Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Texas Roads" by Cathy Bryant

As I've mentioned in past posts I received a Nook/e-reader for Christmas. I have throughly enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to downloading many more books. After all it can hold up to 1500 books. I think that there will be more and more books that will sell as many e-editions as paperback. Cathy felt very strongly about publishing "Texas Roads" as a digital book. I for one am glad she did and think she made a very good decision. I really enjoyed this debut novel and I am looking forward to the sequel. I'm going to copy what is on Cathy's website because I think it sums it up very nicely. These reviewers say what I would like to say, but put it much more eloquently than I could. It will be out in paperback in the near future and is available now at in digital form.

by Cathy Bryant
2009 ACFW Genesis contest finalist

City gal Dani Davis just wants a place to call home. Miller’s Creek, Texas, with its quirky residents, quaint charm, and business potential, seems like the perfect place to start over . . . except for the
cowboy who gives her a ride into town.

Dani secretly finances renovations to downtown Miller’s Creek, but malicious rumors force her to choose between keeping her involvement a secret and the home for which she’s always longed. Then a devastating discovery propels her down a road she never expected to travel.

Steve Miller is determined to save his dying hometown. When vandalism jeopardizes theMiller's Creek restoration project, he can’t help but suspect Dani, whose strange behavior has become fodder for local gossips. Can Steve and Dani call a truce for a higher cause, and

in the process help Dani understand the true meaning of home?

Read the first 5 chapters here.

Purchase the eBook edition of TEXAS ROADS
* * * * * * *


"Cathy Bryant's Texas Roads is one I want permanently on my book shelf! Her writing talent is outstanding as she blends sweet Texas charm, a Mayberry-like town, wanting a place to belong, and God's will all together in one amazing read. Cathy adds humor to the mix making it sure to be a best-selling inspirational start of a moving series! Worthy of five star praises!"
~ Molly Edwards at Book Reviews by Buuklvr81

"Texas Roads is one of those books that captures your attention from the first and doesn't let go until the last page. Cathy cleverly paints a picture that draws the reader into the story. While reading, I was no longer in my home, I was in Miller's Creek. I walked the streets of the town and relaxed in the shade of the trees that dotted the countryside. I smelled the food cooking and enjoyed conversations on Mama Beth's porch. I struggled with the characters in their trials and rejoiced with them in their victories. This is one book that you won't want to miss! I can hardly wait for the next book!"
~ Donna Morris

"I couldn't put this book down! The story moves quickly, with no wasted words. Dani's struggle to find a true home and get over her past abuses spoke to my heart. But God is still in the healing business, and watching and living through the healing process with these people in Miller's Creek brought a healing to my own heart. May God bless you as you read this book. And may God continue to bless Cathy Bryant, so we can read more of her works!"
~ Valita Randolph

"Texas Roads by Cathy Bryant is a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable love story. I found the book very hard to put down each evening at a decent hour because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Her folksy descriptions had me chuckling aloud and her plot twists rooting for the main characters through all their trials and emotional travails. It is a story that will touch your heart and make you long to live in the lovely Texas setting with the realistic and heroic characters that Cathy has created. Five stars and "two thumbs up!"
~ Marlayne Giron, author of The Victor

"Cathy Bryant spins a tale of dangerously romantic Texas cowboys and hurting school marms with twenty-first century panache. I could hear the twang all the way up in Wisconsin ."
~ Lisa Lickel, author of Healing Grace and Meander Scar

"A heart-gripping tale written with exceptional skill,Texas Roads is a book you will not want to put down. Cathy has succeeded in showing how God takes the bad things in our life and makes it all beautiful in His time. Not only was I spell-bound to the very end, but I finished the story wanting more. Great job, Cathy! I can't wait to read your next Miller's Creek novel!"
Linnette R. Mullin at Linnette's Writing Corner

"Cathy Bryant has done it! Texas Roads is a spell-binding tale that will grab you on page one and won’t turn you loose until you’ve read The End. Sadness and grief are superbly balanced with uplifting joy, and when you add this one to your Keepers Shelf, you’ll feel as though you’ve met spunky Dani Davis and handsome cowboy Steve Miller in person. If I were doling out stars, I’d give Cathy four for this one!"
~ Loree Lough, author of 75 award-winning books, including reviewer favorite Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska & the soon-to-be-released Beautiful Bandit, Book One in her Lone Star Legends series.

"This was a well written book. The old saying of "show don't tell" is exactly what Cathy Bryant has done. I grew up in the country and could feel the breeze blowing through my hair, and smell the country smells. It took me down memory lane. I laughed and cried and worried throughout the book. I read it through in one sitting. This is definitely a book I will recommend to all of my friends."
~ Sandra Stiles, Musings of a Book Addict

"I LOVED this story! Cathy’s writing is vibrant and fresh. It’s loaded with very likeable characters and zippy dialog. I enjoyed getting to know Dani. What an honest woman she was. Steve was a great hero who would do whatever he could to protect those he loves. Aunt Beth is a gem. What a wise woman of God. The secondary characters were very well drawn and I felt like I wanted to move to Miller Creek myself. This was Cathy Bryant’s first novel but her writing is that of a seasoned author. She kept me turning pages from start to finish. You could tell this author was writing from the heart. I love the spiritual message of this story. We can all relate to finding a place to call home. I’m looking forward with great anticipation to future works by Cathy Bryant. I highly recommend this book."
~ Sherry Kuhn, Love 2 Read Novels

"Texas Roads is a delightful book to read. Mrs. Bryant has an eloquent way of expressing her heart that is evident throughout the book. You will fall in love with Miller’s Creek and wish that you could move there. All the characters, even the “old geezers,” will find a place on your list of favorite characters."
~ Edwina Cowgill, Musings of Edwina

"This was a great read! I loved the setting, a small town outside of Dallas, Texas. I appreciated the theme,Finding Home. As someone that has moved around a lot these past 17 years I felt that I could relate to the main characters desire and need to find "home". One of the things that God taught me through all of our moves was that HE is my home, not any place here on earth. I am certain that I would not understand that in the way that I do, had we not moved around. Even though my circumstances have been different than that of Dani's, the main character, I still felt myself relating to many of her emotions and heart desires. I appreciated the raw emotions displayed in each of the characters of Texas Roads. The characters of the story were very genuine. I also appreciated the deep desire in the characters, particularly Steve's, to serve and follow God."
~ Jen Unsell, Adventures in Unsell Land

"Texas Roads brings together Dani and Steve in a story rich with Texas traditions and values. It's as sweet as a piece of pie from a small-town diner. Full of interesting characters and heartbreaking secrets, Texas Roads is a good read."
~ Lenora Worth, author of Hometown Princess andThe Perfect Gift

* * * * * * *

"Swinging on a Star" by Janice Thompson

Swinging On A Star

Back Cover:

Bella Rossi's life is nearing perfection. She's got the perfect guy, she's running a successful business, and she's about to plan her most ambitious wedding yet; a Renaissance-themed fairy tale come true, complete with period costumes and foods, horse-drawn carriages, and even a castle.

There's just one hitch. The best man just happens to be Brock Benson, Hollywood's hottest and most eligible bachelor. Oh, and did we mention he's staying at the Rossi house to avoid the paparazzi?

With all the pressure surrounding this wedding, Bella's not sure she's going to make it through. Add her starstruck sister, her feuding aunt and uncle, and a trio of large, sequined church ladies with even bigger personalities, and you've got a recipe for disaster--and a lot of laughs.

This hilarious romantic comedy is sure to delight both fans and new readers alike.

About Author:

Janice Thompson is a Christian freelance author and a native Texan. She is the mother of four grown daughters three beautiful granddaughters, and a brand-new grandson. She resides in the greater Houston area, where the heat and the humidity tend to reign.

Janice started penning books at a young age and was blessed to have a screenplay produced in the early '80s. From there she went on to write several large-scale musical comedies for a Houston school of the arts. Currently, she has published over fifty novels and nonfiction books for the Christian market, most of them lighthearted and/or wedding themed.

Working with quirky characters and story ideas suits this fun-loving author. She particularly enjoys contemporary, first-person romantic comedies. Wedding-themed books come naturally to Janice, since she's coordinated nearly a dozen weddings, including recent ceremonies and receptions for her four daughters. Most of all, she loves sharing her faith with readers and hopes they will catch a glimpse of the real happily ever after as they laugh their way through her lighthearted, romantic tales.

My Take:

This is the second book in the Weddings by Bella series. I read the first one "Fools Rush In" and couldn't stop laughing at all of the funny and fun loving characters that make up this Italian family. I couldn't wait to meet up with the Rossi family again. There is even a singing parrot that was owned by a former man in the mafia. When Bella's Uncle Laz keeps him for a friend he teaches the parrot to sing "Amazing Grace" so he can witness to his owner once he returns. Bella has inherited her families wedding business and has decided to feature theme weddings. In this her second book, she features a Renaissance- themed wedding complete with a castle and knights. Bella has a knack for finding trouble or either trouble finds her. Whichever way you will find this a book that will lift your spirits as you laugh along with the Rossi family and Bella's antics.

I appreciate that Janice uses humor in her books. As a very wise person said once, "Life is too serious to be take seriously." Take a little time off from the stresses of our everyday lives and enjoy an adventure with the Rossi family in "Swinging on a Star". Visit Janice and Bella at their website:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn/Review

"Secrets" is published by Waterbrook-Multnomah and will be available in ebook and paperback book as of February 16, 2010. I was happy to receive a copy from the publishers for the sole purpose of reviewing.

Back Cover:
Jessica Morgan wants desperately to forget the past and begin a new life. She chooses a small,peaceful town tucked away in Oregon's Willamette Valley as the place to start over -- Glenbrook. Once they are, Jessica conceals her identity from the intriguing personalities she meets -- including the compassionate paramedic who desires to protect her and the jealous woman who wants nothing more than destroy her.
Will Jessica's deceit ruin all hope for the future? Or will she find a deeper peace that allows her to stop hiding the truth from those who love her most of all?
This heartwarming bestseller, book one in the Glenbrooke series, introduces the fascinating people of Glenbrooke in a compelling tale of romance and spiritual truth.

About the Author:
Robin Jones Gunn is the much -loved award -winning author of the Glenbrook, Sisterchicks, Christie Miller, and Sierra Jensen series, with more than 3 million books sold worldwide. Robin lives with her family near Portland, Oregon.

My Take:
This is the first book that I've read written by Robin Jones Gunn. It is always a thrilling experience to discover a new author that is established and already has books that have been published. This is how I felt after reading "Secrets". I couldn't wait to get a hold of another of Robins books.
This is the first book of a series and was first published in 1995. It is being republished in trade paperback as well as ebook format and will be available by Feburary 16. There are seven other titles already published in the Glennbrooke series so I have others to look forward to reading.
In "Secrets" Jessica Morgan is running from something - but what is it? She hopes to start a new life in Glenbrooke along with a new identity. The one friend she has in town, but school principle, who has hired her as a teacher, has had a stroke and will not be able to help her. On her way into town she has a wreck and spends time in the hospital. Not a very good beginning to her new life. However, the paramedic she meets seems drawn to her as well as she to him. She wonders what he would think if he knew she was hiding a secret.
In the end Jessica learns that she has made a mistake by trying to hide from her past and begin a new life based on lies. You will be turning the pages to continue the up and down saga of Jessica in the town of Glenbrooke and meet a host of friends that come to love Jessica. For more information on this book follow this link:


Monday, February 15, 2010

Aunt Helen

We buried Aunt Helen yesterday. My hope is that everyone could be as blessed as I have been to have an Aunt Helen in my life. My dad was one of 11 children. When he was four years old his mother, Ida Brinkley, died and his father remarried. Dad was the youngest of the first set of children. His siblings that I remember were Aunt Maudie,Uncle Don, Uncle Irvin, Uncle Carsee, and Uncle Lester.

The second set of dads siblings that were younger than him were Aunt Helen, Earlene and Jeanette. Their mother was Ila Mae Brinkley. Jeanette is the youngest and the surviving sister in Dads family. Dad spent a lot of time at Aunt Maudie's growing up and I know he looked to her as a mother figure. Because of that she was the closest thing to our grandmother on my Dad's side. Aunt Helen was the next closest sister that I remember.

When I was young we spent many, many weekends going to Phenix City, Alabama to visit my Aunt Maudie and of course we always went to Opelika, Alabama to visit with Aunt Helen, Uncle Bill, Suelane, Faye, Billy, Gerald and Tony at the farm. Uncle Bill and Aunt Helen lived in a big white farmhouse on the many acres of land that they farmed. It was a magical place and time for me. I can remember myself, my two brothers Curtis and Bill, and our cousins running around barefoot on the warm sandy soil playing until our hearts were content and we were exhausted.

Then we'd come in and sit around the long table with benches on both sides and be served a feast cooked by Aunt Helen. Homemade biscuits, fresh butter-beans, corn on the cob, black-eyed peas, etc. and then we would have fried pies for dessert. Nobody could beat Aunt Helen's fried pies.

While we were there I would visit the outhouse if I needed to go to the bathroom. Now, this didn't bother me because I thought it was fun and unique and I knew I would be going home to inside plumbing. I remember a well on the front porch and we would drop the bucket in the well, draw up water and quench our thirst with cool water straight from the tin dipper. When the weekend was over we returned home to our every day lives looking forward to the next visit. The visits were magical. As the progression of life continued we became teenagers and no longer wanted to go and visit anyone with our parents - heaven forbid! Then all of our cousins as well as ourselves started our own families and ties were forgotten.

Yesterday, February 14, 2010 at Aunt Helen's funeral all of these memories and feelings came rushing over me like a tsunami of water. I am so very thankful that I was able to go and once again see my cousins - though it was a sad time. I walked around the old Shiloh Baptist Church cemetery looking at the graves of my grandfather (Will Brinkley) and grandmother(Ida Brinkley) that I never knew. I saw the grave of my precious Aunt Maudie (another story in and of itself) and other relatives who have gone on to be with the Lord.

We then went out to the old farm place on Herring Road. My cousin Faye had told me the old farmhouse had long ago burned down and a new brick home had taken its place - but that the barn was still standing. We finally turned into what I thought was the long sandy driveway to the farm and as we drove up I could see all of us kids out playing around the barn.
Memories came flooding back as well as many emotions that I didn't quite know what to do with.
It was bittersweet. I was so thankful for the wonderful memories, but I was sad that those times were gone and would never be back.

With all of Dad's siblings gone, except for Jeanette, it brought on the realization that we were the next generation to become the elders. It hit me like a brick wall - I felt so old (I know 55 is not really old, but it felt that way). I couldn't help longing for simpler times and the carefree days of childhood. I took pictures of the barn and I am going to post one on here as well as post a poem I had written many years ago about memories of visiting Aunt Maudie and Aunt Helen's. Two of the most precious women you would ever want to meet.

I'm curious to know if you had an Aunt Helen and if you've had some of the same feelings I've had over the last couple of days. If so, write and let me know about them. I could use some support right now. Thank you for letting me share my memories with you!


Mimosa trees-
Green leaves-
Pink Blossoms-

Memories triggered-
Childhood gone-
Never forgotten-

Hot summers-
Long days-
Night songs-

Garden growing-
Fresh food-
Home cooking-

Aunts & uncles-
Cousins & brothers-
Friends & family-

Time gone-
Childhood memories-
Never forgotten-


Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Beach Dreams" by Trish Perry

I'm going to piggy-back on my last post. I knew that I would be reviewing this book, so I wanted to post what Christian Fiction meant before doing so. With that said here we go.

"So, what do I do? Just give up? Avoid him? Stop brushing my teeth and wearing deodorant? He's so sweet. And when he says something in that cute little accent and looks at me with those long -- lashed blue eyes and those dimples and that cleft thingy in his chin -- and have you ever noticed how perfect his nose is?"

Tiffany LeBoeuf has a problem. She has lost her job, her mother has recently passed away, and she has zero social life. And then she meets Jeremy. But Tiff is a new Christian and knows she should be attracted to this unbelieving ( but charming) Brit.

And then there's Eve -- Jeremy's girlfriend.

When Tiffany reserves a cozy beach house in San Diego for a much needed retreat, a mixup causes a double booking, and Tiffany ends up sharing the beach house with Eve. Then when Jeremy arrives to surprise Eve, he surprises Tiffany as well.

As Jeremy settles in at the house next door, events and secrets unravel that surprise everyone.

Trish Perry is the award -- winning author of The Guy I'm Not Dating and Too Good to Be True. She serves on the board of the capital Christian writers organization in the Washington DC area and edited its newsletter, Ink and the Spirit, for seven years. she has published numerous short stories, essays, devotionals, and poetry in Christian and general -- market media, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

(This is the point in time when I usually give my take/review on a book. But this time I am going to do something a little different. I had two copies of Beach Dreams, and I gave one of them to my friend Douglas Rebecca to read. She finished reading her copy before I started on mine and she was so excited about the book and what some of the messages meant to her that she encouraged me to read mine ASAP. So, I have asked her to tell me a little of why she liked this book so much. The following is what she wrote.)

Beach Dreams

I found the characters in the book Beach Dreams to posses a real world quality.Those who had found a relationship with Christ were accepting of their friends who were in a diffenent place in the faith journey.There was no chatisment of previous sins or pushing for friends to "get saved so life will be wonderful".As a new reader of Christian fiction I find this very refreshing.I was most touched in the end of the book when Zeke tells Orville that we can always hope for redemption even on the death bed for we do not know what conversation the dying may have with the Lord before their last breath.I know my mother believed in God but she did not profess a personal relationship with the Lord.I have always had hope that she made her peace with Him before her death.

Thank you Douglas for sharing your words with us. I think it's been fun having another view on a book besides mine. Be sure and visit Trish at: and if you want to buy Beach Dreams click on Deborah's bookstore on the right side of my blog. As always:


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Is Christian Fiction?

When you hear the term Christian fiction what first pops into your mind?

-- conservative Christian values
-- Christian characters who don't drink alcoholic beverages, play cards, dance, or gamble
-- no profanity
-- no strong violence
--no overt sexuality
-- chaste relationships that downplay the physical component of love while emphasizing the emotional side

I have been reading Ron Benrey's book "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Writing Christian Fiction". I really don't think the title of the book is insinuating that everyone who reads it is an idiot - I'm hoping that it is just a play on words. Surely, I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.

He explains it like this. "I have some good news to share with you. Despite what you may have heard about Christian fiction, you actually have great flexibility when you develop the Christian content for your novel.

Many of the new writers that I meet at writers conferences assume that Christian publisher promulgate hard -- and -- fast rules that define the required Christian content in the novels they publish. A widespread misconception is that every Christian novel must show at least one character excepting Christ as his or her Lord or Savior.

Although this may have been true during the early days of Christian fiction, publishers and readers have become used to a range of explicit Christianity -- a spectrum of spirituality, if you like. You can almost always incorporate the right amount of Christian content to feature genre, your story, and your personal vision of Christian fiction."

He goes on to give three levels of Christian fiction:
Here, you will tell a complete story that shows God's grace in action. Specifically, your main plot will involve a hero who starts out as a determined nonbeliever -- possibly an atheist. He will suffer the consequences of a life separated from God, it rock-bottom, cry out to Jesus for help, and receive salvation. Along the way, other characters will explain Christianity to your hero and otherwise assist his journey to redemption. A high point of this kind of story is the so-called conversion scene, where the hero will speak some form of the "Sinner's Prayer" and become a born-again Christian.

If you choose to write in the middle of the Christian content spectrum, your stories will likely illustrate the impact of Jesus Christ on the lives of one, or possibly two, leading characters. They may or may not be Christians when the action begins, but the faith they developed during the course of the story will help them to solve their problems -- and change the way they view the world around them.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Christian message is fairly mild. It can be as simple as showing significant progress in a lead character's Christian walk. The character starts the story as a Christian and struggles to become a stronger Christian during the course of the novel. By the end of the book, the character must have become a solid believer in Christianity and a member of a church community. This seems to be widely excepted by many as the absolute minimum requirement of explicit Christianity and true Christian fiction.

Given the origins of Christian fiction-- and the almost universal use of conversion stories in early novels-- it's not surprising to find that some Christian novelist reject the idea of a spectrum of spirituality.

Now that I have given you Ron's take on what Christian fiction should entail now is up to you to decide what you would consider Christian fiction. Over the past several months I have read many books which are considered "Christian fiction". They have run the spectrum of which Ron explains in his book. I think that in this new day of Christian fiction that there is a level of spirituality that would meet everybody's need. I hope you have found this helpful in some little way, and the next time you hear the term Christian fiction you will have some idea as to what that really means.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Releases for February

New Releases for February

1. Abigail: A Novel, The Wives of King David, Book 2, by Jill Eileen Smith from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Turmoil marks her life - what price will she pay for love?

2. A Valentine Wish, by Betsy St. Amant from Steeple Hill Lori, chocolate-lover extraordinary, is unemployed, single, and out of brownie mix. But when a secret admirer pops up at her new job running a chocolate boutique, she might have the ingredients for a special Valentine's after all!

3.Deliver Us From Evil, by Robin Caroll from B&H Publishing. When a female helicopter rescues a US Marshal escorting a heart, they must race against time to uncover the largest child trafficking ring in history.

4. Hometown Promise; First in the Kellerville Series, byMerrillee Whrenfrom Steeple Hill. Kellerville: Finding family, community and love in one small town

5. Love's Winding Path, by Lauralee Blissfrom Heartsong Presents, Barbour Publishing. A prodigal's life is never out of God's reach and His love as two lonely adventurers are about to discover.

6. The Marriage Masquerade, by Erica Vetschfrom Heartsong Presents, Barbour Publishing. Sometimes running away brings you right back where you started.

7. Meander Scar, by Lisa Lickel from Black Lion. When Ann is ready to jump back into life with a new love, she discovers the devastating truth behind her husband's disappearance.

8. My Deadly Valentine, by Lynette Eason andValerie Hansen from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Two suspense filled stories about stalkers and the men determined to protect the women they love.

9. On Wings of Love, by Kim Watters from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A dedicated nurse devotes her life helping others, only to discover the man who steals her heart doesn't want her help..

10. The Pastor's Wife, by Jennifer AlLee from Abingdon Press. A woman must face the husband - and the congregation - she ran from six years earlier.

11. Walking on Broken Glass, by Christa Allen from Abingdon Press. Leah Thornton stops numbing her pain with alcohol, but discovers the road to redemption might still be under construction.

I borrowed this beautiful list from Margaret Daley's blog. Please take a minute to go over and check out her website and her books. She is a wonderful writer and if you haven't read any of her books yet you don't know what you're missing!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wonderful Valentines Giveaway


I have a great Valentine's giveaway. Giveaway includes: 1. Love Inspired-

"A Valentine's Wish" by Betsy St. Amant
(I wanted to add another picture of the book cover, so everyone could see how beautiful the cover is!)

Blurb: Unless youth pastor Andy Stewart finds a suitable wife fast, he'll lost his job. Yet the woman of his dreams is his best friend. And Lori Perkins is still smarting over a failed engagement, so he can't just declare his love. His plan: he'll be her secret admirer and woo her anonymously with flowers and chocolates.

And then, when romance is on her mind, Andy will confess his Valentine's wish--to spent his life with her. There's just one little problem, Lori seems to think her secret admirer is someone else!

2. A small box of Russell Stover's chocolates.

3. A beautiful LOVE keychain.

4. A bundle of four heart-shaped lollipops.

5. A pink Heart-shaped plate.


For a chance to win this giveaway.

Leave a comment +1

Be or become a follower +1

Post my Valentine's giveaway on your blog, and let me know you did +2

Void where prohibited; Open to US residents only. Odds of winning depends on the number of entrants.

Drawing will be held February, 14