Thursday, January 31, 2013

Secretly Smitten | An Evening of Giggle, Gab & Prizes

The "gals" are celebrating the release of Secretly Smitten with a fun Live Webcast on February 5th. They'll be debuting the *NEW* animated Smitten trailer, giving away tons of prizes, dishing on the book and their friendship. They'll also be wrapping up the Secretly Smitten blog tour, answering audience questions and testing your trivia skills. Don't miss the fun and bring your friends. Click here to RSVP and set up a reminder.

Looking Back ... The Best of 2012

I know, I know. You're probably thinking, "Everyone has already made their 'best of' list. It's about time!" Well ... I'm moving at my own pace and it is my blog after all, so I figure I can post it whenever I decide to, right?! And I can also choose however many books to post on the list, so my Best of 2012 will top off at 15 books. (It was SO hard to even limit the list to 15!!!) And they are all A.MAZ.ING! If you haven't read them yet, you need to!

The Best of 2012
(in no particular order)

by Jen Turano

A Change of Fortune was just incredible! I found myself loathe to stop reading—even while desperately needing to go to sleep. And then when the book was almost over, I couldn't help but read as fast as I could yet wanting it to never end! Definitely the mark of a good book!

by Elizabeth Camden

I literally read the entire book in 6 hours. It was just that good! Elizabeth Camden has an amazing talent for writing stories and characters that come to life. At times I felt like I was part of the story.

by Julie Lessman

It's not often that I catapult an author to "favorite author" status after reading only one of his/her books, but Julie Lessman is definitely a new favorite! And the romance! [sigh] This is one romantic story. While it's definitely not an edgy book, the romance is ratcheted up a few notches to really show the passion and romance in all of the relationships.

by Laura Frantz

Love's Reckoning is so much more than a romance novel. Instead, it is an epic drama rife with sibling rivalry, troubled family relationships, secrets, betrayal, love, and faith. Frantz's descriptive writing style drew me into the story in a way that at times made it feel more like watching a movie than reading a book. The characters, settings, and conflicts really came alive.

by Lisa T. Bergren

 I absolutely devoured this book. The Christian element is strong—in that Cora is constantly being brought around to remember that God is teaching her through this—without being preachy. The only bad thing I can think to say is that the book is over and I have to wait until next spring for the next in the series!

by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen is a new-to-me author, and I’m so glad I took a chance on her with The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! Klassen writes with great detail—her research process must be intense!—and does a beautiful job of making the setting, characters, and story truly come alive. I loved learning about the life of servants during this period and their relationship with the family. The story was intriguing as well, with enough questions and unknown elements to keep me curious as to the next turn the story would take.

by Cathy Gohlke

Cathy managed to tell the story of three individuals in a way that made it seem that they had been connected forever (and in some ways, I guess they were). The writing was incredible—powerful and descriptive and beautiful. Promise Me This is a beautiful story of loss, family, and God's faithfulness through tragedy.

by Dan Walsh

The Reunion was a powerful tribute to our Vietnam veterans. Walsh did a wonderful job creating characters that pulled me into the story and wrapped me up in the drama. At one point (very late in the night, I might add!), I had to stop reading to go in search of tissues as I was doing a full-on ugly cry, complete with hiccuping sobs. Let me just say it's been a long time since a book has affected me so deeply. This is a must-read!

by Becky Wade

My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade reads like some of my favorite romantic comedy movies. You know the ones I'm talking about—the ones starring Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, and Sandra Bullock—the ones you own and still watch every time they come on TV. This story features ordinary people with real problems in realistic situations and brings readers alongside the characters to struggle through every emotion and situation that comes up.

by Beth K. Vogt

I'm a huge fan of romance stories, but this was so much more! It provided a perfect blend of romance and humor and I found myself actually getting giddy at times. The romance was just so . . . beautiful! Don't think this is just a sweet, sappy romance, though. Tough issues were addressed, and I loved the way Allison was forced to come to terms with the past—gotta love a persistent best friend! Christian themes were woven into the story without being preachy and made me really think.

by Robin Jones Gunn

 Cottage by the Sea is a poignant story about relationships, forgiveness, and redemption. I loved how Robin explored the special relationships between mothers and daughters and fathers and daughters. At times I could see glimpses of my relationship with my own parents through the story. While this was one of the more emotional books by Gunn that I've read, she didn't leave me "down" for long. Instead, I ended the book full of hope and satisfied by a beautiful story.

by Kristen Heitzmann

Breath of Dawn was dynamite from beginning to end!!! Heitzmann has a talent for writing stories that draw me in and grab on and this was no exception. Heitzmann isn't afraid to put her characters through the wringer and Morgan and Quinn certainly face some challenges. The romance is just perfect—giddy comes to mind. :) And of course there's a great element of suspense.

by Jody Hedlund

As far as debut novels go, this is one of the best I've read. The story is gripping from the very start and Jody does a fantastic job introducing characters (there are quite a few), explaining the political and religious affairs of the day, and describing the town of Bedford in such a way that you feel like you're walking through the community with a personal tour guide. The dialog was incredibly well-done as well . . . with a few "methinks" and "mayhaps" and "perchances" thrown so you don't forget that you're in England in the mid-1600s.

Unending Devotion
by Jody Hedlund

Jody does an amazing job of basing her novels on snippets of stories from ages gone by and developing them into a full-fledged story that captivates readers. Unending Devotion is a story from the past that brings much-needed attention to the issue of slavery, which still continues today. The combination of a "meaty" story with great romance and suspense is perfect and just what this reader loves most!

by Jordyn Redwood

Jordyn Redwood's debut novel Proof blew me away! I was impressed with how tight the writing was. She created an extremely intricate plot with tons of twists and surprises and kept me guessing as to the outcome and the logic behind it until the last few pages.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Trailer Promo | The Survivor

The Survivor by DiAnn Mills releases in March. The first book in this series (The Chase) set up a lot of things and I'm looking forward to seeing how Kariss and Tigo's relationship progresses ... not to mention what cold case they'll be trying to solve.

AND ... if you want to catch up on the series, The Chase is on sale for $2.99 right now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Looking Back ... Most Anticipated Books of 2012

Last year, I shared my Top 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2012. So ... did I read them? What did I think? Let's take a quick look back at that list! (Click on the title to see my complete review, if available.)

Trauma Plan by Candace Calvert
5 stars

I'm loving all this medical suspense that's out right now. Trauma Plan is the first in a new series by Candace, and I enjoyed it just as much as I was hoping to!

Paris in the Rain The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck
4 stars

While The Scent of Rain was a little different than expected and not quite as tight and clean as I normally like, it was still a great read. Perfect for a lazy, summer day at the pool or whenever really!

Beyond Hope's Valley by Tricia Goyer
4 stars

I could hardly wait for the conclusion of this series. I just needed to know how it was going to end! To me, it was the perfect ending, although I'd love to sit down with Tricia and pick her brain about how she came to that conclusion and how certain things would play out in real life in Amish communities. Lucky for me (and you!), she's just signed on to write the story of the actual couple who inspired the series!

Loving by Karen Kingsbury
3 stars

After 23 books in these series, I was ready to close it out and say farewell to these characters. I was so, so excited about Loving and read it within 24 hours of receiving it. It was a bit repetitive—going back and revisiting old issues—and I got annoyed with Bailey a time or two, but overall it was good. Lots of controversy over this one (I think the whole reading community was divided on how the book should have concluded), but I was pleased. Still a huge fan of Karen's work and looking forward to more.

Lethal Legacy by Irene Hannon
5 stars

I'm not sure it's possible to not like an Irene Hannon romantic suspense novel. Lethal Legacy was just superb. Super romantic and action-packed. Plus, Irene did a wonderful job of making faith a predominant theme throughout.

Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury
5 stars

Now, Coming Home definitely did NOT disappoint! I was so impressed with this entire book. It was the perfect blend of reminiscing (and re-capping to help jog my memory about previous story lines) and moving the current story forward. Typical of Kingsbury, it was full of raw emotion that had me alternately laughing and crying.

Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott
5 stars

Sweeter than Birdsong may be the one book on this list that was even better than I anticipated, if that's possible. I loved the characters. The story was absolutely beautiful. And it made me think. A lot. (Check out the Review in Haiku that I posted in response.)

The Chase by DiAnn Mills
3 stars

The Chase was a good read, but not great. I'm hoping that future books in the series will begin to fill in the gaps. Perhaps this first book in the series was helping to set the story up. :)

The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden
Did Not Read (Yet)

Okay. So, I started this book at the while working out at the gym months ago. I think I put it down because I was frustrated with the gym, not the book itself. (I no longer read at the gym, by the way!) So, this is high on my list of books to read this year! I love Elizabeth Camden!

Travelers Rest by Ann Tatlock
Did Not Read (Yet)

 I have a copy of Travelers Rest but have not read it yet. No idea why I never picked it up, but I hope to read it this year!

What about you? Did the books you looked forward to reading last year live up to your expectations? Any surprises? Good or bad?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Enter to win a “Downton Abbey” Kindle Prize Pack

Julie is celebrating by giving away one of the new Paperwhite Kindles, Downton Abbey (season 3) and hosting a fun Author Chat Party on Facebook. (January 31st)


One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Paperwhite
  • Downton Abbey, Season 3
  • A Julie Klassen library (The Tutor’s Daughter, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 30th. Winner will be announced at "The Tutor's Daughter Author Chat Party on January 31st. Connect with Julie, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be great giveaways - gift certificates, books and season 3 of Downton Abbey!

So grab your copy of The Tutor's Daughter and join Julie on the evening of the January 31st for a chance to connect with Julie and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blog Tour | The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow
by Olivia Newport
Avenue of Dreams series, Book 2
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available January 2013
320 pages

About the Book
The whole world is coming to Chicago. Charlotte’s whole world is coming down around her.

While the rest of Chicago focuses on the enormous spectacle of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Charlotte Farrow’s attentions are entirely on one small boy-her boy-whom she has kept a secret from her wealthy employers for nearly a year.

When the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him to the opulent Banning home, Charlotte must decide whether to come clean and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the child’s fate. Can she face the truth of her past and open her heart to a future of her own? Or will life’s struggles determine her path?

This compelling story of courage, strength, and tender romance captures the tension between the glittering wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable.

My Thoughts
Once I read The Pursuit of Lucy Banning last year, I knew I had to get my hands on the next book in the series as soon as it was available! While Lucy's story gives readers insight about life "above stairs," Charlotte's story delves into life "below stairs." As different as the stories were, they were both outstanding, and I think I loved The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow even more! 

The historical aspects of this novel were fascinating, and I was impressed by the amount of research that must have gone into writing this novel. All the talk of workers' rights and how it affected the wealthy as well as the servants in their homes cast a new light onto that issue for me—much different than my history and business classes in college did.

While the romantic aspects weren't as strong as I expected, I still loved watching how Charlotte and Archie's relationship progressed and matured. The other characters were interesting as well, and my fingers are crossed that we'll get to know Sarah better in the next book in the series.

Fans of historical fiction are sure to enjoy this novel (though I would recommend reading the series in order). [5 stars]

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

I received a free copy of this book from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Olivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Her husband and two adult children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Olivia Newport Online
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Friday, January 25, 2013

Blog Tour | The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

The Tutor's Daughter
by Julie Klassen
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available January 2012
Bethany House
416 pages

About the Book
Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?

The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her...

When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?

Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast--a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions--where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.

My Thoughts
Ahhh … regency romances. I'm not sure how I ever got along without them! I just love getting to know the ins and outs of the wealthy and the servants and the relationships between the two!

Julie Klassen has written another amazing story! The Tutor's Daughter features Emma Smallwood and her father, who accepts a position as tutor for a wealthy family living by the coast. When they arrive, something is definitely amiss and Emma can't help but get drawn into the drama. Throw in a childhood crush, a bratty orphan, pranks, family secrets, and lots of romance, and you have a glimpse into The Tutor's Daughter.

I confess, I've only read one other book by Julie Klassen (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall), but I have plans to change that—and soon! The Tutor's Daughter was a little slow to start, but I was determined to push through. Once the story picked up, I was so thankful for all the back story and detail of the first third of the book. The book progressed fairly quickly after that and I found myself gasping and sighing and laughing out loud at all the drama of these two families! Klassen is a master at not just drawing readers in but making them feel as though they are part of the story. And that's exactly how I felt throughout this beautiful book.

This is definitely a book to be savored--not rushed! The Tutor's Daughter is a must-read!  [4 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House and Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Julie Klassen Online

Thursday, January 24, 2013

World Book Night: Sign Up to Be a Giver!!

World Book Night. I'd never heard of it a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon the website. But I love books and love nearly everything related to books, so I checked it out. And I'm so glad I did!
World Book Night U.S. is a celebration of books and reading held on April 23, when 25,000 passionate volunteers across America give a total of half a million books within their communities to those who don’t regularly read. In 2012, World Book Night was celebrated in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, and Germany and saw over 80,000 people gift more than 2.5 million books.
Basically, this is an initiative to encourage people to read by giving them a FREE book! Think of how you fell in love with books, reading, the smell of paper (oh wait ... is that just me?). For me, my mom and dad read to me all. the. time. Literally. And once I could read for myself, I just kept doing it.

But everyone doesn't grow up in a home where books are readily available or moms and dads have time to read to their kids or where the grown-ups even know how to read. Hence, the need for World Book Night.

So, how does this work? Well, you can read all about it here. But the quick summary is that ...
  • Thirty books are chosen to be distributed. 
  • Authors and publishers work together to cut printing/publishing costs as much as possible (Authors even donate their royalties!)
  • People apply to be givers.
  • Givers receive 20 copies of one book from the list and on World Book Night distribute in a location in their community where they are likely to encounter people who may not already be readers.
If you'd like to be a giver, you can apply here. Tomorrow (January 25) is the last day to apply, so don't wait around!

Have you ever heard of or participated in World Book Night? Are you applying to be a giver? If so, which books do you hope to give out? Where in your community will you give them out?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Looking Back ... Debut Authors to Watch

Every year there are tons of great books that come out. And it seems that there are an ever-growing number of debut authors as well! Here's my list of debut authors from 2012 that I'm going to be sure to keep an eye on. I've included a link to the author's website (click the author's name), a link to my full review (click the title), and the blurb from their debut novel. If you haven't already read them, you should definitely check them out!

In no particular order ...

2012's Debut Authors to Watch

Beth K. Vogt, author of Wish You Were Here
Kissing the wrong guy days before her scheduled wedding leads Allison to become a runaway bride. But can it also lead to happily ever after?

Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong. The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom.

Still, kissing the groom’s brother, Daniel, in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. Daniel’s adventures—chronicled through a collection of postcards—have always appealed to Allison’s well-hidden desire for something more. But how can betraying her fiancĂ©’s trust lead to a true happily ever after?

Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Recognizing she doesn’t have all the answers won’t be easy because she’s used to being in control. To find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her—one outside her carefully defined comfort zone—and find the strength to let Him lead.

Watch for Catch a Falling Star in May 2013 (Howard Books).

Jocelyn Green, author of Wedded to War
When war erupted, she gave up a life of privilege for a life of significance.

Tending to the army's sick and wounded meant leading a life her mother does not understand and giving up a handsome and approved suitor. Yet Charlotte chooses a life of service over privilege, just as her childhood friend had done when he became a military doctor. She soon discovers that she's combatting more than just the rebellion by becoming a nurse. Will the two men who love her simply stand by and watch as she fights her own battles? Or will their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey's letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured. This is the first in the series "Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War," a collection of novels that highlights the crucial contributions made by women during times of war.

Watch for Jocelyn's next fiction release, Widow of Gettysburg, in May 2013 (River North).

Darrel Nelson, author of The Anniversary Waltz
It’s the summer of 1946, and Adam Carlson has just returned from the war to his home in Reunion, Montana. Despite the strained relationship with his father, Adam sets out to revive the dilapidated family farm, neglected since his departure overseas four years ago. After some convincing to take a rest from his labors, he attends the town festival, where he meets Elizabeth Baxter, a young woman going steady with his former high school rival and now influential banker, Nathan Roberts.

Watch for The Return of Cassandra Todd, which releases in February 2013 (Charisma Media).

Olivia Newport, author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning
She has a secret to keep. But will she give her heart away?

Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago's rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work and squeeze herself into the mold of the well-dressed wife who spends most of her time and money redecorating.

When she meets Will, an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World's Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family's expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?

Get swept away into the lavish world of Chicago's high society as Olivia Newport brings to life an age of glitz and grandeur, stark social contrasts, and one woman who dares to cross class lines for what she believes.

Watch for The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow in January 2013 (Revell) and the last book in the series this fall. You may also want to check out her other series published in 2012 and 2013 (Barbour Books).

Krista McGee, author of The First Date
The last thing Addy Davidson wants is to be on a reality TV show where the prize is a prom date with the President’s son.

She’s focused on her schoolwork so she can get a scholarship to an Ivy League college, uncomfortable in the spotlight, never been on a date, and didn’t even audition for it.

But she got selected anyway.

So she does her best to get eliminated on the very first show. Right before she realizes that the President’s son is possibly the most attractive guy she has ever seen in person, surprisingly nice, and seemingly unimpressed by the 99 other girls who are throwing themselves at him.

Addy’s totally out of her comfort zone but that may be right where God can show her all that she was meant to be.

Watch for Krista's new book Anomaly, which will be available in July 2013 (Thomas Nelson). You may also enjoy her other books, Starring Me and Right Where I Belong, released in 2012.

Jen Turano, author of A Change of Fortune
Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiance, and her faith. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the season, and all the eyes of New York society--all the female ones, at least--are on him. He has no plans to marry again, especially since his hands are full keeping his business afloat while raising his two children alone.

Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune unexpectedly put her right in Hamilton's path. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces and, before she knows it, Eliza has a whole retinue of people helping her. Eliza's determination not to trust anyone weakens when everyone's antics and bumbling efforts to assist her make her wonder if there might be more important things than her fortune and independence.

When all of Hamilton's and Eliza's best-laid plans fall by the wayside, it will take a riot of complications for them to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

Watch for A Most Peculiar Circumstance in June 2013 (Bethany House).

Becky Wade, author of My Stubborn Heart
Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.

Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded—hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not.

When the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?

Watch for Becky's next book, Undeniably Yours, in May 2013 (Bethany House).

Keli Gwyn, author of A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California
An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for the two of them? Miles can’t help but stick his well-polished boot in his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way to win her heart while destroying her business? Miles’s mother, Maude, is bent on Elenora becoming her new daughter-in-law while Elenora’s daughter, Tildy, thinks Miles would make a perfect papa. How far will these meddlers go to unite this enterprising pair?  

No details yet on the Keli's next book, but I'm looking forward to it!

Jordyn Redwood, author of Proof 
Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it's the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find--and punish--her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

Watch for the next book in the series, Poison, which will be released in February 2013 (Kregel Publications).

Kellie Coates Gilbert, author of Mother of Pearl
Barrie Graeber has two great kids, a loving husband, and a respected job as the high school counselor in her close-knit community. Without warning, everything unravels when her teenage daughter, Pearl, is betrayed by friends and lashes out.

Nothing prepares this mother for the helplessness that follows when her attempts to steer her daughter back on course fail and Pearl shuts her out . . . or when she discovers the unthinkable about her nemesis, the football coach.

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Mother of Pearl brings us into the heart of a mother bound by an incredible burden, who ultimately finds she must recognize her own vulnerability and learn to trust in something much bigger.

I can't find details about Kellie's next book, but I'll be sure to let you know when it comes out!

Note: Some of the authors listed may have other books published previously. I included them if this is the first full-length, Christian novel, for the particular age group.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

"It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what we're reading and our goals for the week.

What I Read Last Week ...

What I'm Reading Now ...
I started my first non-fiction book for the year. It's a "thinker" ... trying to take it slow so I can process what I'm reading.

What I Hope to Read This Week ...
I think this is a pretty realistic goal for this week. Been looking forward to both of these for a while now. :) (Although, looking at this, I'm a little heavy on the historical fiction right now. I may have to remedy that with some contemporary stories soon.)

 That's what I'm hoping to read this week. What are you reading?
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