Archives For Christian Fiction

As usual, Susan May Warren does not disappoint.

I think Susan May Warren is a very good student of human nature. Her characters come to life in a few simple lines of text. This just amazes me, how quickly I feel like I know these people, these characters.

When I read her fiction novels, I become immersed in the story. I become engrossed not so much because of the well drawn settings or a particular poignant event, but because I want to see these people triumph over their circumstances, over horrible events and dreary days. I know that Warren’s worldview is one of hope and life…and I just cannot wait to see the storylines all unfold, to see her characters thrive, in the midst of trials, in the midst of fears and change.

Sometimes, some of the events in Warren’s character’s lives do take my breath away because they are so real, so sad. A lost child, an accident… a pain that will never go away. Even for the reader, it hurts for a moment to feel these experiences through the writer’s art.

Honestly, I hesitate a teeny bit every time I open a book by Warren. I know she doesn’t shirk away from writing about pain and I do shirk away from that.

But, after reading a few of her novels, I know that Warren is writing about Jesus in her character’s lives. And knowing Jesus is to know hope and peace, no matter the circumstances. Because Warren is a skillful writer, I expect her settings to be full of the nuances of time and place, and Baby, it’s Cold Outside is a trip back to 1947, complete with the music of that day, WWII tales and Storm Houses.

I do totally recommend this book. I don’t want to say too much about it, because I don’t want to be a spoiler! But, I will tell you, you will find enjoyable history, Christmastime Drama and Joy, a bit of cooking, a bit of kissing, and loads of fun characters in the midst of a giant snowstorm.

The Official Word: “Hope finds the hopeless when a storm hits.  

It’s Christmas weekend 1949, and despite the threat of a storm, the townspeople of Frost are determined to continue their holiday traditions, if only as a means to forget the war that they had all just suffered through. But the suffering hasn’t ended for Dottie Morgan who lost her only son in the war. She’s preparing to wallow in her isolation for the weekend, when Violet, nearly a spinster at age 29, dares to make a request that will force Dottie to publicly revive the memory of her dead son.

When a storm traps the two women at home with a strange young man who has an unbelievable confession and a neighbor with more to do with Violet’s past than she would like, no one can predict how this Christmas will give them all a second chance.”

Read an excerpt here and find out the story behind the novel

 Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan’s larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:www.susanmaywarren.com

Link to buy the book:  Baby, It’s Cold Outside (When I Fall in Love)

Warm up to Chrismtas early this year with Susan May Warren’s Baby, It’s Cold Outside! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One festive winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26!

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It’s Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we’ll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

 

” I received a copy of Baby It’s Cold Outside, from LitFuse for my review. I have given my opinion. There may be affiliate links in this post.”

 

image773Do your kids long for stories full of excitement and intrigue? Do you? How about some well written tales of knights and quests, overflowing with the drama of the ultimate battle between good and evil?

I have totally found some great ones! My son and I recently reviewed books 5 and 6 from the Knights of Arrethtrae Series and we were really impressed. We both liked the cover art on the books, and after reading the back panels, I was in a hurry to read the stories.

The tales are written as an allegory–there is no confusion about the fact that the author, Chuck Black is a Christian and is writing these stories as his way to teach his own children (he has 6!) and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

In fact, Black says that he wrote his first book “to inspire his own children to read the Bible with renewed zeal”. I can see the Biblical influences in his works, but he also definitely has created fresh and new stories, complete with complex characters and settings. Themes of morality and virtue, ideas of loyalty and truth form the framework for the exciting plots.

Also, Black is a former f16 pilot and engineer. While I was reading, I appreciated that the battle scenes were very specific–they were described so meticulously and they seemed so logical…so tactical, real. And throughout the different quests the knights faced, these periods made sense to me, ie, they took a reasonable amount of time and effort to complete and while reading, you almost felt like you were going through the process as well. I’m thinking that Black is drawing upon his own life experiences for all this…and it really works!

Now, my readers know I am pretty cheap frugal, and I review often so I save money on things I like. Only occasionally will I run out and buy books and such…but we are getting these books! I plan to get some for Christmas. I actually am going to ask the author to recommend one for a friend of my son who is just entering the Navy as a pilot:) He may be 23, but I think he will enjoy this. They are that good.

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor

Chuck Black

Two friends face the Dark Knight’s deadliest scheme, but only one knight has the courage to overcome.
Sir Quinlan leaves his boyhood friend to serve the Prince, fighting a battle darker and more intense than any he’s ever known. The mysterious Sir Baylor recruits him into the ranks of an elite unit of knights known as the Swords of Valor, but when tragedy strikes and everyone blames Quinlan, the Swords of Valor disband, ending a legacy of heroic deeds.
Can Quinlan reunite the Valor Knights in time to save the people from the Dark Knight’s evil plot to rule the Kingdom of Arrethtrae, or will the Valor Knights lose the most important battle of all?

See a sample of the book

Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest

Chuck BlackA knight left for dead. A country on the verge of ruin. And an evil lord rising to conquer.

The Dark Knight is rising to power, but Cameria and its greatest knight stand in the way. Unleashing a deadly plot from within to conquer Sir Rowan and his beloved Cameria, the evil dark lord is now free to conquer the rest of the kingdom. Rowan must realize his true identity and purpose as a Knight of the Prince, or risk losing his country – and himself – forever.

See a sample of the book

About the series and author:

Chuck Black first wrote Kingdom’s Edge to inspire his children to read the Bible with renewed zeal. This captivating expanded parable led him to write the Old Testament allegories, Kingdom’s Dawn and Kingdom’s Hope. Chuck added three more titles to the series, Kingdom’s Call, Kingdom’s Quest, and Kingdom’s Reign which were released in May of 2007. Chuck’s current works include The Knights of Arrethtrae series.

Chuck is a former F-16 fighter pilot and currently works as an engineer for a firm designing plastic consumer products. He has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and served eight years in the United States Air Force. Chuck and his wife have six children.

You can purchase the books (and ebooks) on the Waterbrook Multnomah site.

You can find out more about the series and the author on the Perfect Praise website. You can also purchase books from all the series, autographed copies, audio books, and even posters on the site. While you are there, let your kids see the Kingdom Fun page. They have beautiful art for desktop wallpaper, coloring pages and more. It looks like they will soon have a Book Club, as well, which sounds like great fun.

Good news! I have a copy of Book 5 and Book 6 to give away!

For the mandatory entry, leave a comment, telling me what interests you most about this series and/or author.

For additional entries, you can:

I will choose a winner on 11/11. Giveaway is for USA and Canada only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments!

*You can also enter a giveaway to win the whole series on the MamaBuzz site!, one for 2 books on Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, and 3 books on Marine Corps Nomads!

This is a Mama Buzz review. The two books from the Knights of Arrethtrae were provided for my review. I have given my honest opinion.

IMG_208So what are your views on fantasy fiction?

Many of my readers know that I love stories like Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. I am an avid reader and have plenty of opinions about what I like. One thing that has changed as I have gotten older and become Mom, is that I find myself a harsh critic.

That sounds awful, but yeah, I have to admit that. As a Christian Mom, there are some ideas and books that I really cannot support, no matter how in style or well written they may be. For example, I won’t read the vampire books going around now. Looking back, I did read the Anne Rice books long ago—and I have to say, I just don’t think there is anything about this type of story that goes with a Bible verse that often comes to mind–

Philippians 4:8:  Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

It is funny what gets your attention—but I find myself very turned off by dark or frightening stories. I know some people get a thrill from these, but I just don’t and I won’t promote them.

So what is different about the Narnia and LOTR for me? I have actually spent a couple of days thinking about this, because I know that there are dark moments and frightening things in those stories as well. I think it is the fact that those stories have promise and a hope that good will win out…that light will overcome darkness…and they are very careful to distinguish good magic and bad magic from each other…

Anyway what brought all this up? It was a book I have for review, from the Peleg Chronicles, entitled Foundlings. When I read this book, I expected to like it, mostly because it said it had an exciting plot and characters and no magic, no humanism, and even no evolution. I figured this would be a book that would not go against many of my beliefs, and I would not have to worry about my kids reading.

Ironically enough, the book is very intense and does have dark moments! I found myself surprised when the heroes of the book encountered dark priests and sacrificial offerings and truly bad, bad guys. Not to mention the dragons.

However, in really looking at it, I am thinking the book would fit into my Narnia and LOTR category. I thought the novel was very exciting, and the heroes had stellar qualities–virtue and loyalty, especially in the face of difficult odds. I thought the setting was fantastic and really, the whole tale was something new to me, which I appreciate.

Foundlings is just one story in the Peleg Chronicles series. Peleg is actually a real figure referenced in the Old Testament, and this tale is set about 150-200 years after the flood of Noah.

My son really liked it and offered his review:

A world of Danger, Giants, Dragons, and Serpents, a world named Peleg

Full of excitement and suspense! Matthew Christian Harding is a Christian, a husband, a father, and a writer. His first book Foundlings is placed in a time after the Flood of Noah, after the Tower of Babel and the Dispersion (It was true to the Bible when it was quoted but still very original). The characters were well developed as the book progressed. I felt as if I knew them. Peleg was described so well that it almost seemed real. The book also includes well placed scripture.

Foundlings is full of adventure and tells the story of a group of GOD loving Christians. They find each other while watching out for the evil dragon priests that want to sacrifice them to their false god. They then help others when they can and spread GODS love.

I read Foundlings in one sitting. (Till 4:30am) just so I could find out what happened next. I was lost in the world of Peleg until the end of the book, and I want to go back. You will find that only Tolkien rivals Foundlings. I recommend that you enter the world of Peleg, and be immersed in adventure and you will not want to put it down. When you have to you will be craving the next installment of the Peleg Chronicles.

The book had many fight scenes and opportunities for the heroes to show their valor, so I should have known this was perfect for a teen boy!

Overall, I have just told you a bit about the book. You can find out much more on their website, http://www.matthewchristianharding.com/

So while I find myself a bit confused about what makes a  book truly “good”…I do recommend this for teens 12+ I think the book and the setting make for some great discussions about Christian beliefs and history.

Foundlings is available from Zoe & Sozo Publishing for $11.95. Paladins, the 2nd book in the series, is also available for $11.95.

See what my crewmates have to say about Zoey and Sozo Publishing, here.

I received Foundlings for review Purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

hereburnsmycandle

This is the first time I have read one of Liz Curtis Higgs historical romances. What a treat it was! I fell in love with the Kerr family as I traveled through Scottish history and the Scriptures.

Higgs obviously did quite a bit of research for the framework for this retelling of the Old Testament story of Ruth and Naomi. The novel, set in 18th Century Scotland, followed the Kerr family (pronounced care, with a roll to the “r”), Prince Charlie and the Jacobites as well as the social life of Scotland. I was fascinated by descriptions of Edinburgh, the dress and behavior…even the meals of the time period.

I felt that I was transported back through time—and isn’t that what a delightful book can do? The character development was wonderful. I am a “skimmer” but in this book, I had to pay attention to all the characters. I found myself staying up late and wishing for a particular ending. The novel really delves into history and forgiveness and loyalty. Loved it!

A mother who cannot face her future.
A daughter who cannot escape her past.

Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.
Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.
His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.
One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.
A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.

LIZ CURTIS HIGGS is the author of twenty-seven books with three million copies in print, including: her best-selling historical novels, Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Christy Award-winner Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes, a Christy Award finalist; My Heart’s in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland, an armchair travel guide to Galloway; and her contemporary novels, Mixed Signals, a Rita Award finalist, and Bookends, a Christy Award finalist. Visit the author’s extensive website at www.lizcurtishiggs.com.

You can purchase Here Burns My Candle online, here.

I also have one copy to give away! To enter to win a copy, Please tell me your favorite historical time period. Winner chosen 3/29.

For additional entries (please leave a comment for each method of entry):

Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah who provided this book for my review.

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I have not yet read the first two, but I agree this book is a charm! In a world where many families can be destroyed by even one painful event, Smith’s writing shows how Christian families can rise above dysfunction and move on to have a rich, satisfying life.

Is that easy? Lord, no! But, I felt that that was the overall theme of this book–that families can use the love of Christ as their foundation to help bond together and support each other.

The story itself focuses on a 24 year old woman and her family and follows her as she makes choices that really will affect her entire life.  There are a few good looking guys involved, as well as several different plot lines threading through the tale. I enjoyed the characters and the tone of the book—the fact that it was not “preachy” yet Christian.

I received this book to review during a snowstorm and had a wonderful time snuggling in and reading–to be honest, I expected a bit more fluff. While there were designer clothes, and perfect apartments that “look like waiting rooms,” I felt the story had many layers and a real depth.

I recommend Third Time’s a Charm.

Here is the “Official” Write-Up:

There’s not too much in this world that a little retail therapy can’t fix—except maybe the empty hole in your heart from lost and undiscovered love. Tori Sanderson is no exception. Facing abandonment issues with her father, Tori sets out to find the real reason he left her. Along the way she discovers even deeper truths. Add in two matchmaking sisters plus a couple of attractive men vying for Tori’s attention, as well as a tempting job promotion possibility, and you’ve got one confused sister. Through it all, Tori searches for the love she’s been missing all these years.

Book Lovers: Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win a Grand Prize Pack of 10 of Virginia Smith’s Books!!

You can find links to other reviews on the blog tour, as well as an interview with Virginia Smith and details on the Grand Prize here, on the Kathy Carlton Willis Communications blog. (This link goes right to a bunch of good info. about the author!) Also, leave your e-mail so I can tell you if you win!

Thanks to KCWC for providing me with the review copy of Third Time’s a Charm.