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Tales From The TBR Pile — Fading Starlight

29 Dec

I received Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman earlier in the year. With its beautiful cover, I was immediately hooked. However, I have not found time to read it yet. Have you read this one? Tell me why this one should go directly to the top of the pile.

5114g4yga1l-_sx322_bo1204203200_A Tale of Unexpected Friendship and Old Hollywood Glamour

Lauren Summers is hiding. Her fashion house internship should have launched her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she finds is unpaid, but comes with free lodging–a run-down cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Unsure of what comes next, she’s surprised to be contacted by a reporter researching a reclusive former Hollywood ingénue who lives in the nearby mansion.

Kendall Joiner wants Lauren’s help uncovering the old woman’s secrets. In return, she’ll prove the red carpet accident was a publicity stunt so Lauren can regain her former job. With all her dreams in front of her, Lauren’s tempted by the offer, but as she and the old woman get to know each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.

 

611vlhbfo9l-_ux250_Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the acclaimed author of over a half-dozen novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women’s Fiction. Kathryn and her family make their home in Santa Barbara, California.

 

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy.)

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Tales from The TBR Pile: June Bug

8 Oct

This month I am featuring a book by one of my favorite authors, Chris Fabry. But alas, his book June Bug has been on my shelf a long time. Now I hear that it has been made into a Lifetime movie, titled Child of Grace! So have you read it? Let me know why I should move it up to the top of the TBR stack.

 

513RSiucgeL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_“I believed everything my daddy told me until I walked into Wal-Mart and saw my picture on a little poster . . .”

For as long as she can remember, June Bug and her father have traveled the back roads of the country in their beat-up RV, spending many nights parked at Wal-Mart. One morning, as she walks past the greeter at the front of the store, her eyes are drawn to the pictures of missing children, where she is shocked to see herself. This discovery begins a quest for the truth about her father, the mother he rarely speaks about, and ultimately herself. But when her father’s past catches up with them, forces beyond his control draw them back to Dogwood, West Virginia, down a winding path that will change their lives forever.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

81sThp08+eL._UX250_Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris’ novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, Not in the Heart, Borders of the Heart, and Every Waking Moment, have won three Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it’s his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.

He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.

Tales from The TBR Pile — An Irishwoman’s Tale

13 Aug

Every month I highlight a book that is still languishing on my shelves. This month the book is An Irishwoman’s Tale. I love Patti Lacys books — I find them extremely well-written and thought-provoking. So have you read this one? Tell me why I need to move it to the top of the pile!

 

 

51w4OFHW+fL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Far away from her Irish home, Mary Freeman begins to adapt to life in Midwest America, but family turmoil and her own haunting memories threaten to ruin her future. It takes a crisis in her daughter’s life — and the encouragement of Sally, a plucky Southern transplant — to propel Mary back to the rocky cliffs of her home in County Clare, Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

71cLph1AzxL._UX250_In 2005, Patti Lacy traded in her grade books for a writer’s pen to tell the long-buried story of her best friend. An Irishwoman’s Tale, What the Bayou Saw, and The Rhythm of Secrets explore the secrets women keep and why they keep them. Patti’s fourth book, Reclaiming Lily, from Bethany House, transports readers to a Chinese orphanage, where two cultures and two women collide. Claiming influences as diverse as Francine Rivers and Jodi Piccoult, Patti weaves stories of grace that have in their fiber real-life incidents.

Currently Patti’s juggling three projects: a friend’s memoir, an 1860s historical romance, and a series set in Patti’s home town, Normal, Illinois. Patti soothes her itch to teach by leading seminars, facilitating writing classes, and speaking at women’s events. Patti and her husband Alan, a college professor, have two grown children and a dog named Laura.

 

Tales from The TBR Pile: Divine Appointments

14 May

I won Divine Appointments by Charlene Baumbich a few years ago, and although I love her books (see my review of Finding Our Way Home, HERE.) I have not yet read this one. Have you read Divine Appointments? Let me know why I should move this book up to the top of the pile!

 

444721_w185With the big 5-0 fast approaching, Josie Brooks begins to question her structured, picture-perfect (mid)life.

Josie Brooks, at the age of 47, thought she was leading an enviable single life. A successful consultant, she calls her own shots, goes where the money is, and never needs to compromise. But her precisely managed world begins to falter during a Chicago contract when an economic downturn, a bleeding heart boss, and the loyalty and kindness between endangered employees ding her coat of armor.

Throw in hot flashes, a dose of loneliness, a peculiar longing for intimacy, an unquenchable thirst—not to mention a mysterious snowglobe with a serene landscape, complete with a flowing river and lush greenery that seems to be beckoning her in—and Josie’s buttoned-up life is on the verge of coming completely undone. Maybe her solitary existence isn’t as fulfilling as she has convinced herself to believe.

It will take a few new friends, a mystical encounter, and an unexpected journey to set Josie on her own path to “right-sizing” and making the life changes that really matter. Filled with laugh-out loud moments and a gentle dash of inspiration, Divine Appointments is another heartwarming charmer from a master storyteller.

 

pic1Charlene Ann Baumbich is an award-winning journalist who speaks and writes about the layers of life as she sees them, which is often slightly off center, mostly dead-on, and always through lenses of grace. Her highly successful Dearest Dorothy series of novels celebrate octogenarian spitfire Dorothy Jean Wetstra and the residents of small-town Partonville. Her nonfiction titles range from Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This to Don’t Miss Your Kids!. Charlene speaks to the heart, the funny bone, and a broad age span. For more than a decade, Charlene has presented her most requested talk–“Don’t Miss Your Life!”–to audiences across the country and in Canada. Her creative pedal is to the floor, her energized words are ripe, her cranky gallbladder has been “left behind,” and her message is right on time. Yes, fasten your seatbelts!

Tales From The TBR Pile: The Scent of Cherry Blossoms

12 Mar

With hints of spring all around — daffodils, crabapple, redbud and forsythia in bloom — it’s time to check out a book that has been on my shelf a long time! The Scent of Cherry Blossoms is a novella from one of my favorite Amish genre authors, Cindy Woodsmall. Definitely a book to read in March, here is some information about it and the author.

 

446558Annie Martin loves the Plain ways of her Old Order Mennonite people, like those revered by her beloved grandfather. Retreating from a contentious relationship with her mother, Annie goes to live with her Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge. But as spring moves into Pennsylvania and Annie spends time amongst the cherry trees with the handsome Aden Zook, she wishes she could forget how deeply the lines between the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite are drawn.

Can Annie and Aden find a place for their love to bloom in the midst of the brewing storm?

 

 

cw_bioCindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written a dozen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life.

She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

(Thanks to Waterbrook Publishing for a copy of this book.)

Tales from The TBR Pile: Ruby’s Slippers by Leanna Ellis

12 Feb

Every month I am featuring worthy novels that have been on my shelves way too long. This month’s feature is Ruby’s Slippers by Leanna Ellis. My book club read Elvis Takes A Backseat a few years ago. What a treat! We were able to make our meeting an event with grilled peanut butter banana sandwiches and an Elvis flick. I also read and reviewed Once in A Blue Moon. I really enjoyed both books, so I bought Ruby’s Slippers and anticipated more fun reading. Well, the book has been sitting on my shelf for a while now — I just have to find time to read it! Have you read Ruby’s Slippers? Let me know what you thought. Sound like a book you’d like to read too? It is only 99 cents on Kindle! You can purchase it HERE.

ruby_slippers-196x300Dottie Meyers, 35, is a real-life Dorothy Gale living with her little black dog on a small farm in Kansas that’s about to be hit by a tornado. Knocked unconscious by the storm, she awakes three months later at a recovery facility in California where her father, last seen when she was four, has left her a mysterious pair of ruby slippers.

But unlike The Wizard of Oz, this isn’t a dream, and the yellow brick road journey that Dottie and three friends are about to take from Los Angeles to Seattle in search of her dad will show the realities of a broken childhood. More importantly, everything connected to those sparkling red shoes will prove to Dottie that there’s only one true wonder worker behind the so-called curtain who can heal her wounds and prepare the heart for love.

 

LEANNABIOPIC-300x287Deep in the heart not only describes where Leanna Ellis lives in Texas but also the way she writes. Her books, whether romance, inspirational, women’s fiction, or paranormal, are infused with heartfelt emotion. Having written twenty published novels, Ellis has won many awards including the National Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award.

When not chasing vampires through the darkened recesses of her mind or roping and riding along with her characters through sun-drenched plains, she stays busy driving her children to their multitude of activities, figuring out what to make for dinner (or where to order takeout), chasing her menagerie of crazy pets around the house, and researching the next idea.

(I purchased this book. All comments are mine alone.)

Tales from The TBR Pile: Prophet by R. J. Larson

8 Jan

Tales from The TBR Pile features books that are languishing on my shelves; books that deserve to be highlighted even though I haven’t read them. This month I am spotlighting Prophet by R. J. Larson, book 1 in the Books of the Infinite series. A fantasy with a Biblical feel, it has 208 5-star reviews on Amazon. If fantasy is your thing, then make sure to check it out.

 

209710_w185Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she’s much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne’s elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite’s prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

Yet she can’t imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite’s voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite’s word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

 

Kacy310dpicropedR. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as The Women’s Devotional Bible, and Seasons of a Woman’s Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons, and is suspected of eating chocolate and potato chips at her desk while writing. The Books of the Infinite series marks her debut in the fantasy genre.

R. J. is also known as Kacy Barnett-Gramckow!
Visit Kacy’s site here: http://www.gramcoink.com.

 

(Thanks to Bethany House for a copy of this book.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.