Monday, May 27, 2013

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance - A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Heartbeat Away

Abingdon Press (May 1, 2013)


S. Dionne Moore


S. Dionne Moore started writing in 2006. Her first book, Murder on the Ol’ Bunions, was contracted for publication by Barbour Publishing in 2008. In 2009 she moved on to writing historical romances as an outlet for her passion for history. In 2010 her second cozy mystery, Polly Dent Loses Grip, was a 2010 Carol Award finalist and she was also named a Barbour Publishing 2010 Favorite New Author. In 2011 her first historical romance, Promise of Tomorrow, was nominated a 2011 Carol Award finalist.

Born and raised in Manassas, Virginia, Moore moved to Greencastle, PA in 1993, then to Mercersburg in 2009. Moore enjoys life in the historically rich Cumberland Valley where traffic jams are a thing of the past and there are only two stoplights in the whole town.

For more information, visit her Website at
Follow her on Twitter: @sdionnemoore


When a band of runaway slaves brings Union-loyal Beth Bumgartner a wounded Confederate soldier named Joe, it is the catalyst that pushes her to defy her pacifist parents and become a nurse during the Battle of Antietam.

Her mother's mysterious goodbye gift is filled with quilt blocks that bring comfort to Beth during the hard days and lonely nights, but as she sews each block, she realizes there is a hidden message of faith within the pattern that encourages and sustains her. Reunited with Joe, Beth learns his secret and puts the quilt's message to its greatest test—but can betrayal be forgiven?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Heartbeat Away, go HERE.

Watch the video:

AHeartbeatAway - Medium from S. Dionne Moore on Vimeo.

My Thoughts:

A Heartbeat Away, S. Dionne Moore's newest novel is set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Civil War, which is one of my favorite time periods to read about.   Ms. Moore's novel is more about the people and what they experienced as opposed to the actual battles.

The story begins during the Battle of South Mountain.  Beth Bumgartner's family are Unionists and her parents really don't want their daughter to be part of the war that continues to rage.  Beth however wants to be a nurse and makes the decision to go to her Grandma Gerta's house to learn how to tend to the sick and wounded.  Her first patient is Joe Madison, a severely wounded Confederate soldier.  At first she doesn't want to tend to him because he is the enemy.  But Gerta makes her realize that to be a nurse she must help all people.  So she begins to tend to Joe's wounds and in time, God tends to both of their hearts.

Beth's mother gave a package to Beth before she left to live with Gerta.  When she finally opens the package she finds quilting blocks.  Beth has never really liked to quilt but in time she begins to piece the blocks together.  She begins to realize that there is a story behind the blocks and as her time with Joe progresses they both discover the hidden meaning to the quilt's blocks.

Ms. Moore paints a picture of the tragedy the Civil War brought to our great nation.  Her way with showing, not telling, brought me into the story and at times I felt like I smelled the dust and smoke brought about by the war.  I heard the cries of the wounded soldiers as the doctors did what they had to do.  I was there through the imagery that Ms. Moore painted across each page.  It was truly a masterpiece.

This book is one I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good historical novel.

On a 5-star scale = 5 Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Abingdon Press for my review copy of A Heartbeat Away.  I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Whispers of a New Dawn by Murray Pura - my review

I am always so excited when I read an author's work for the first time and fall in love with their stories and characters.  I had that experience when I opened up the pages of Whispers of a New Dawn by Murray Pura. I was first drawn by the beautiful cover and the fact that I like to read novels set during the World War II period. Let me tell you, it was one of the best books I have read this year.

The story begins in 1941 when Jude and Lyyndaya Whetstone and their daughter Becky arrive back in their Amish community in Lancaster County. All three are pilots and if, upon returning to their Amish roots, they choose to stay they will have to give up their passion of flying. Becky has flown since she was fifteen and can't bear the thought of giving it up until she meets Moses Yoder, a handsome young Amish man who steals her heart.  While she is taking lessons on how to live as Amish, Moses has an accident and dies in her arms. Meanwhile, her parents have been requested to move to Hawaii to train pilots in stunt flying.  All three make the journey.

Becky's heart has been shattered and she finds herself with a wall erected around it not wanting to let anyone in as she has taken a solemn vow to never love again. She wants to remain true to Moses. With some convincing from her Aunt Ruth, who left the Amish community to be with her sister Lyyndaya, and letters from Moses's grandfather, Bishop Zook, Becky soon realizes that Moses is in heaven and she still has a life to live on earth. She meets a young pilot,Christian Raven, who has issues of his own and between the two of them the walls are slowly torn down.

Mr. Pura paints such a wonderful picture with his words that I felt I was there in the Caribbean when the story began, I made the trip to Lancaster County and then on to Hawaii.  I was there smelling the sea air on the beach in Hawaii as the sea breezes kissed my face.  I was in the cockpit as Becky and the other pilots flew their airplanes. I was on the USS Arizona when it was sunk at Pearl Harbor. I smelled the smoke. Saw the flames. Heard the screams.  I was there through the wonderful prose from Mr. Pura's hand. I felt that I experienced every detail.  It was truly phenomenal!

Whispers of a New Dawn is filled with the history of the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II.  Not many authors can pull me into their story and make me become one with the story.  Mr. Pura is quite gifted and I look forward to reading more from this wonderful author.  His settings and characters were well crafted and pulled me right in from the very beginning. His Christian thread throughout the book was refreshing.

I would highly recommend Whispers of a New Dawn to anyone who enjoys reading good clean historical fiction.

On a 5-Star scale - 5 BIG Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank Aaron Dillon and Harvest House Publishers for my review copy of Whispers of a New Dawn.  I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Friday, May 17, 2013

FIRST Wild Card Tour - NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for Women

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 Insight Notes author is:

Lysa TerKeurst

and the book:

NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for Women,
Insights for Everyday Life  Notes

Zondervan; Special edition (March 19, 2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***


Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of 15 books, and encourages nearly 500,000 women worldwide through a daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children.

Visit the author's website.


This Bible will help you live up to your God-given potential. Insightful daily devotions written by the women at Proverbs 31 Ministries help you maintain life's balance in spite of today's hectic pace. Dive into the beauty and clarity of the NIV Bible text paired with daily devotions crafted by women just like you---women who want to live authentically and fully grounded in the Word of God.

Product Details:
List Price: $34.99
Hardcover: 1536 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (March 19, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310439361
ISBN-13: 978-0310439363

My Thoughts:

I love the Holy Bible and I love it when I can use more than one version.  So I was excited when I was given the chance to receive a copy of the NIV Real Life Devotional Bible to review.  The copy I received is the hardback version, which I was thankful for as I love my study Bibles in hardback so they don't wear out. The first thing I noticed when I started looking through the pages is the beauty of how it is laid out.  The color blue is used throughout for book titles, headings, and the soft blue behind the daily devotionals.  How awesome to have your devotional and Bible combined within the covers of one book.  I also love the fact that at the end of each devotional it gives you the page number for the next devotional so you don't have to try to find it on your own.  This Bible is a new companion for me and I love it!  I would highly encourage anyone looking for a good devotional about every day life and an NIV Bible to pick one of these up.


Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, May 12, 2013

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad - a review

The first thing I would like to say about Lorna Seilstad's newest release is....  check out the cover!  It, in my humble opinion, is one of the prettiest covers I've seen in a long time.  The model captures the essence of Hannah Gregory, the heroine of When Love Calls perfectly.  In fact, late in the book, there is a scene in which Hannah is dressed exactly like the picture on the cover.  Whoever designed this cover needs a good pat on the back for a job well done!

When Love Calls is the first book in Ms. Seilstad's new series, The Gregory Sisters.  I can honestly say I can hardly wait for Charlotte's story and little Tessa's story.  While Hannah is the heroine in this book, her sister's play major roles as well and the reader is given the opportunity to fall in love with all three girls.

Hannah Gregory is a young woman who finds herself in a role she did not choose for herself.  When her parents pass away, she finds she has to quit law school in order to take care of her two younger sisters.  Her father had taken out a second mortgage on their home and she soon encounters Lincoln Cole, a young attorney who must deliver the devastating news, "You have one week to make other living arrangements."

Knowing that she has to provide for her sisters, Hannah soon secures a position as an Iowa Telephone Company Hello Girl.  The only problem is Hannah has a difficult time following rules and to be a Hello Girl she has lots of rules to follow.  She befriends a young woman named Rosie when they begin their training and their friendship proves to be a blessing from God, as Rosie's mother rents a small house to the girls.

The story is set in 1908 during a time in which the unions were having problems.  Someone started causing trouble by setting fires and blowing up houses.  Hannah's lifelong friend, Walt, is accused of the terrible deed and Hannah breaks down and asks Lincoln for his help.  They work together to prove Walt's innocence.  During this time Lincoln finds himself drawn to Hannah and her sisters and goes out of his way to help them.  Unfortunately, Hannah tries to refuse his help but in time they find themselves falling in love.

There is a wonderful Christian thread woven throughout the book and also a thread of suspense.  Just when I thought I knew who was starting the fires another possibility was presented.  Ms. Seilstad did a wonderful job of keeping me in suspense.

I would highly recommend When Love Calls to anyone who enjoys reading a book packed with believable, fun-loving characters.  Ms. Seilstad's characters pulled me into the story from the very start and I truly hated to finish that last page because I didn't want to say good-bye to them.  But then I thought, there is more to come and I will definitely be following the Gregory sisters in the books to come.

On a 5 Star scale - 5 BIG Stars!!!!!  I loved this book!

I would like to thank Donna Hausler and Revell Books for my review copy of When Love Calls.  I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

* Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*

Smiles & Blessings,

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scorned Justice by Margaret Daley - a must read!

I am an avid reader of Margaret Daley's work. The reason? She creates wonderful believable characters that pull me into their story and make me feel as if I'm living in their world.  Scorned Justice, the third book in The Men of the Texas Rangers series did exactly that. I know that if Margaret's name is on the cover I am in for an exciting ride.

Scorned Justice is the story of Texas Ranger Brody Calhoun and District Court Judge Rebecca Morgan. Brody and Rebecca grew up together and just when Brody found himself falling in love with her she married another man.  Now, ten years later, she is a widow who is sitting as a judge on a high profile case. When Rebecca's brother Thomas is severely injured in what appears to be an accident, Brody is called in to investigate. As Brody begins to add up all the pieces of evidence he comes to the realization that his best friend Thomas was not injured by accident and that Rebecca is in danger. Brody and Rebecca find themselves drawn to each other once again but Rebecca has already lost one husband in the line of duty and doesn't want to go through that experience again.  Can Brody change her mind?

Set in the town of Dry Gulch near San Antonio Texas, Scorned Justice is a romantic suspense novel that takes the reader on an exciting roller coaster ride.  The Russian Mafia, the Dos Huesos Cruzados Gang, cattle rustling, a deep-rooted vendetta are all found within the covers of this exciting third book of the series. Can Rebecca let the walls down around her guarded heart and take a chance on Brody? Can their faith sustain them through the tragedies they find happening all around them? You will have to read the book to find out as I don't believe in handing out spoilers.

Margaret Daley has a way with creating romantic suspense that pulls the reader into the story and holds them their until the very last page has been turned.  Her characters are well developed and believable. Of all three books in the series, Scorned Justice, in my humble opinion, is the best one yet.  When reading a suspense novel I can usually figure out who did the crime (maybe not until close to the end) but I will admit, Ms. Daley took me on such a wonderful ride that when all was revealed I was totally taken aback.  I didn't see the ending coming.  Magnificently done!

On a 5-Star scale = 5 HUGE stars!!!!!  This was my best read this year!

I would highly recommend this book to adults who enjoy a good Christian Romantic Suspense novel. Due to some 'mild' graphic detail a couple of times in the book, I would not suggest this to the younger reader.

The fourth book in The Men of the Texas Rangers series, Severed Trust, is scheduled to release October 15, 2013.  To pre-order your copy from please go here.

I would like to thank Abingdon Press for my copy of Scorned Justice.  I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.

Smiles & Blessings,

Sunday, May 5, 2013

When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason - my review

When a Secret Kills, book three of Lynette Eason's "Deadly Reunion" series was a fantastic read!  From the moment I opened the book I found myself on a fast paced journey that kept me guessing until the very end.

Ms. Eason creates phenomenal characters and then breathes life into them so they almost walk off the written page, grab hold of you and then invite you into their world.  I have yet to read a book by Ms. Eason that I haven't fallen in love with her characters.

When a Secret Kills is the story of investigative reporter, Jillian Carter and detective Colton Brady.  Jillian has been hiding out, ever since the night of her graduation party.  She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessed a crime that catapulted her away from her home and loved ones sending her into hiding for ten long years.  She's tired of hiding and finally decides to come home and face the man she saw commit murder.  Coming home means leaving her nine year old daughter, Meg, behind in the custody of friends.  When she arrives home she comes face to face with her past and one true love, Colton Brady, Meg's father.  However, Colton isn't aware that Meg exists.

Jillian believes that Colton's uncle, Senator Frank Hoffman, killed the governor ten years ago and has been trying to kill her ever since.  Colton doesn't want to believe his uncle, who was more like a father to him, would do such a thing.  But as time goes on, Jillian has had one attempt after another on her life and Colton is starting to believe the validity of her accusations.  But did Jillian actually see what she thought she saw?  You'll only find the answer to that question by reading this wonderful book.

Each time I read one of Lynette Eason's books I become a bigger fan of her work.  She is truly a master storyteller when it comes to creating romantic suspense.  The Christian thread was subtle and masterfully woven through out the book.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian romantic suspense.

On a 5 Star Scale = 5 BIG Stars!!!!!

I would like to thank Donna Hausler and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group for my review copy.  I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.

* Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. *

Smiles & Blessings,

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

to Eliza Elliott.

She was selected, by, as the winner of Maureen Lang's book, All in Good Time.

Eliza has been notified by email.

Smiles & Blessings,