Saturday, February 27, 2010

ACFW March 2010 New Releases

March is just around the corner and ACFW authors have books coming out from both February and March. Take a look. There's something to meet just about every one's reading preferences.

1. A Distant Melody, Wings of Glory, Book One by Sarah Sundin An historical from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Allie is promised to a man she doesn't love, but a B-17 pilot captures her heart--will she honor her family's wishes or take a chance on love?

2. A Woman Called Sage by Diann Mills An historical from Zondervan. A woman bounty hunter fights bitterness and revenge to find the killers of her husband.

3. Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett Women's fiction from Tyndale. A moving story about women helping women and lives changed across continents, inspired by a non-profit organization of the same name.

4. Beguiled by Deanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand A suspense/mystery/thriller from Bethany House. A dog-walker and a journalist pursue a thief (and each other) in atmospheric Charleston.

5. Cowboy Protector by Margaret Daley A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Love Inspired Suspense. When Hannah Williams comes to help Austin Taylor with his injured daughter, she draws him into an intrigue that threatens their relationship--and their lives.

6. Dead Reckoning by Ronie Kendig Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Abingdon. Trapped by a terrorist plot in Mumbai!.

7. Disarming Andi by Elizabeth Goddard A Contemporary Romance from Heartsong Presents. Contractor Andi Nielsen has another chance to discover what ís hidden inside the missile base she was hired to remodel. Is she prepared to detonate her feelings for the new owner?

8. Fatal Burn; Big Sky Secrets, Book 2 by Roxanne Rustand A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Love Inspired Suspense. In Montana's wide open spaces, danger and love are waiting....

9. Forget Me Not, Crossroads Crisis Center series, Book 1 by Vicki Hinze A Contemporary Romance from Waterbrook-Multnomah. Someone's robbed her of her identity and goes to great lengths to convince her she's someone else; someone who wants her dead.

10. Gold in the Fire/Light in the Storm by Margaret Daley A Romance from Love Inspired. Stories of love and loyalty

11. Groom in Training by Gail Gaymer Martin A Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired. Friends, Four-legged Friends and Love.

12. Kansas Courtship, After The Storm, No. 3 by Victoria Bylin An Historical Romance from Love Inspired. Dr. Nora Mitchell came to heal the town of High Plains. She stayed to heal Zeb Garrison's heart.

13. Katie's Redemption, The Brides of Amish Country by Patricia Davids A Romance from Love Inspired. A young woman returns to her Amish roots but can she find her way back to her faith.

14. Katy's New World, Katy Lambright Series by Kim Vogel Sawyer General Fiction from Zondervan. An Old Order Mennonite girl holds to her convictions while attending public high school.

15. Liberty's Promise by Amber Stockton An Historical Romance from Heartsong Presents. Feel the heartbeat of a chaotic new country through the lives of three Pennsylvania women who seek to know to whom they can entrust their hearts.

16. Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon by Miralee Ferrell A Romance from Summerside Press. A schoolteacher must choose between a man from her past and one who could be her future, while risking her reputation to rescue two runaway orphaned children.

17. Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson A Romance from Summerside Press. A widowed father and his young daughter find healing and hope in the communal Amana Colonies.

18. Morning's Refrain, Book 2 in Song of Alaska series by Tracie Peterson An Historical from Bethany House. Adventure and Romance in 1800's Sitka, Alaska.

19. Once in a Blue Moon by Leanna Ellis Women's Fiction from B&H Publishing. Faith is the first step to soaring.

20. Romance by the Book by Myra Johnson A Contemporary Romance from Heartsong Presents. A shy young woman's crush on her favorite romance author leads her to the man who will finally claim her heart.

21. Scattered Petals by Amanda Cabot An Historical from Revell. Tragedy broke her spirit -- will love mend her heart?

22. The Captain's Lady by Louise M. Gouge An Historical from Steeple Hill. Torn between love and duty, American Patriot James Templeton must deny his heart to help win his country's freedom.

23. The Easter Edition by Robin Shope A romance from White Rose. Bridal shop owner Carol Horn feels she will never find a love of her own until a new pastor comes to town, turning up by accident at her mother's funeral.

24. The Family Way by Michelle Levigne A romance from Desert Breeze Publishing. Pregnancy brings their shaky marriage to the breaking point, and Lisa and Todd must rediscover their love, their faith, and what true marriage means.

25. The Mockingbird's Call by Diane Ashby and Aaron McCarver A Romance from Barbour. Amelia Montgomery, torn between her family's traditions and her own convictions against slavery, must also choose between her duty and her heart as she works for the Underground Railroad.

26. The Promise of Morning, Book 2, At Home in Beldon Grove series by Ann Shorey An Historical from Revell. When loss drives them apart, can their faith bring them back together?.

The Winner of The Pastor's Wife is . . . .


I contacted her and as soon as she sends me her mailing address, I'll get the book off to her.

Sade, I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Win Free Copy of the book, "The Pastor's Wife"

Last week I reviewed a new book from Abingdon Press called The Pastor's Wife, by Jennifer AlLee. Today I am back with an interview with Jennifer and the opportunity to win your own copy of this great book!!

To read my CFBA review you can go to the posting dated February 17, 2010. And then come back here to read an interview with Jennifer and sign up to win a free copy of The Pastor's Wife.
I really enjoyed reading this book so much, and know you will too!

I am very pleased to welcome author Jennifer AlLee to A Writer's Journey for an interview. After you have read the interview, be sure to leave a comment, telling about a pastor's wife you know. If you don't know a pastor's wife, tell about a woman you look up to. You don't need to mention names if you prefer not.

On Saturday, February 27, 2010, a name will be chosen from among those leaving a comment to be the winner of The Pastor's Wife. So be sure to not miss leaving that comment and a mention about a pastor's wife you know at the bottom of the interview!

Jennifer, welcome to A Writer's Journey.

Q: Give us a little preview of The Pastor’s Wife.
A: Maura Sullivan never thought she’d see Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind; a husband that ignored her, a congregation she couldn’t please, and a God who took away everything she ever loved.

Nick Shepherd had put the past behind him. At least he thought he had, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick discovers his feeling for her never died. Now, he must face the mistakes he made and find a way to give and receive forgiveness.

As God works in both their lives, Nick and Maura start to believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has one more thing to tell Nick before they can move forward. It’s the thing that finally drove her to leave six years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they’ve managed to rebuild.

Q: What made you want to write this book?
A: I served as a church secretary for many years which definitely gave me a unique perspective on the lives of a pastoral family. I worked at two different churches. One was a large denominational church, the other much smaller and non-denominational. But the lives of the pastors were quite similar. There’s always another meeting to go to, or one more person that needs counseling. People feel very possessive about their pastors. This usually manifests itself in positive ways, but sometimes it crosses a line. You have to watch out for that. And the pastoral family faces challenges no one really thinks about. They basically live in a glass house and are expected to be active members of every church activity, whether they’re interested in it or not.

When I was working on the original concept for this novel, I thought about the pastors’ wives I’ve known over the years. They’ve handled themselves with amazing grace under pressure. But what if another woman couldn’t? What if a young woman thinks she knows what she’s getting into, but the reality of losing who she is and becoming a “pastor’s wife” is more than she can handle? What if some other tragedy pushes her over the edge? Would she run? And what would happen if she had to return to the scene of her heartbreak years later? All those questions eventually became The Pastor’s Wife.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A: I’ve always wanted to be something creative. I went through stages where I wanted to be a photographer, a singer, an actress… but I’ve always been writing. I was that kid in school who wrote a novella when the assignment was only to write a short story. I wrote my first novel during my senior year in high school and finished the second one in college. Neither one were very good, but they were good learning experiences. And I still have both of them packed away in a box.

Q: Beside The Pastor’s Wife, what else have you published?
A: Early in my writing journey, I sold a few short stories. Later on, I had the honor of being recommended for a project at Concordia Publishing House. My pastor at the time writes for them and he thought I’d be good for a book of skits they were putting together. I did that, which led to other projects including writing for their My Devotions series. To date, I’ve written over 100 devotions. My first published book is The Love of His Brother, a contemporary inspirational romance for Five Star. You can read more about it on my website.

Q: What’s your writing process like?
A: When I started out, I was a 100% seat-of-the-pants writer. That means I’d sit down at the computer with just an idea in my head and let it all unfold from there. But over the last few years, I’ve become a little more strategic in my approach. When you submit a proposal to an editor, you have to provide a synopsis of the entire book, from beginning to end, whether you’ve finished writing it or not. While I used to hate it, I’ve now come to appreciate the process. It forces me to think things through so that when I do sit down to write, I don’t spend as much time wondering what comes next. But I'm still quite fluid. If the story changes course in midstream, I go with it.

Q: How do you come up with your ideas?
A: Ideas are everywhere! The hard part is knowing which ones will become great books. I tend to start with something I’m familiar with. In my first novel, The Love of His Brother, I set the story in Montana because, at the time, it was the only state I’d been to other than California. With The Pastor’s Wife, I started with my knowledge of ministerial families and church operations. So I start with a nugget of familiarity and then I start pushing it around, asking “what if this happened?” The questions layer one on top of the other, and pretty soon I’ve got a plot.

Q: What advice do you have for new authors?
A: From a craft standpoint, there are two things you can do to become a better writer: read and write. Read books about the craft of writing and read other books in your genre. But don’t stop there. If you write sweet romances, stretch yourself and pick up a thriller. If you write historicals, try out a sci-fi or fantasy novel. Great writing is great writing, regardless of the subject matter. You can learn a lot by reading broadly.

For personal well-being, I would encourage every writer, no matter what stage you’re at, to have a support system. This includes belonging to a writer’s organization. I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, which has been a huge blessing to me. Through it, I’ve cultivated friendships with other writers, including my best friend who is also my critique buddy. It’s great if your family supports your writing, but trust me, you need to have people you can go to who “get” you.

Q: You have a unique last name. Why is it spelled with a capital letter in the middle?
A: AlLee is my married name, so it’s really all my husband’s fault. The origin is French, and it’s morphed quite a bit over the years. Part of the family spells it like I do. Another part uses two lowercase “el”s. And a third rebel faction spells it with the capital “el” and an accent mark. I know it can be quite confusing. But it sure looks nice on a book cover when they get it right!

Q: You grew up in Hollywood. How did that happen?
A: My grandparents met on the vaudeville circuit. Grandma was a dancer and my grandfather was a concert violinist from Hungary: Duci deKerekjarto (how’s that for a last name?) Duci immigrated to make his mark in Hollywood, which is how our family ended up there. He remained friends with another Hungarian performer, a Shakespearean actor named Bela Lugosi. (Yes, the original Dracula.) Bela died before I was born, but my mom remembers sitting on his lap and calling him Uncle Bela.

My own minor brush with fame came on the day I was born. Michael Landon Jr. and I were in the same hospital nursery in neighboring basinets. My Aunt Karen nearly passed out when she realized proud father Michael Sr. was standing at the window next to her!

Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I’m a TV/movie junkie. My tastes cross genres, but I tend to like weird stuff. My favorite current TV shows are LOST, Flash Forward, Lie to Me, and Bones. Recent favorite movies are the new Star Trek, UP, and The Blind Side. Of course, live theatre is the best, but it’s so expensive that I rarely go. A few months ago my son had to do a review of a live production for his drama class, which was the perfect excuse to see Phantom of the Opera. Man, that first blast of music in the overture gave me chills. I wanted to jump right out of my balcony seat and onto the stage to join them.

Don't forget to leave a comment and a sentence or two about a pastor's wife you know.

Jennifer can be reached through her website: website - or her blog -

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

CFBA Blog Tour - The Pastor's Wife by Jennifer AlLee

The Pastor's Wife by Jennifer AlLee, is the second debut novel I've read this month, both from Abingdon. Fiction publishing is a new venture for this publisher, and they are doing so with a huge bang. I am anxiously waiting to read more of their new line as they come out.

The Pastor's Wife is a romance, but not a typical one. Boy has already met and married girl, but that was six years earlier. As newlyweds they were immediately thrust into husband Nick's call to pastor a church in a small Ohio town. Wife, Maura, had no idea what was expected of a pastor's wife. As a new Christian, she hadn't grown up in the church to even observe a pastor's wife as a role model. Yikes, adjusting to married life is difficult enough, but toss a new pastorate position for the husband who wants to give his new job as much energy as he can, and you have a cauldron of boiling conflict.

The story begins six years after Maura ran for the hills, or rather to California to escape and try to "find herself." But, there was one tiny fly in that bubbling pot. The divorce had never been finalized. Enter a matchmaker who, through her will, makes it necessary for Maura to return to Ohio to claim her inheritance.

I won't tell you more because I would give away too much. Suffice it to say, that you will enjoy this entertaining read. AlLee has a way of writing the very serious subject of divorce and reconciliation in a way that doesn't turn the tale into a soap-opera-like drama. With a touch of humor, and a whole lot of internal growth for Maura and Nick, both in Spirit and in character, you will enjoy this book.

If you would like to read the first Chapter of The Pastor's Wife , go HERE

You can buy it at Amazon or at your favorite brick and mortar Christian bookstore.


Jennifer AlLee was born in Hollywood, California and for the first 10 years of her life lived over a mortuary one block from Hollywood and Vine. An avid reader and writer, she completed her first novel in high school. That manuscript is now safely tucked away, never again to see the light of day. Her first inspirational romance, The Love of His Brother, was released in November 2007 by Five Star Publisher.

Besides being a writer, she is a wife and mom. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, her husband and teenage son have learned how to enjoy the fabulous buffets there without severely impacting their waistlines. God is good!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CFBA Blog Tour - Walking on Broken Glass by Christa Allen

I am so glad I signed up to blog about Walking on Broken Glass by Christa Allen because it is an outstanding debut novel that keeps the reader turning pages from page one.

Leah Thornton has a very successful life to those looking on. An accomplished high school English teacher who married into a well-to-do family who gifted her and husband Carl with a gorgeous home (not of her taste) on their wedding day, she seems to have it all. But like most circumstances, people have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

Walking on Broken Glass documents Leah's story beginning with a drunken grocery shopping trip where she wrestles over which apple juice to purchase, to being confronted by her best friend, to her days in rehab where she finally faces the real Leah for the first time. Told in Leah's own words, Allen has a way with prose that keeps this non-formulaic (as Publisher's Weekly calls it) novel from ever becoming a yawner. In fact it kept me awake during the nocturnal hours I had my nose in it!

I would have expected a story that spends most of its time within the walls of a recovery program to be fraught with a dark, depressive, and anguish-filled setting. To the contrary, Allen doesn't make light of Leah's experience, but masterfully manages to show the serious side of recovery from alcohol addiction without pulling down the reader.

Allen's fresh style and characterizations are both amusing and poignant as she incorporates sarcastic humor into Leah's cadre of coping mechanisms and Carl's misconceptions of what his role of a husband should be. Both the character arc and spiritual arc in these characters is high, although far from preachy.

This was one of those stories that I was sorry to reach the last page. I wanted it to go on, but like many good things, it had to come to an end.

You won't be sorry to pick this one up. You can get it at Amazon, among other places. It's out now!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Walking on Broken Glass, go HERE


Christa Allan, a true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, weaves stories of unscripted grace with threads of hope, humor, and heart.

The mother of five and grandmother of three, Christa teaches high school English. She and her husband, Ken live in Abita Springs, Louisiana where they play golf, dodge hurricanes, and anticipate retirement.