Monday, April 27, 2015

CFBA: Gathered Waters by Cara Luecht

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Gathered Waters
WhiteFire Publishing (April 15, 2015)
by
Cara Luecht




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




A Word from the Author:

I never planned to be a writer.

In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.

By day, I am an English Instructor for a local college, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, and wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband.

In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.

I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.




ABOUT THE BOOK


They want to worship as their hearts demand...but is it something they can give up everything for?

Brianna has only ever been what her life demanded. A wife, a hostess, a mother. But when a stand her husband takes ostracizes them from the Lutheran church that controls so much of life in Sweden, Brianna finds herself needing to find a strength beyond her station...a strength that will see her through prejudice and persecution and to a home she never dreamed she would find.

Based on the true story of the author s family s journey from Sweden to America, this sweeping saga paints the brilliance of new faith, the bravery of a new land...and the beauty of plunging beneath the waters and emerging a new person, capable of what one never thought one could do.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Gathered Waters, go HERE.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Spotlight: Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup by Elisabeth Amaral


The mid-1960s through the mid-1970s was a heady, turbulent time. There was a lot going on back then, and author Elisabeth Amaral was in the middle of it all: the fights for women’s rights, racial equality, a music revolution, be-ins, love-ins, riots in the streets, the rage against the Vietnam War, and sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was an amazing time to be young.

In Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup, Amaral shares her recollections of those times. She and her husband gave up their jobs in New York City, relocated to Boston with their infant son because of mime, unexpectedly started a children’s boutique, and opened a popular restaurant in Harvard Square. Most of all it is a coming-of-age story about herself and her husband as they embarked on an improbable and moving journey of self-discovery.

With sincerity and humor, Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup offers a personal and revealing account that reaches out to those who find themselves striving to make a relationship work that, by its very nature, may be doomed. But this story is also one of friendship—and of finding the courage to move on.

Praise for Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup by Elisabeth Amaral

"A truly wonderful memoir that reads like great fiction. The characters come alive on the page." – Elizabeth Brundage, author of The Doctor's Wife and A Stranger Like You

“The story of how Liz Amaral and her husband became successful at the epicenter of counterculture businesses near Harvard Square / Cambridge from 1967-1975 with their boutique and restaurant is told with humor and insight. Swirling around them are all of the entrapments of the era, the drugs and free love and betrayal, as well as the politics that defined the times.

With a fierce dedication to her son and husband, Liz Amaral triumphs in this stunning memoir where she discovers that, while love isn’t always what we think it is, it remains, in all its multi-faceted transformations, the driving force of who we are and how we live our lives.” – P.B. O’Sullivan, writer and mathematician

“In her intimate and humorous memoir, Liz Amaral reveals the challenges of a young family establishing a home in Cambridge amid the tumult of the late 1960s. You will discover the disconcerting truth about her marriage and the painful path she takes to find herself again. A true adventure of the heart.” – Kathrin Seitz, writer, producer, and coach

Book Excerpt:

We shared everything, even our friends. But wait. What about those friends of his? Kind, gentlemen. Always womanless. Don’t even start to go there. Just don’t. It was easier to be in the immediate present, a member of our generation who shared the sentiments of the era, the sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll era. The civil-rights and women’s- rights and anti-war and race-riot era. It was a thrilling time for youth. Along with our frustrations and fury at the government, we also shared an enormous sense of freedom and adventure, of this being our time. And if it was our time, that made it my time. My time to grab an afternoon lover, come home to nights of gentle affection, hug our kid, make supper, smoke some pot, and live happily. With luck, that might include ever after. Piece of cake, and it was no one’s fault.

Thoughts whizzed by. I grabbed onto some, because I knew I would need reminders.

This is my life, not a bad one at all. A very good one, in fact.

That was one thought. Here’s another: Look at me. Look at me! A sensual, sexual, twenty-something woman. A Scorpio. Married happily much of the time, except nighttime, the right time.

Purchase: Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup: A Memoir of Marriage, Mime, and Moving On



A native New Yorker, I have lived in the city for much of my life. My first jobs after graduating from NYU were jewelry design and case worker for the Departments of Welfare of New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts. This was followed by co-ownership of a children’s boutique (Czar Nicholas and the Toad) and a restaurant (Duck Soup) in Cambridgenear Harvard Square. I then worked as an industrial purchasing agent in New Jersey, and for the last 25 years have been a real estate broker in Manhattan, accumulating stories of the wonder and madness that is this city. I published a book of short stories (When Any Kind of Love Will Do), wrote two children’s books and a memoir (Czar Nicholas, The Toad, and Duck Soup), and am currently working on a novel.

For More Information




Monday, April 20, 2015

CFBA: Double Cross by Diann Mills

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Double Cross
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 1, 2015)
by
Diann Mills




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists;  on two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier,

Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at her website.




ABOUT THE BOOK



FBI Agent Laurel Evertson’s investigation into a scam targeting the elderly takes an unexpected twist when key evidence leads her to Morton Wilmington, a felon she arrested five years ago on her first undercover assignment. That case has haunted her since, and though she’s vowed to forget Wilmington—and what she sacrificed to put him away—he is now her best lead.

Houston Police Officer Daniel Hilton fears his grandparents may be the scammer’s next targets, and he’ll do anything to protect his family—even force interagency cooperation. But he’s quickly drawn to Laurel’s empathy and zeal and agrees to follow her lead . . . even if it means teaming up with a felon.

As the unlikely trio uncovers evidence suggesting the scam is more extensive and deadly than they imagined, both Laurel and Daniel find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer. Together they must decide if they can trust Wilmington’s claims of redemption, or if he’s leading them straight into a double cross.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Double Cross, go HERE.




Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bargain E-Book: Shadow of Death by Elise M. Stone


When Faith Andersen agrees to join a retreat at the Crazy Creek Guest Ranch for a weekend of horseback riding, barbecues, and fellowship, she thinks her biggest problem will be rekindling her romance with the handsome pastor of Desert Water Christian Church--until the ranch foreman is found murdered, and the primary suspect is her best friend's husband.

With an ex-wife and a child to support, John Menard is reluctant to pursue Faith on a pastor's salary. The retreat might be a good time to find some time alone with her, a chance to break it off, before they're too involved to turn back.

In the heat of the Arizona summer, there aren't many guests--and fewer staff--at the ranch. A flirty young woman on her way to graduate school who doesn't seem to fit the rough and tumble atmosphere. An aging television star trying to revive her career with a western series. Her furtive young male companion. The ne'er-do-well son of the ranch's housekeeper and handyman. And, of course, the members of the church.

Cut off from civilization by monsoon flooding, law enforcement is unable to reach the ranch to investigate the murder. With a psychopathic killer on the loose, Faith and John are compelled to join forces to hunt down the murderer. But can they identify the culprit before he--or she--claims another victim?

File Size: 642 KB
Print Length: 315 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0988848244
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Civano Press (November 3, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00NYL3KAO


Purchase here!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Free E-Book: Mercy Springs by Jennifer Osufsen


In the wake of the economic disaster known as The Collapse, two countries rise from the ashes of the former United States: Unified Socialist America and The Republic of Texas.

After personal and professional tragedy, physician midwife Cora Thomas flees the Missouri District of America, seeking asylum and safety in the idyllic Texas town of Cotton Springs. She hopes the quaint community is a new beginning, a place to heal and plant roots. A home where she is not an underground Christian living in fear for her life.

A logging accident leaves Cotton Springs’ prodigal son, Ben Tucker, in the care of the feisty new red-headed doctor. The attraction is undeniable and bewildering. But his rejection of God’s existence and Cora’s steadfast faith collide, leaving him with more questions than answers. And a heart desperately in need of healing.

Missouri District deputy Gordon Wilkes is on a witch hunt. He holds Cora accountable for the death of his wife in childbirth. And no border will stop him from exacting his revenge.

MERCY SPRINGS is a love story blooming beneath the towering trees of east Texas, under the canopy of grace and mercy, and in the shadows of lurking danger.

File Size: 881 KB
Print Length: 312 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0692236082
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Little Tyrant Press; First edition (July 9, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00LNRXGR8


Purchase here!

As A Busy Mom Thinks - Take the Politics Out of Education



Does anyone know when public education became more about politics than in providing quality education to our children? Maybe I'm naive, but shouldn't the children be our first priority?

The issue of Common Core has divided our little town and, as a result, one of the political committees has received some push back from members of the School Committee who are running for re-election. This will probably be one of the most exciting election cycles our town has seen in a while.

Having the privilege to serve on the District Curriculum Advisory Committee, I've learned a great deal since September. Being a member of this committee has been very eye-opening. And while Common Core is definitely a large part of our discussion, our interactions feel very different and more respectful than what I am seeing in other arenas.

Here's praying level heads continue to work for our children.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Free E-Book: A Work in Progress by Staci Stallings


Rebecca Avery has never been one of “them”—the popular kids, the beautiful people. With less than fashion-plate looks and an off-beat, quirky style to living life, she has been relegated to finding “alone” activities to fill her time throughout high school. Unfortunately, college hasn’t changed that. Then she meets Eric Barnett, a nice guy who seems a little quirky himself. The only problem is, he’s in love with her roommate—one of the truly beautiful people. When Rebecca finds herself falling for him, she must find a way to break out of her shell or risk losing him forever. Who will win out in this mixed up jumble of feelings and loyalties?

Eric Barnett is drifting through college. Unlike his friends, he doesn’t have a path to relentlessly pursue. In fact, he often feels like the tag-along in a life that’s unfolding without him. Then he meets Rebecca Avery’s roommate who seems like she will finally give him what he most wants—credibility with his friends. However, when the roommate proves to be less-than-into-him, can Eric see past the outward appearance to find love with Rebecca?

A new adult college romance novel, “A Work in Progress,” gives new adult meaning to the genre of Contemporary Christian Romance. So many college students see only the world’s options presented in their romance novels, “A Work in Progress” shows an alternative—good, clean romance that makes you think about life differently. This is new adult fiction that will inspire readers to reach for more than what the world says is possible!

“Staci Stallings is Christian Romance at its best!”

File Size: 1554 KB
Print Length: 379 pages
Publisher: Spirit Light Publishing (February 13, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B004JN05KY

Purchase here!

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, April 13, 2015

CFBA: Jaded by Varina Denman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Jaded
David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)
by
Varina Denman




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on a three book Texas series which will soon be published by David C. Cook. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.




ABOUT THE BOOK



As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man ... and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart ... and a thirst for hope.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Jaded, go HERE.



Mailbox Monday - April 13

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

After two Easters--Greek Easter was yesterday--I am looking forward to a less busy weekend coming up. It is, however, always wonderful to spend time with the family. Everyone was together this year, which made it especially nice.

I'm not reading as much as I would like, but I did receive a whole bunch of kid's books recently, which I am going to give away since they were unsolicited.


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What did you receive?

WIN THESE BOOKS!


TERMS AND CONDITIONS!

* Contest runs 4/13/15 - 4/30/15.
* Winner must be 18 years of age or older and reside in the United States.
* Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize. Then a new winner will be selected based on qualifying entries.
* Prize will be shipped via USPS.
* The Busy Mom's Daily is not responsible for items lost or damaged in shipment.
*VOID WHERE PROHIBITED!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dad Figures Out What A Stay-at-home Mom Should Earn A Year




While on Klout today, I discovered a link to this article about a dad who took the time to figure out how much a stay-at-home mom would earn if she were paid for all she does. His calculations probably won't surprise any busy mom, but it might make a few others blink twice.

Check here to view the figure calculated by Steven Nelms.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

About Autism Infographic




No parent likes to be told that their child has a problem. But the harsh truth is that 1 in 68 children in the United States have been identified as suffering from an autism spectrum disorder. Though it is not necessary that all children suffering from autism exhibit the same symptoms, some red flags include no eye contact, loss of speech and arching away when picked up. Experts say that the younger your child, the easier it will be for your child to benefit from the treatment. If your child is diagnosed with autism by the age of 18 months, it may even be possible to reverse the symptoms and rewire the brain through intensive treatment. Have a look at the infographic below for the latest facts and statistics concerning autism. 


Infographic created by UKS Mobility 


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CFBA: Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Mist of Midnight
Howard Books (March 10, 2015)
by
Sandra Byrd




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. The Tudor series’ end cap, Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published in April, 2013.


A life-long lover of Victorian Gothic romances, Sandra’s new series, Daughters of Hampshire, weaves elements of that mystical, traditional genre with inspirational and literary threads. Mist of Midnight, the series’ first book, debuts in March, 2015.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens, and is passionate about helping new authors develop their talent and their work toward traditional or independent publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.



ABOUT THE BOOK



In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Mist of Midnight, go HERE.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Welcome Spring Giveaway Winner!



Congratulations goes out to Marissa, the winner of a $10 Amazon gift card during our Welcome Spring Giveaway. She has been notified by email and has 48 hours to claim the prize.

Thanks to all who participated. We appreciate the support.


Kindle Freebie: The Lighthouse by Melanie Wilber


Jennifer Ellison always knew this day would come: the day she heads off to college. Away from her family. Away from her small coastal town. Away from the sea she loves and the lighthouse visible from her bedroom window.

She should be excited, but she isn’t. Leaving home seems scary and unpredictable. But ready or not, she’s going. She knows she would be foolish to stay.

Life on a college campus proves to be a whole new world, but along with the changes that take some getting used to, pleasant surprises also await her. Her roommate and a special guy she meets on the first day give her a lot to smile about, along with things she wasn’t looking for until she finds them at...The Lighthouse.


*The Lighthouse is a stand-alone novel for teen and college-age readers. Other independent novels by Melanie Wilber include, Home For Christmas, The Journey, and The Narrow Road. She also authors the Seeking Heart teen series, the Pure in Heart college series, and the Garden of Love romance series.

Readers of The Lighthouse may also enjoy the "Seeking Heart Teen Series", the "Pure in Heart" Series, the "Garden of Love" Series and the "Moments In Paradise" Series, by Melanie Wilber.

File Size: 528 KB
Print Length: 175 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00D6OU0UM

Purchase at Amazon!