Somehow, they've taken a trip to the future and changed the past. Or did they? The answer to their change of reality may be known to a Justice of the Peace in Colorado named Garison Fitch. To figure it out, though, Garison may have to team up with his least favorite person: Bat Garrett.

Kindle * Nook * Smashwords

Samuel's Top Ten Favorite Songs
10. Our Last Farewell by Dan Fogelberg
9. The Raiders March by John Williams
8. May It Be by Enya
7. The Call by Regina Spektor
6. Into the West by Annie Lennox
5. American Patrol by the Glenn Miller Orchestra
4. Our Town written by Randy Newman, performed by James Taylor
3. Peggy's Kitchen Wall by Bruce Cockburn
2. Hotel California by The Eagles
1. King of Hearts by Randy Stonehill

Author Samuel Ben White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.


Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Ends 12/18/12
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch Tour Schedule:

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Beside Two Rivers by Rita Gerlach (Review)

A tale of love won and love lost, and the faith to find it again.

In the dramatic saga that began in Before the Scarlet Dawn, Eliza's daughter, Darcy, follows a path where the secrets of the past slowly rise to the surface. Along the path, she meets Ethan Brennan, an aspiring English horse breeder, who embraces her independent spirit and marvels at the simplicity of her faith.

Darcy's journey takes her far from her beloved home along the Potomac, to a manor house in faraway England. Soon the memories surrounding her family begin to unravel, and a sworn oath to a dying woman with a long-hidden secret may put Darcy's hope for happiness with Ethan at a risk she could never imagine.

I GIVE THIS BOOK: 1 star1 star1-1/2 stars

Beside Two Rivers is the second book in the Daughters of the Potomac series. While Beside Two Rivers was good and enjoyable, there was something about it that just didn't wow me like Before the Scarlet Dawn, the first book in the series.

Unlike the first book, which kept me turning pages late into the night, Beside Two Rivers was one that I had no problem putting down. Where the first book had an unexpected ending, this book's ending was a bit rushed and just a little too neat and perfect. There was a character that was made to seem very evil and while he kind of was, it just seemed like so much was said about him and in actuality he didn't do all that much.

Beside Two Rivers is rich in detail and I could imagine myself right there with the characters. I think it could easily be a stand alone novel, as I think the author did a superb job of filling in the details from the first book and maybe it would have been more enjoyable had I not read the other book. There was a person in the book whose identity was kept secret, but because I read the first one I knew right away who it was and so that part got to be a bit annoying to me.

If you've read and enjoyed Before the Scarlet Dawn, Beside Two Rivers is probably already a must read for you...and you know why. If you haven't, as I said above, this book could easily be read and enjoyed on it's own.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (October 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426714157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426714153
  • ASIN: B009B0ZAX2
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Available to purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD

Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland.

"Inspirational romantic fiction is one way people can escape the cares of life and be transported back to a time of raw courage and ideal love," she says. "The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite, and inspire them to live fully and gratefully."

Website | GoodReads

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

CFBA Tour: A Wild Goose Chase Christmas by Jennifer AlLee

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Wild Goose Chase Christmas
Abingdon Press (November 2012)
Jennifer AlLee


A Word from Jennifer:

As I look back on my life, it's interesting to see where God's taken me, and where I took myself that God pulled me out of. I finally got back to writing, the dream of my heart. Since 1996, I've published numerous short stories, devotions and plays. I've also been active in church drama ministries, another passion of mine. My first novel, The Love of His Brother (November 2007, Five Star Publishers), was followed by The Pastor's Wife (February 2010, Abingdon Press) and The Mother Road (April 2012). A Wild Goose Chase Christmas is book two in the new Quilts of Love series.

Besides being a writer, I am a wife and mom. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, my family has learned how to enjoy the fabulous buffets here without severely impacting our waistlines. God is good!

Upon her grandmother's death, Izzy Fontaine finds herself in possession of a Wild Goose Chase pattern quilt that supposedly leads to a great treasure.

Of course, once the rest of the family finds out about the "treasure map," they're determined to have a go at the treasure themselves. And, if that weren't enough, Max Logan, a local museum curator, contacts Izzy and says that Grandma Isabella promised him the quilt.

What is it about this quilt that makes everyone want it? Is Izzy on a wild goose chase of her own, or a journey that will lead her to the treasure her grandmother intended?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Wild Goose Chase Christmas, go HERE.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Finally and Forever by Robin Jones Gunn (Review)

What was she thinking? Katie Weldon wonders if she was crazy to spontaneously fly off to Africa on a mission trip. Suddenly she is dealing with a new culture, a world she's never experienced---and Eli, a friend who is quickly becoming much more. It's all overwhelming ... and exciting. As her life turns topsy-turvy, however, she begins to think this might be exactly what she needs. Here, God might give her a glimpse into His will for her life. But just as Kenya and its people find a place in her heart, and her relationship with Eli begins to get serious, Katie is faced with unanswered questions from her past and unresolved issues with Eli. Is she really headed down the same path into the future he is? It doesn't look like it. Why can't she finally and forever settle into a set direction? Living in this new and captivating place, one thing she knows for sure: anything might be possible. 

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

Finally & Forever is the fourth and final book in the Katie Weldon series and is a great conclusion to it. I have read and enjoyed the Christy Miller series, the Sierra Jensen series, and Christy and Todd: the College Years; and while I have always liked Katie she was never a favorite of mine. I now have a whole new perspective on Katie and I loved learning why she behaves the way she does. She is now quite possibly my favorite character from these series.

The ending was so sweet and perfect! I would love for there to be another series with Katie, similar to the way Christy Miller had a second series "Christy and Todd: the College Years". Though if I am completely honest I would love for there to be more written about Christy & Todd and Doug & Tracey too. Needless to say I completely recommend this book - it was excellent!!!

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

  • Reading level: Ages 15 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Original edition (April 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310729718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310729716
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Available to purchase at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book

Robin’s first grade teacher wrote on her report card, “Robin keeps the entire class entertained at rug time with her stories.”

Even with such an early affirmation, Robin didn’t think much about becoming a writer during high school or college. She was more intrigued by the idea of traveling to foreign lands and telling people about God’s love.

But Robin’s husband also noticed her gift for storytelling and urged her to attend a writers’ conference. That first conference, in 1979, opened the door for publication of devotions, articles, interviews and 14 children’s books.

When her two children were young, Robin would rise at 3 a.m. and brew a pot of tea. Then she would go to work, creating stories for teens that later became the Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, and College Years books.

Robin’s first novel was published in 1988, and she has continued to write between two to five books a year. Her 63 published books include 47 novels, all of which are still in print. Sales of her popular Christy Miller Series, Glenbrooke Series and Sisterchicks Series are approaching four million copies sold, with translations in nine languages.

Robin’s passion for storytelling and travel are evident in all her books, especially the Sisterchicks novels, and she has received thousands of letters from readers around the world who have come to know Christ through her writing. She sees this as her dream come true. Her novels are traveling to foreign lands and her characters are doing what she always longed to do; telling people about God’s love.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmas Roses by Amanda Cabot (Review)

Celia Anderson doesn't need anything for Christmas except a few more boarders, which are hard to come by in this small mining town. She certainly doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a wandering carpenter finds lodging at her boarding house, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man--the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas. It would take a miracle to get roses during a harsh Wyoming winter. 

But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles . . .

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

Christmas Roses is a wonderful novella and, to me, everything a novella should be. It didn't feel rushed at all, like so many of them do. I was able to lose myself in the story immediately - I love when that happens! I didn't stop reading until I reached the end and what an ending - it was so sweet and perfect!

While this is a Christmas story, I think it could be read and enjoyed any time of year. It's definitely a book I plan on rereading at least once a year...and I may even reread it again this year because I loved it that much! If you are looking for a great book with a Christmas theme, I completely recommend that you read this book. And if you are a fan of historical fiction, you should definitely read it.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800720040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800720049
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Available to purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble | CBD

With both parents avid readers, it's no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than twenty-five novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and – of course – reading.

Website | Blog | Facebook GoodReads

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Imperfectly Beautiful by Diony George

At 1:30 am, in New York City, Regan Wright is ripped out of a sound sleep with a jolt - her heart thuds in her ears and her face feels flushed. Straining to hear anything out of the ordinary, she fumbles to turn on the bedside lamp. Nothing seems out of place. Suddenly her stomach twists in knots - it's her identical twin, Rebecca. Something is terribly wrong...

Though twins, Rebecca and Regan couldn't be more different.

Independent and outspoken, Regan chose a high-profile career as a fashion designer in New York City. Despite her hard-earned success, Regan’s become disillusioned by the glamour and the glitz. She’s tired of coming home to a lonely penthouse apartment welcomed only by her cat and has all but given up on ever finding “Mr. Right.”

Steady and reliable, Rebecca chose to be a wife and stay-at-home mom. From the very first moment she met James Conrad—tall and muscular with eyes as blue as a cloudless sky—she was captivated. Married and four children later, Rebecca’s life is not what she expected. Her marriage has lost its shine and her sweet babies have become challenging and often unappreciative children.

Both Rebecca and Regan must discover, a higher power has the answers to what matters most, but when a serial killer strikes nearby, and his victims look eerily similar to the twins, will it be too late?

Praise for Imperfectly Beautiful

“5 Stars! Great Novel-Romance with Suspense. Captures your attention from the very beginning...then difficult to put down...A good solid read!”
-Booklover, amazon review

“This was a great book. I could relate to Rebecca and the trials she was going through with her marriage and her children. I feel this way at times too. I liked the suspense and it was enough to keep my hooked…” 
-K. Neilson, Utah

“I enjoyed the development of the characters. Lots of dialogue took me right into the everyday lives and struggles of each person. The underlying story of the unsolved murders of women who look like the twin sisters simmers through out the chapters until it finally boils over into an exciting ending! I recommend it!”
-J.T. Bolla, Washington


Author Diony George

Diony George is a wife, full-time mom of seven, grandmother of two, and a published author of uplifting women’s fiction and inspiring nonfiction. She is also a regular contributing writer for Deseret Connect and FamilyHow. Originally from Alaska, she currently lives in Salt Lake City with her family. Besides writing she loves to read, especially romantic suspense, bake, sew and craft.

Her current fiction WIP, Inside the Heart, is based around the kidnapping and disappearance of four- year-old Emma and is slated for release in Feb 2013. Her next nonfiction book, Heaven’s Just a Prayer Away will be released by Cedar Fort, Inc in July 2013.


Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 11/29/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it for the first person you follow and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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FIRST Wild Card Tour: A Thousand Sleepless Nights by Michael King

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 (October 16, 2012)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson for sending me a review copy.***

Mike Dellosso, writing also under the pen name Michael King, is the author of numerous novels of suspense, including Darkness Follows, Darlington Woods, and Scream. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is a popular conference and workshop teacher. He earned his BA degree from Messiah College and his MBS from Master’s International School of Divinity. He lives in Hanover, PA, with his wife and daughters. Mike is also a survivor of colon cancer, diagnosed in 2008.

Visit the author's website.

Set in the beautiful horse country of northern Virginia, A Thousand Sleepless Nights is about a family torn apart by neglect and hurt and brought together again by a most-unlikely force.

Product Details:

  • List Price: $13.99
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Realms (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616388358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616388355

Nena Hutching loved being out on the porch first thing in the morning; it was her favorite time of day. On clear mornings the sun peeked above the black willows and painted the sky brilliant shades of pink and orange. Sometimes deer would gather in the front lawn as they crossed from one pasture to the next. She’d seen upwards of thirty or forty at a time. And if the temperature gradient was just right, a low mist would settle across the ranch, hovering like slow-moving water, giving the whole property a dreamlike appearance.

But Nena’s dream had long ago been shattered. Gathering her legs under her, she pulled the blanket up to her shoulders and took a long slow sip of her tea, letting the mug linger at her mouth so the steam could warm her face.

As a child she used to sit here with her father and watch the sun rise, listening to the sounds of the ranch stirring. The smell of cut grass and her dad’s coffee, the sounds of Spanish chatter and horses nickering for their morning meal, the hum of truck engines and men shouting . . . it had all been so familiar, so com- forting. There was a sense of peace here, of purpose and right- ness that she had come to rely on.

But now the place was a ghost town. The pastures were over- grown, the stables empty. The hands had moved on long ago, finding work and fulfillment elsewhere. The black willows, once the landmark of the St. Claire ranch, had aged without care. Some had died and been cut down; others were in desperate need of pruning. And the ranch house, once so noble and pris- tine, the signature of the success of Jack St. Claire, had fallen into disrepair. Porch paint peeled like an old sunburn, one of
the steps needed a new board, and the wisteria had long ago stopped blooming.

Jim did his best to keep up with the place, but it was just too much work for one man. Nena took another sip of tea and listened to the silence. There had been no sunrise this morning; the sky was heavy with dark gray, furrowed rain clouds. A storm was on the way, and in her bones Nena felt it would be much more than just a meteorological event.

The bleeding had started three weeks ago. At first it was spotty, nothing too alarming. But as the days passed it increased, until finally an appointment was scheduled, a colonoscopy performed, a tumor found. Now Nena could do nothing but await the results of the biopsy. Nothing but sit here haunted by regrets, sipping her tea, reminiscing about the better days the ranch had seen.

The sound of tires rolling on dirt broke the morning silence, and Nena saw an SUV making its way down the lane. She knew immediately who it was—Dr. Les Van Zante—and called for Jim to join her on the porch.

Les had never made a house call before. Of course, she told herself, maybe it wasn’t a house call. Maybe he was just stop- ping by to say good morning and tell them he hadn’t gotten the results yet, so she should stop fretting and breathe easy. He’d been their family doctor for well over thirty years; more than just a physician, he’d been a friend. But the lump in her throat and the chill that crept over her skin told her this was more than a cordial visit.

Jim emerged,  coffee mug in hand, hair still disheveled, face unshaven. “What’s the matter?”

Nena nodded toward the vehicle halfway up the lane. Jim sipped his coffee and said, “Les.”

“Why do I feel like an innocent defendant about to receive a guilty verdict?” Nena said.

Jim rested his hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “Don’t do that, Nena. You don’t know why he’s here.”

The SUV stopped in front of the house, the engine shut off, and the door opened. Les stepped out and closed the door behind him. He nodded. “Jim, Nena.”

Nena noticed the absence of a “good morning.” Clearly it wasn’t a good morning.

“Morning, Les,” Jim said.

As Les made his way up the steps, avoiding the rotting sec- tion of the first board, he neither smiled nor frowned. His face was as stone-still as any world-class poker champ. He shook Jim’s hand then Nena’s.

The knot in Nena’s throat tightened, preventing her from swallowing, but her mouth had gone so dry there was nothing to swallow anyway.

“No ‘good morning’?” she said.

Les was a tall, handsome man, with a long face and sharp nose framed by a thick crop of woolly white hair and a neatly trimmed beard. His deep-set eyes were such a light shade of blue they almost appeared to be gray. Creases outlined his eyes and mouth, and deep frown lines appeared when he was in thought. He shoved his hands in his pockets and rocked on his heels. “Nena, Jim, we received the biopsy results.” He scanned the land around the house as if searching for a way out of deliv- ering the news.

Nena tilted her head to one side. “And?”

Les rubbed his nose, ran his hand through his hair. “I’m sorry, Nena. You have colon cancer.”

The last two words that registered before everything blurred were “colon cancer.”

Les kept talking, but Nena heard little of it, just bits and pieces, like scattered raindrops that occasionally land on your nose, catching your attention. She heard “MRI” and “ultra- sound,” “surgery,” and “chemotherapy.” But they were just isolated words, foreign almost. Her ears picked up the sound of them, but to her brain they made no sense.

She looked at Jim, her husband, the man who had fought for her all those years ago and risked his life and won. The man who had never left her side because he’d promised he never would. His eyes were glassy and distant. He nodded in time to what Les said, but he too appeared to be in some other place, a place where couples grew old together and enjoyed reasonably good health, where they traveled and spent lazy afternoons walking outside or sitting on the front porch, where they spoiled their grandchildren. A place where people weren’t blindsided by cancer. He held her hand, but she didn’t feel it. Her body was numb, paralyzed. She wanted to get up and run off the porch, find a safe place in the stables, but she couldn’t. It was as if she were glued fast to the seat of the wicker chair.

Memories came clanging into her head, just images really, her father sitting atop Warlord, his prized Arabian. Her mother hanging laundry as her hair blew in the breeze and a smile crinkled her eyes. Her three children, running, laughing. Rocking her baby girl, her youngest daughter, and singing her a lullaby—Baby, my sweet, don’t you cry. Baby, my sweet, don’t you fear. Mommy will take care of you, I’m here. Her children, grand- children . . . how long had it been since she’d seen them?

As these thoughts drifted in and out, that word, that awful word clamored like an old noisy cowbell. She hated that word. It had taken her father and her grandfather, the only man she genuinely admired (except for Jim, of course). The word itself sounded like a sentence, like Les was not really telling her “You have colon cancer” but “You’re going to die.”

The porch began to spin then, slowly at first, in a perfect circle, then faster and faster and off-center. Her head suddenly felt as light as helium, and she thought she would vomit.

“Nena, honey, are you okay?”

Jim held her with both arms. She’d slipped from the chair. Had she fainted?

Somewhere in the distance, in the pasture behind the house, she heard a horse whinny. Or was it only her mind playing tricks, hearkening back to a time of simplicity and innocence?

“That’s enough for now,” Les said. He too was near her, his hand on her shoulder. “Nena, we’re going to fight this thing. We’re going to throw everything at it.”

Jim helped her to her feet, but her legs were weak, and the porch undulated beneath her.

“We’ll set things up for the MRI, CAT scan, and surgeon,” Les said. “Someone will call you with the appointment times.” He bent forward and looked Nena right in the eyes. “Nena, are you sure you’re okay? We can bring you into the office and check things out right now.”

She shook her head. “No. I’m fine. I just need to get back in the chair, have some tea.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m fine. Jim can help me.”

But could he? Could he help her this time? It was cancer, after all, the same cancer that had taken her father and grand- father. A monster that had tasted blood, and not just anyone’s blood, but her family blood.

She drew in a deep breath, but the air was so heavy with moisture and the promise of rain she had a difficult time filling her lungs. Les said his good-byes and left, promising to call later and see how she was doing.

When the SUV had disappeared down the lane, Jim stroked Nena’s hair and said, “Nena, it’ll be all right.” His other hand rested on hers, but she still couldn’t feel it. It would be all right. How did he know? He didn’t. That was the plain truth. Those were the words everyone said, the words everyone would say to her. It’ll be all right.

Jim said, “Did you hear what Les said?”

She shook her head. “No.”

Her throat felt like it was the size of a straw.

“He’s going to set you up for tests to see if it’s spread to any other organs. Then we’ll see a surgeon and talk about getting it out of you.”

It. He couldn’t bring himself to say the word: cancer. “The surgeon will set us up with the oncologist,” Jim said. “And then what?”

“Radiation, chemo.”

“More tests, prodding, poking, cutting.”

“Probably. But I’ll be right next to you the whole time. We’ll beat it, Nena. We will.”

“Maybe it’s not that bad,” she said. “Maybe it’ll just be a matter of cutting out the tumor and being done with it.”

The words sounded so hopeless, like someone lying there with a compound fracture, bone jutting through the skin, leg cocked at a sickening angle, saying maybe it was just a sprain.

Jim looked out over the ranch, his eyes so distant and worried.


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson (Review)

With Christmas around the corner, the Turnbull family is in need of a few small miracles.

It is 1937, and Lucy Turnbull knows better than to wish for a pony this Christmas. Her mother has assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony is the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they need at their boarding house are the paying kind. Then an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, and Lucy's world changes forever.

I GIVE THIS BOOK: 1 star1 star1-1/2 stars

The Christmas Pony was an enjoyable and sweet story, and the perfect size to read in one sitting, it just wasn't what I was expecting. I didn't realize the whole story was going to be told from an 8 year old's perspective, which wasn't a problem, but the story was predictable. I think this is a story you could read aloud to your family and everyone would enjoy it. Even though it's categorized as an adult book, I think children will enjoy it more than adults. Overall, a nice Christmas story, but it wouldn't be the first Christmas book I would recommend to adults as the story just wasn't that impressive.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

If you found this review helpful, will you please click yes HERE. Thanks!

  • Hardcover: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800719271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800719272
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Available to purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

Placebo by Steven James (Review)

While covertly investigating a controversial neurological research program, expose filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world's largest pharmaceutical firms. After giving up his career as an escape artist and illusionist in the wake of his wife and sons' tragic death, Jevin is seeking not only answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program, but also answers to why his family suffered as they did. 

Rooted in ground-breaking science and inspired by actual research, "Placebo" explores the far reaches of science, consciousness, and faith. Readers will love this taut, intelligent, and emotionally gripping new thriller from master storyteller Steven James.

I GIVE THIS BOOK:1 star1 star1 star

I kept hearing so many great things about Steven James's Patrick Bower series, and his books in general, so when I was given the opportunity to read Placebo, his latest book and the first book in a new series, I jumped at the chance. When I read the synopsis for the book I thought it sounded SO good, but unfortunately I didn't care for this book all that much and was a bit let down.

The story begins with Jevin, an escape artist and illusionist, watching divers search a lake for his wife's minivan, where two hours previous she'd been seen driving it into the lake - supposedly on purpose. The next chapter then jumps to thirteen months later, and Jevin now hosts a show where we see him with his pals Xavier and Charlene getting ready to go undercover to investigate a research center's mind-to-mind communication program and debunk it if it's not true.

The beginning of the story was perhaps my favorite, later on the story just seemed too hectic and, at times, a bit unbelievable. There also didn't seem to be a clear ending, but since this is a series maybe the next book will take care of that. There were a lot of disturbing things in the book, which if they were important to the story would have been one thing, but they didn't seem necessary at all. To me certain characters could have been eliminated totally from the story and it wouldn't have affected it at all.

Now I don't know if this was just me, but every time I read the name "Riah" I thought hair, since Riah is hair backwards. I don't know if this was intentional, but it was funny to me.

Overall, the story wasn't for me, but it was still somewhat enjoyable. If you are a fan of Steven James's work, I am sure you will want to read this regardless of what I think. However, if you are new to this author, like I was, maybe this shouldn't be the first one of his books that you read.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***

Available November 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800734254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800734251
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Available to purchase at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book

Steven James has penned 25+ books spanning the genres of psychological suspense, prayer collections, dramas, monologues, a nine book series on creative storytelling for children’s ministry, YA fantasy, and inspirational. James has received wide critical acclaim for his work including four Storytelling World Honor awards, two Publishers Weekly starred reviews, 2009, 2011 and 2012 Christy Award for best suspense, an ECPA Book Award for Best Christian Novel,and The Christian Manifesto #1 Book of the Year. He earned a Master’s Degree in Storytelling from ETSU in 1997 and is an active member of International Thriller Writers, the Authors Guild, and International Association of Crime Writers. He is also a contributing editor for Writer's Digest.

Steven lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.