Tag Archives: Christian fiction

January 2015 Debut Author Marathon | Aynne Cynar

 

January Marathon - Aynne Cynar PNG

 

I am dedicating the entire month of JANUARY on my bookshelf blog to:

FIVE GIFTED DEBUT AUTHORS

Each week I will be featuring a new author!

These five authors are especially talented in their respective genres.

 

The featured author for week five is…

AYNNE CYNAR

 
My daughter attended a local ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writer) meeting last October 2014. While chatting with others, she mentioned that her mother — that would be me — reviews books.

Aynne Cynar, who was also attending the meeting, gave my daughter a book for me to review… well, since it wasn’t going to be published until mid January, I put in on my TBR (to be read) bookcase, past the ones due in December — and didn’t really think of it again until recently.

I had promised the other authors that I would feature them in January 2015, so I worked diligently on their weeks. Then I ran across Aynne’s book. Now Aynne hadn’t asked me to feature her — just to review her book. But once I began reading Erased With Grace, I knew I had to include her in this special debut author month! I quickly contacted Aynne, worked out the details, and now Aynne is my 5th debut feature!
 

Don’t miss this heart-warming debut novel by Aynne CynarTweet this!

 

THIS is our FINAL debut author giveaway for January…

ONE WINNER will be selected to receive the FINAL giveaway book… autographed and sent to you from the author!

 

For a chance to win Aynne’s book, do the following:

1) follow this blog (if you don’t)

2) leave a comment for one of the featured authors

** Please put your first name in your comment (but do not add your email address)

  

Erased With Grace reminds us that we serve a supernatural God!Tweet this!

 
Now go enter! And tell all your friends about this contest!

Winning

Blessings!

 

Please remember that giveaways are limited to US residents only. Visit my giveaway rules page for a complete explanation of the terms and conditions of this giveaway.

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

The Day She Died | Bill Garrison

Today I’m reviewing The Day She Died by Bill Garrison. This book has been described by Toby Rowland as “a classic whodunit twisted into a time pretzel.”

Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

In this clean time-travel whodunit, a middle-aged coffee-shop owner always wondered what his life would have been like if he’d stayed in town the day his college fiancée disappeared, the victim of an unsolved crime.

One morning he wakes up 20 years earlier and finds himself a student at the University of Oklahoma again on the day she died. In a journey that takes months, he stumbles over people connected to Kim’s disappearance and puzzles over connecting the dots.

Oddly enough, things are different when he relives sections of his life. For example, as a teen he plays baseball and as an adult he discovers what it’s like to be a Christian pastor, things he never did before.

Can he find some answers about Kim and about his own life? Or prevent Kim’s death? And if he succeeds in changing history, what happens to his wife and kids?

Target audience: mystery fans, Oklahomans, Christians, baseball fans, male readers, romance readers.

“A classic whodunit twisted into a time pretzel. I loved it!” – Toby Rowland, Voice of the Sooners

“The Day She Died is a mind-bending, page-turning mystery that showcases Bill Garrison’s ability to weave a complex plot line into an unforgettable story. Highly recommended!”– Rene Gutteridge, best-selling author of Misery Loves Company

“A fascinating book that will delight lovers of mystery and fantasy.” — Donita K. Paul, best-selling author of Dragon Keeper Chronicles and The Realm Walkers.

“Bill Garrison paints a believable, easily-followed story line that will immerse even the most seasoned of mystery readers and time travel enthusiasts, to surprise and delight right up to the end.” — D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

MY THOUGHTS:

What a fascinating read!

What happens when John Michaels wakes up one morning to discover he’s not where he should be… or when… considering he was forty-five when he went to bed and he was twenty-three when he awoke – in the efficiency apartment he had lived in during his college years.

Amazingly enough, it wasn’t difficult to keep up with John, even when he’s transported back in time to his college days, then to his high school days – with a few more unexpected time twists, until he returns to his own time – and home.

But what happens once he returns?

Does he just go back to his normal life? Or was there a reason for his recent adventures? And more important, can he use what happened to him to right a wrong? To find the girl who’s been missing for twenty-two years?

And will his life go on as usual? Will he still have the same life he had – or will there be repercussions that affect his wife and children?

Bill Garrison has written an entertaining story that’s almost impossible to put down! You’ll be as surprised as I was to discover this is his debut novel. It’s a fast-paced, time travel adventure you won’t want to miss!

You can read more reviews and more about the book on Goodreads HERE

You can find more about Bill Garrison on his website… HERE

And you can click the links below to read reviews and/or buy the book…

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

God bless you!

 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall | Sarah Ladd


Today I’m reviewing A Lady at Willowgrove Hall, the third book in the Whispers on the Moors series by Sarah Ladd.

Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness. His secret traps him in a life that is not his own.

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could expose her disgrace. But soon after becoming a lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.

Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own—one that has haunted him for years and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove Hall.

To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and fight for a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Wow! This is the first book by Sarah Ladd that I’ve read… but it definitely won’t be the last!

And I plan to find the first two books in this series and re-read A Lady at Willowgrove Hall again, just to get the full story.

I don’t find myself reading a lot of historical romance, but this series will definitely be on my shelves!

Since I began reading historical romance by Janette Oke, I haven’t cared one bit for the outfits and behavior described in many of the historical books I’ve seen — and don’t get me started on the language! Whew!

I love reading about the adventures and the brave characters who know heartache and sorrow — yet they do whatever it takes to carry on.

I felt sad and lonely myself, when reading about Cecily being separated from her family — especially her twin sister. When she finally meets the “right” man, I rejoiced! I’m not going to reveal anything further… I hate reading too much about a book or a reviewer spoiling the book, so I try to be careful to not reveal too much.

I think you should get this book… and read it. As a matter of fact, I really think you should read the series — if you enjoy reading historical romances, you’ll enjoy this series.

Don’t miss A Lady at Willowgrave Hall by Sarah Ladd!CLICK TO TWEET!

A Lady at Willowgrave Hall by Sarah Ladd – book 3 in the Whispers on the Moors series!CLICK TO TWEET!

 

You can read more reviews and more about the book on Goodreads HERE

You can find more about Sarah Ladd on her website… HERE

And you can click the links below to read reviews and/or buy the book…

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

God bless you!
Title: A Lady at Willowgrove Hall
Series: Whispers on the Moors
Author: Sarah Ladd
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: October 2014
ISBN: 978-1401688370

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

The Wishing Season | Denise Hunter

 

Today I’m reviewing The Wishing Season , the third book in the Chapel Springs Romance series by Denise Hunter.

Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

She daydreams of whipping up sauces and souffles in her own restaurant. His heart is set on helping foster children. Both dreams are at stake. So are their hearts.

With grand plans to open her own bed & breakfast in Chapel Springs, PJ McKinley can’t afford the most crucial part: the brick and mortar. But when the owner of a local historic home announces a contest and promises her property to the worthiest candidate, PJ makes a fervent wish and tosses her name into the hat.

Cole Evans is cool, confident, and successful, but he’ll never forget his roots. He’s thankful for how far he’s come and knows his life could have turned out drastically different. If he can win the stately old mansion, he’ll turn it into a home for children aging out of the foster system.

When the eccentric house owner narrows the entries down to only two applicants, she extends the contest, giving PJ and Cole one year to prove which one of them can make the best use of her beloved home. As the pair competes in close proximity, something deeper than rivalry sparks between PJ and Cole.

And in this battle, they’re likely to lose their hearts.

Don’t miss the next Chapel Springs romance by Denise Hunter!Tweet this!

Snuggle up with this heartwarming romance by Denise Hunter!Tweet this!

 

MY THOUGHTS:

This is the first book I have read (and reviewed) in the Chapel Springs series… and it’s awesome!

… but I can assure you — it won’t be the last!

I’m already compiling a list of Chapel Springs books… I can’t wait to read Barefoot Summer and Dancing With Fireflies. Once I’m done, I plan to re-read The Wishing Season, before delving into Married ’til Monday. Whew!

Now back to The Wishing Season

I think I was hooked just after a french violet in a sturdy clay pot left PJ’s hand and landed on Cole’s head. Since most men are pretty thick-headed, I imagine PJ didn’t think she’d hurt him. And can you think of a more suitable match than Susie Sunshine and Mr. Grumpy — they’re perfect for one another.

WHAT A GREAT STORY!

I love that Denise Hunter writes about a young man who grew up in foster homes, knowing the difficulties those like him face when grown, to do whatever he could to open a transitional home for post-foster care children.

The characters that Denise creates are amazing! They’re funny… and sweet… oh yeah — and they truly are inspirational. When Cole bullies PJ to scoot over to the passenger seat so he can drive her to the hospital, I knew this was the sort of person I would like to know (too bad he’s a made-up character).

I sincerely hope I haven’t give too much away; that was not my intent. If you haven’t read the Chapel Springs series or The Wishing Season, I urge you take the time to do so… you will be inspired and encouraged to make the world a better place.

I love reading the Chapel Springs series!

You can read more reviews and more about the book on Goodreads HERE and from Thomas Nelson HERE

You can find more about Denise Hunter on her website… HERE

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

God bless you!

 

Title: The Wishing Season
Series: Chapel Springs Romance
Author: Denise Hunter
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: December 2014
ISBN: 978-1401687045

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

January 2015 Week #4 WINNER | Nadine Brandes Marathon

 

January Marathon - Nadine Brandes PNG

 

It’s time to announce the weekly winner for an autographed copy of

A Time to Die!

 

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DEANNA S

 

I will be contacting you via e-mail
to let you know what you need to do to collect your prize.

THANK YOU to everyone for entering!

And keep coming back to read reviews and share posts next month…

You can find more about Nadine on her WEBSITE
 
 

Our featured author for next month — February — is the wonderful, talented…

 

RUTH REID

 

God bless you!

 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

A Time To Die | Nadine Brandes Marathon


Today I’m reviewing A Time to Die, the first book in the Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes.
Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people.

But her Clock is running out.

MY THOUGHTS:
This is a new genre for me… very different… but an intriguing one, too.

So what would YOU do if you only had one year left to live?

Nadine Brandes has created some very distinct characters – with different goals. For Parvin, life will end by her eighteenth birthday, and she’s always felt like she was the unwanted twin… so she doesn’t push herself – not in school, or with her family, or in life.

The concept of knowing exactly how long you will live is exciting for some, frightening for others, yet a challenge for even others.
What would you do if you had one year left to live? What would you do with your life if you knew the number of days you had? God tells us in the Holy Bible that no one knows how many days they have…

But what if you did?

What would you do? Would you want to see the world, fall in love, have babies, live every moment to gain as much enjoyment as possible? Would you be inspired to do something fantastic?

Or would you lie around, doing nothing? What if all you had to look forward to reach the end of your number of days and then… nothing?

Would you even want to live the days you were given? Would you take chances, flaunt authority, and try death-defying feats, just because it wouldn’t matter if you died?

Or — if you had an AWESOME GOD to believe in — would you be inspired to live a joyful, extraordinary life?

This is the question this book asks… if you want to know what Parvin’s answer is… read the book!
 

A Time to Die… a story of the last days of someone’s life!Tweet this!

 

You can read more reviews and more about the book on Goodreads HERE

You can find more about Nadine on her website… HERE

 

Today is the final day to enter Nadine’s GIVEAWAY contest!

Nadine Brandes Marathon | Giveaway!

 

God bless you!
 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

January 2015 Debut Author Marathon | Nadine Brandes

 

January Marathon - Nadine Brandes PNG

 

I am dedicating the entire month of JANUARY on my bookshelf blog to:

FOUR GIFTED DEBUT AUTHORS

Each week I will be featuring a new author!

These four authors are especially talented in their respective genres.

 

The featured author for week four is…

NADINE BRANDES

 

Nadine started journaling at age nine and thus began her habit of communicating via pen and paper more than spoken words. She never decided to become a writer. Her brain simply classified it as a necessity to life, like bathing, eating, and sleeping.

 

Don’t miss this NEW distopian novel by Nadine BrandesTweet this!

 

This is our last debut author giveaway for January… on Sunday, January 25, 2015, ONE WINNER will be selected to receive the last featured author’s books… autographed and sent to you from the author!

 

For a chance to win Nadine’s book, do the following:

1) follow this blog (if you don’t)

2) “like” this post (if you can)

3) leave a comment for one of the featured authors

** Please put your first name in your comment (but don’t add your email address)

  

Now go enter! And tell all your friends about this contest!

Winning

Blessings!

 

Please remember that giveaways are limited to US residents only. Visit my giveaway rules page for a complete explanation of the terms and conditions of this giveaway.

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

Be careful…

 
 

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Always use your own thoughts… and your own words… whenever you can.
 
 
If you want to cite work from another source, please be careful to give proper credit to the source if you use somebody else’s work (see below).
 

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Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

January 2015 Week #3 WINNER | Angela D. Meyer Marathon

 

January Marathon - Angela Meyer PNG

 

It’s time to announce the weekly winner for an autographed copy of

Where Hope Starts!

 

20140330-115728.jpg

 

GAIL H

 

I will be contacting you via e-mail
to let you know what you need to do to collect your prize.

THANK YOU to everyone for entering!

And keep coming back to read reviews and share posts!

 
 
You can find more about ANGELA on her WEBSITE
God bless you!

 

Copyright © 2013-2015 donnasbookshelf.

Angela D. Meyer – Author Spotlight

Thank you for joining me for this very special Author Spotlight!

Angela’s debut novel, Where Hope Starts, was a finalist in the 2013 Grace awards. Her short story, More to the Story, was a genre winner for the 2014 Family Fiction short story contest. She is also a contributor to the devotional collection The Benefit Package. You can catch Angela on social media encouraging women in their faith journey and watch her video devotionals on her YouTube channel. Angela is active in her local Christian writers group, serving on their advisory board.

Now let’s hear from Angela

 

My Story

I don’t want to land on one part of my story and be just about that. We are all more than the moments. That being said, you will hear bits and pieces, stories of the hurts along the way. Not for the sake of complaining, only for the purpose of understanding, learning, and growing together.

My journey has taken me through the ups and downs in marriage, parenting, homeschooling, teaching, writing, marketing, being a child of God.

Loneliness a familiar companion. Since as long as I can remember I struggled to connect with others. Emotional to a fault and feeling like it was all my fault and I was somehow defective.

Raised in a legalistic household, I felt like I had to be perfect to be enough.

Learning to trust God through 2 miscarriages, messy family relationships and a marriage betrayed by the choices of my husband

I still struggle with how to meet life’s demands. I question whether choices about parenting, homeschooling, writing and marketing which consume so much of life have been the right ones.

Through it all, God has stayed by my side. He continues to pull out the dross inside of me as I learn to live better with the world around me. I can smell the fragrance of grace and hope. A new beginning through the pain and struggles.

My prayer is that together we can learn that when we hold onto Him, there is an end that is not an end. It is hope.

 

On the Lighter Side

I currently live in Nebraska with my husband of 23 years. We homeschool my daughter and recently graduated my son. I have taught childrens’ Bible classes for over 35 years. I am active in Wordsowers, the local Christian writers group, serving on their advisory board.

I love God, my family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday I want to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea.

Our pets round out our family. Lucy is my daughter’s orange tabby. She has green eyes and will jump up in our lap in the blink of an eye. And if we are eating cheesy popcorn we have to guard it tightly.

Ranger is my son’s good natured dog. Breed? Let’s see… part golden retriever and German Shepherd — we were told when we took him in. We think he might have some Newfoundland as well.

 

Readers can learn more about Angela at http://www.angeladmeyer.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and Goodreads.

 

What obstacles in your life have you overcome with God’s help?Tweet this!

Angela Meyer writes REAL stories about REAL people – even if they are fiction.Tweet this!

“When we hold onto Him, there is an end that is not an end. It is hope.” ~ Angela D. MeyerTweet this!

 

And here is my interview with Angela:

Have you always wanted to write?

I’ve always made up stories in my head, although I never had a big dream of being a published author. My writing began as simple journal writing – poems mostly. Then came the inspirational essays. Somewhere in here the idea began to grow that maybe I could be published. Next I dabbled in writing children’s stories and the biggest surprise of all was the novel. I never thought I could maintain a story for that many words!

  

Do you use an outline for your stories?

I use a loose outline-bullet points of what I want to happen along the way. To make sure the story is fully fleshed out. But my characters have a way of adding to that. I never really know exactly how it will unfold.

 

How does it feel being a published author? Have you encountered any surprises along the way to being published?

It’s kind of unreal, but I’m starting to get used to it. The biggest surprise is how much time the marketing takes. And exactly what it means to market and build a platform.

 

Do you have a folder or a file where you keep future ideas for stories or do you just come up with ideas after a suggestion from your editor, agent, or friends?

Ideas come to me at the most random times. At the very least I try and jot them down and stick in a file. Some ideas really stick with me and I’ll take the time to flesh it out a bit more and save it on the computer. Other times, I’ll need a short story for something and I’ll take a couple of hours to stir up ideas-browse through my files, ask myself what if questions or just stare off into space and let my mind wander.

 

How do you find time for everything… writing, family, church, friends, etc.

I don’t. It’s impossible to always get everything done and spend time with everyone I want to spend time with. When I choose one thing, I usually have to say no to someone or something else. It’s a constant learning process to know what to let go of.  It’s a good thing to learn.

I believe here in America especially, we get this idea in our head that it’s possible to have it all. Then we get stressed out trying to make that impossibility happen. Life is more easily enjoyed when a few things are let go of. It’s like de-cluttering your soul to make room for the really important stuff.

  

Have you attended any writer retreats, conferences and the like? Do you think they are necessary for your writing?

I have been to a few conferences and enjoyed them all. Beyond the learning, one of the most important benefits from attending a conference is connecting with other authors as well as agents and editors. I think every writer should go at some point. If the larger conferences are not a possibility, find something closer to home, smaller and less expensive. Maybe a one day workshop would be an alternative.

  

How often do you travel? Where do you go? Who do you travel with? What is your favorite vacation spot?

I don’t get to travel a lot. A part of me would enjoy doing so more, another part of me likes just being home. When I do travel, it is usually with family. Some of the vacation spots I’ve visited over the years include California, Pennsylvania, New England, South Dakota, and Colorado.

  

What are you working on now? Is there another genre you are interested in writing?

Book 2 in the Applewood Hill series,Where Healing Starts, is under contract and due out in 2016. After I finish my edits for that, I plan to get the 3rd book, Where Joy Starts, written before I start on my next series. I have a couple of ideas for that, and haven’t decided which one I will do.

As far as a different genre goes, I have a couple of files started for stories that are a different genre, a spy novel and a speculative fiction. I think I would like to try a mystery someday, too.

 

Thank You Angela and God bless you!

 

And THANK YOU for joining me for this very touching AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

Don’t forget to check back or follow my blog to see new reviews — this month I have one more special debut author… and February will be dedicated to another of my favorite authors!

 

 

Do not miss Where Hope Starts by Angela D. Meyer!Tweet this!

Watch for book 2 in Angela’s Life at Applewood Hill series!Tweet this!

 

Today is the final day to enter Angela’s GIVEAWAY contest!

Angela Meyer Marathon | Giveaway!

 

God bless you!

 

© Donna J. Mynatt 2015

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