Thursday, May 31, 2007

Spirit of Sweetgrass by Nicole Seitz

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

Integrity/Thomas Nelson (March 6, 2007)

Nicole Seitz


NICOLE SEITZ is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and freelance writer/illustrator published in South Carolina Magazine, Charleston Magazine, House Calls, The Island Packet and The Bluffton Packet.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole is an exhibiting artist in the Charleston, South Carolina area where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children.


Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company of her dead husband, Daddy Jim.

Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful "love baskets," praying fervently over them to affect the lives of those who visit her roadside stand.

Relations are strained with her daughter Henrietta, who thinks Essie belongs in a retirement center. If Essie can't pay $10,000 in back taxes to save her home, she may have no choice. More tensions: her grandson EJ wants to marry a white girl, Essie discovers that a handsome man she's trying to find a girl for is gay, and her daughter carries a hidden secret.

When she's faced with losing her home and her stand and being put in a nursing home, Daddy Jim talks her into coming on up to Heaven to meet sweet Jesus-something she's always wanted to do.

The SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS shifts less successfully to the afterlife, where her Gullah-Creole ancestors surround her; but soon, her heavenly peace is disrupted, for she still has work to do. Now Essie Mae, who once felt powerless and invisible, must find the strength within her to keep her South Carolina family from falling apart. Together, with Daddy Jim, they team up to return to Earth and battle two spirits conjured up by Henrietta's voodoo that threatens to ruin an attempt to save the sweetgrass basket weaving culture.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman ~ My Review!

Unfortunately, I wasn't finished with this book when the CFBA blog tour rolled around. But if you like historicals and stories of pioneers searching for a new life in the young West, this is the story for you.

Fannie Caldwell is desperate to escape her life as an abused indentured servant with her twin siblings. Although Blake Tanner is reluctant to allow Fannie to come along on his wagon train, he can't deny the determination he sees in her. As they head West, they discover Christ's love and a new love between them. But will they ever be able to escape Fannie's past?

Tracey Bateman kept me hooked throughout the story. Just when I thought Fannie was safe, another challenge would strike. I loved Fannie's determined character. It was a joy to read about Fannie and Blake's blooming relationship. Supporting characters in Sam and Toni make me look forward to Book Two!

Friday, May 25, 2007

F.A.I.T.H. post today: Our Ministry Starts at Home

Last Saturday I attended GA Romance Writer's monthly chapter meeting. My husband had a day planned with my daughter, but they were still watching cartoons as I emerged from the bedroom. With my makeup complete, my toenail polish touched up, I walked out of the bedroom feeling confident in my long, funky skirt and strappy sandals.

My husband stopped playing with our daughter and sent me "the look".

This is one of those looks that means he has an opinion about my outfit or hair. I know if I ask him his opinion, he will give it to me, whether I like it or not. If I ask him, "Does this make me look fat?" He'll give me an honest answer.

So, I wanted to know what was on his mind. Because the skirt had gotten a little tight around the hips. (It's only been TWO years since my daughter was born. I'm still working on getting my figure back! Or getting a better one!)

Anyway, my defenses had tightened. "What?".
"Nothing," he replied.
As usual, I had to pull it out of him. "What is it?" I asked with more impatience in my tone.
"You look pretty," he said.

That shut me up.
I smiled. "Well...Thank you," and then I walked off to get my purse, feeling all giddy and proud of him, of myself...

But he wasn't finished. "Why do I always get the old housewife look?"

Today I'm blogging on F.A.I.T.H.
Click over there to see what I said to my husband :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Snitch by Rene Gutteridge

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
SNITCH(The Occupational Hazards)
(WaterBrook Press May 15, 2007)
Rene Gutteridge

Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1: Scoop (WaterBrook Press).

She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.


Old School meets New School meets Homeschool
Just shy of retirement and a well-earned pension, Las Vegas Police Department Sergeant Ron Yeager's definition of "active duty" involves shifting his bad leg into a more comfortable position. But when he's requested from his mind-numbing desk job to head an undercover auto theft task force, the former narcotics officer determines to prove he's still got the right stuff.
That is...until he meets his unlikely team of officers.
As Yeager soon finds out, not all the crazies are on the street. An undercover rookie, the audaciously honest Mackenzie "Mack" Hazard sends Yeager's blood pressure skyrocketing by wearing her faith like an ever-present badge. Then there's Jesse Lunden, a maverick undercover officer who refuses to learn anything from an old guy with a cane. Can this tangle of egos and eccentrics be trained into a lean, mean, crime-fighting machine...even while they are being drawn into something much bigger and more dangerous than anyone imagined?In her trademark style, Rene Gutteridge blends zany, original characters, sincere faith, and surprising plot twists into one hilariously addictive read.

"Snitch is an engaging crime novel, balanced between sheer whimsy and genuine human drama."
....CHRIS WELL, author of Tribulation House

"A wonderful, fully developed ensemble cast makes Snitch an entertaining, engaging read. Rene's flair for a comedic, well-turned phrase shines here. Snitch is worth snatching."
...SUSAN MEISSNER, author of Widows and Orphans

Monday, May 21, 2007

Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Defiant Heart
(Avon Inspire May 8, 2007)
Tracey Bateman


Tracey Bateman lives in Missouri with her husband and four children. Their rural home provides a wonderful atmosphere for a writer's imagination to grow and produce characters, plots, and settings.In 1994, with three children to raise, she and her husband agreed that she should go to college and earn a degree. In a freshman English class, her love for writing was rekindled, and she wrote a short story that she later turned into a book.Her college career was cut short with the news of their fourth baby's impending arrival, but the seeds of hope for a writing career had already taken root. Over the next several years she wrote, exchanged ideas with critique partners, studied the craft of writing, and eventually all the hard work paid off. She currently has over twenty-five books published in a variety of genres.

Tracey Bateman believes completely that God has big plans for his Kids and that all things are possible to anyone who will put their hope and trust in God!believes completely that God has big plans for his Kids and that all things are possible to anyone who will put their hope and trust in God!

Will Fannie be able to keep her family...and her heart, safe and find a new life on the frontier?Book One of the Westward Hearts series, orphans Fannie Caldwell and her two young siblings have spent the last three years as indentured servants under a cruel master. Desperately wanting a better life for her brother and sister, Fannie devises a plan to secretly join a wagon train heading west.Her plan immediately runs into trouble when the handsome yet bullheaded wagon master Blake Tanner refuses to allow an unmarried woman on the train.But Fannie's determined...she'll escape and go west with or without help!As life on the trail tests everyone's endurance and faith, Fannie soon realizes the perils of being a single woman on the frontier. Witnessing Fannie fending off one scare after another, Blake slowly recognizes how much he cares for this alluring young woman.

Will Blake sacrifice his own dreams and guide Fannie to safety?

Or will Fannie's stubborn independence keep her from finding true love?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Orchard of Hope by Ann Gabhart

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing


(Revell March 1, 2007)


Ann Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart has published a number of adult and young adult novels with several different publishers. The author of The Scent of Lilacs, Ann and her husband live a mile from where she was born in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. She is active in her country church, and her husband sings bass in a southern gospel quartet.

Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964.Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family.
Into this cloud of tense anticipation, a black family from Chicago, the Hearndons move here to plant an orchard outside of town. Fresh off the Freedom Train, Myra Hearndon is sensitive to what the color of her skin may mean in a Southern town. Her family will have to contend with more than the dry ground and blazing sun as they try to create their ORCHARD OF HOPE.
Jocie finds herself befriending a boy that some townspeople shun. Due to unspoken racial lines in this southern town, the presence of these newcomers sparks a smoldering fire of unrest that will change Hollyhill..and Jocie...forever.In this close-knit community, everything is about to change.Let this riveting novel take you along to experience unexpected love, new life, and renewed faith amid life's trials.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Maybe Heaven has a window

I am still in the new phase of being a mom. I'm growing as Downey grows, learning new things about what it means to be a mother as she moves through all the milestones in her life. . .

Now, come on over to F.A.I.T.H. to read the rest
and enter your comment for your chance to win our Mother's Day gift, to be announced on Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


All this week ~ Monday, May 7th through Saturday, May 12th ~ F.A.I.T.H. is running a contest honoring Mother's Day.

Post a comment every day and that will increase your chances of winning the Lancome purse shown in the picture above.
Except Yours will be filled with books, foot fizzies and other special Mom Pampering Goodies!!!

We'll put all the names in a hat and draw the winner on
Sunday, May 13 - Mother's Day!

Book Review: RANSOMED DREAMS by Amy Wallace


Amy Wallace is a member of the CFBA and an avid Blogger. A self-confessed chocoholic, this freelance writer is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and serves as the liaison for the training division of the county police department. Amy is a contributing author of God Answers Moms' Prayers, God Allows U-Turns for Teens, Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes, and A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers. She lives in Georgia with her husband and three daughters.


Chained To Yesterday

When tragedy struck and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide.

Forgiveness Unlocks the Future

An FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children Unit, Steven Kessler spends his days rescuing other people’s children and nights caring for his son. He’s through with God, embittered by his ex-wife who abandoned them both, and definitely doesn’t expect what’s coming next.

The Past Is the Key

A plot to kidnap a British ambassador’s daughter dangerously intersects Steven and Gracie’s worlds–a collision that demands a decision. But are they willing to pay the high ransom required to redeem dreams and reignite hope?



Steeped in police intrigue and rich characters, Ransomed Dreams entertains, educates, and captivates. Amy Wallace is a fresh, vibrant voice in the Christian market

~Mark Mynheir, Homicide Detective and Author of The Void

Ransomed Dreams had me hooked from the start and didn't let go until the deeply satisfying ending.

~Kristin Billerbeck, Author of What a Girl Wants


Amy Wallace has a subtle voice. Like the first line of Ransomed Dreams, Amy draws you into the world of Gracie Lang. It's New Year's Eve and "Gracie's night overflowed with promise. . ."

Little did we know, her worst nightmare, any mother's worst nightmare, was about to happen.

Two years later, living hundreds of miles away from the safe haven Gracie shared with her late husband and two children, she's a lonely teacher, with a spic and span house, longing for her family and the cluttered house again. While FBI agent Steven Kessler is the first man to have caught her eye since her husband and although her parents and sister tell her it's time to start dating again, to move on, she can't. "The past held her captive."

Only Gracie has no idea the hold the past still has on her.


I truly enjoyed this book. Amy's excellence with prose is so keen you feel you know Gracie Lang and Steven Kessler. You're walking in their shoes. You're angry when they are. You're feeling their pain. You're fighting the bad guys right along with them.

This isn't just a romance. It isn't just a suspense. It's a parable of God's faithfulness and love. It's about trusting in Him.

I loved Amy's candid way of writing, her ability to draw me in from the first sentence. I put this book down only when I had to, but it was never far from reach. It was in the car with me so I could read it at traffic lights. I read it while I held my daughter and laughed with her at cartoons.

And then, it was just me, Gracie and Steven til the end - an all-nighter - because I had to see this story through. I couldn't let another day pass without knowing what happened.

Well done, Amy.

I can't wait for Book Two!


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Monday, May 7, 2007



All this week ~ Monday, May 7th through Saturday, May 12th ~ F.A.I.T.H. is running a contest honoring Mother's Day.

Post a comment every day and that will increase your chances of winning.

We'll put all the names in a hat and draw the winner on Sunday, May 13 - Mother's Day!



Friday, May 4, 2007

I've been tagged by Missy T

And I can't say no to Missy, because this is her first time of being tagged!

I am posting the rules as Missy has them on her blog:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

8 random facts/habits about me ...

1. One of the first things that attracted me to my husband was the fact that he, too, was a Star Wars fan. (I'm talking the first movies that came out of the last 3 chapters of George Lucas' story: Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi.)

2. Every time I look at something lavender in color I think of my Granny Hinton, because she loved that color, too.

3. I pick my split ends. Not only do I pick them, I actually split them. (I'm sorry to admit, I've already confessed this stupid habit on another "tag, you're it" game.) AND this bad habit actually relaxes me!!!

4. Though I am not the best housekeeper in the world, uh - not even close, and I tend to leave clothes laid on the bed, shoes by the door or under tables, it drives me batty when my husband does the same thing! I will pick up his clothes and put them up or throw them in the dirty clothes LONG before I pick my own up!!!

5. My poor husband.

6. Without my glasses or contact lenses, the world is a blur. I think I qualify for "legally blind" although my doctors promise me I'm not. I'm bad, but not blind.

7. I am a sneak eater. I'll hold out and eat moderately well throughout the day, then after the hubby and daughter are in bed, I'm pulling out the ice cream, nibbling on a Klondike bar, or just having some cookies and milk.

8. My latest favorite thing to do: When I'm at the grocery store, I buy a Snickers bar and eat it on the way home. The candy bar IS gone by the time I get home, so technically, the calories don't count - since I'm driving while eating, right ;-)

On that self-indulgent note, I tag..............

Jennifer, Amy, Ane, Cindy, The Duncan's and ~ Oh No! I don't know THREE more bloggers!

My Day of Freedom . . .

. . . Came Wednesay ~

Find out why, today on the F.A.I.T.H. blog!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


This week the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing

TRIBULATION HOUSE (Harvest House 2007)


Chris Well


Chris Well is a fellow member of the CFBA and founder of its sister organization, FIRST. He is an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from Evelyn and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.



Mark Hogan has it all. The job. The family. A position on the board at church. All he’s missing is a boat. Not just any boat—a 2008 Bayliner 192.

When Reverend Daniel Glory announces that the Rapture is taking place on October 17 at 5:51am, Hogan realizes his boat–buying days are numbered. So he does what any man in his situation would do—he borrows a load of money from the mob.

Not that there’s any risk involved: After all, when the Rapture comes, Hogan will be long gone. The mob will never find him.

But when Jesus fails to come back on schedule, Mark Hogan finds the mob is in no mood to discuss the finer points of end–times theology...

Chris Well’s laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard. TRIBULATION HOUSE does not disappoint!