Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ann Tatlock's Promises to Keep Revisited

To get a review up during a scheduled blog tour, a couple weeks ago I posted a
review for Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock before I'd finished reading the book. At the time I raved about this book even though I'd only read a portion of it. By the time I finished reading, my opinion had not changed. In fact, if anything, I'd grown to love this story, its characters, the setting, and the exquisite writing even more!

"Promises" delivers all of that and more, and I felt as though it was presented to me as a special gift. I thought about the characters days after closing the book and putting it down. And, as a writer, I have gone back to it again and again to study technique. Because Ann Tatlock epitomizes the kind of writer I want to be when I grow up.

If you read my review of a couple weeks ago, you may want to go back and refresh your memory. And if you haven't read my review of February 11th, go read it now. You can get this book at Amazon.

You won't be disappointed!

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

Ann can be reached through the Contact link on her Website

Friday, February 11, 2011

CFBA Blog Tour - Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

For a long time now a good friend has raved to me about the writings of author Ann Tatlock. Why I had never read any of Tatlock's work I have no idea. But you can be sure that will not happen again!

Tatlock's newest release, Promises to Keep, is so far a winner. I say so far because having received the book in too short a time to finish reading it before the blog tour, I am only 2/3 of the way through the story. And I love it!!!

I will write a full review of the story when I've finished it. Meanwhile read this about the book. Don't hesitate to pick up your own copy.

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promises to Keep
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)
Ann Tatlock


Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.


Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper.

Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life, and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in.

Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else. When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.

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

Watch the book trailer:

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Book Review: Found in Translation by Roger Bruner with Kristy Bruner

Found in Translation is a Young Adult debut novel by Roger Bruner with his daughter Kristi Bruner. The story may be written for the younger set, but this woman of a certain age found the story engaging, entertaining, edifying and encouraging. I highly recommend it.
When Kim Harlinger - 18 and spoiled - arrives on a mission trip to Mexico and discovers to her chagrin that she'll be doing construction in a remote village without plumbing and electricity, rather than evangelism in a medium-sized town with a fast food joint...she has only two choices. "Rough it" (which isn't exactly what Kim had in mind when she signed up for this trip) or turn around and head home.

Well, Kim stays and the Kim that returns home is not the same Kim who arrives in the small Mexican town that has been totally destroyed by a tornado.

The book is masterfully written, and from a writer's perspective I was awed by the prose. One example that really impacted me comes toward the end of the story. Kim has been on site for almost two weeks and will soon be going home. God has done a powerful work in her through a small daughter of one of the surviving villagers and an awesome African American girl who is part of the mission team and  Kim's best friend since the first day on the mission field. Speaking about her suitcase Kim says:

I got it (her Bible) out and laid it on my sleeping bag, and closed and latched the suitcase. Most of the other things in the suitcase didn't look familiar. They'd belonged to a different Kim Harlinger in a different world, and I didn't know if the new Kim would ever need them again.

I think this tale will be greatly enjoyed by the young people it's targeted to. The first person voice is funny at times, serious at times, and profound a lot of the time. Kim Harlinger will make an excellent role model for any teen reader.

There are some places in the book I feel could have been tightened, such as several dream scenes. Also there is a letter at the end of the book written by one of the villagers that someone translates into English for Kim. I found the cognitive thinking of the letter writer to be higher than I would expect for someone who had been characterized as an uneducated woman. But those are two very small bones to pick in this excellent book.

You can purchase Found in Translation on line at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or at your favorite Christian book store at the mall. However you buy it, I highly recommend that you do!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

February 2011 ACFW Author New Releases

February is starting out with good reading weather in my neck of the woods. What else is there to do but snuggle up with a good book when there's a blizzard outside? Here's the latest new releases from ACFW authors!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website.

1. Angel Sister by Ann Gabhart -- General Fiction from Revell. It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine Merritt, works hard to keep her family together during the Great Depression. Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named would be just what the Merritts need?

2. Another Dawn by Kathryn Cushman -- General Fiction from Bethany. What would you give for a second chance to make things right? When life gets complicated, Grace Graham runs. But now her sister, Jana, is giving her once last chance.

3. Blood Covenant by Lisa Harris -- A Thriller/Suspense from Zondervan. Paige Ryan and Nick Gilbert must put their own lives in the hands of God as they fight for the safety of the refugees under their protection.

4. Deadly Ties by Vicki Hinze -- A Thriller/Suspense from Waterbook-Multnoma. Her enemy will stop at nothing for control. She will risk everything for freedom.

5. Hometown Dad by Merrillee Whren -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A pair of rowdy boys would be exhausting for two parents—little wonder single mom Melanie Drake feels overwhelmed. Enter Nathan Keller—respected banker, descendant of the town’s father...and baseball coach.

6. Journey to Riverbend by Henry McLaughlin -- A Western Historical from Tyndale. A chance for redemption was something they never expected. A chance for love was something they never dreamed of. Sometimes the journey is only the beginning . . .

7. Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes -- A Romance from Revell. By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British aristocrat, is doing on American soil working as an indentured servant.

8. Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate -- General Fiction from Bethany House. Adventure is the last thing on Andrea Henderson's mind when she moves to Moses Lake. But when a little girl is seen with the town recluse, Andrea and the new game warden are drawn together in the search for her identity. The little girl offers them both a new chance at redemption and hope--and may bring them closer than either ever planned.

9. Letting Go; Healing Hearts Series, Book 1 by Michelle Sutton -- General Fiction from Sheaf House. From an early age Diane Simmons was trained by her parents in the art of seduction, but she hates that about herself and wants to be loved for who she is, not what she looks like.

10. Raider's Heart by Marcia Gruver -- A Romance from Barbour. Dawsey Wilkes wakes up deep in the Carolina swamps, the prisoner of a rowdy family who support a vigilante intent on bringing justice to the poor. Wooed by the competitive McRae brothers and shunned by their sister Ellie, Dawsey remains intent on getting back home to her ailing father. But has it been God's plan all along to unite these two very different families?

11. Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones -- A Romance from Thomas Nelson. You’re invited to the engagement of the most unlikely couple of the year.

12. The Outlaw's Return by Victoria Bylin -- A Historical Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical. J.T. Quinn would know Mary Larue's beautiful voice anywhere. He just never expected to hear her singing in a Denver church.

13. Turbulance by Dana Mentink -- A Thriller/Suspense from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Romantic Suspense. Someone wants to ensure that the flight bringing Maddie Lambert and a transplant organ to her father never reaches its destination. Someone who's desperate enough to sabotage the plane.

14. When All My Dreams Come True by Janelle Mowery -- General Fiction from Harvest House. An adventurous novel of faith, hope, and love in the Wild West.

15. Words by Ginny Yttrup -- General Fiction from B&H Publishing. Brought together by Divine design, Kaylee and Sierra will discover together the healing mercy of the Word-Jesus Christ.