Friday, July 29, 2011

Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa by Melanie Dobson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa
Summerside Press (June 1, 2011)
Melanie Dobson


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good, and she has now authored nine contemporary and historical novels including Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania which releases in November 2011.

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.


With a backdrop of the community of The Amana Colonies, the Civil War, and a great love story, Melanie Dobson’s new historical fiction title LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA both enlightening and entertaining.

The novel is set in the United States during the turmoil of the 1860s. As the rest of the nation is embroiled in the Civil War, the Amana Colonies have remained at peace with a strong faith in God and pursuit of community, intertwined with hard work, family life and the building of their colony.

Amalie Wiese is travelling to the newly built village of Amana in 1863. When she arrives in the colonies she finds that her fiancée, Friedrich has left to fight with the Union Army. Amalie fears for his safety as she also struggles with his decision to abandon the colony’s beliefs. Matthias, Frederick’s friend, stays back in Amana to work in the colonies. But there is something wrong with Matthias; he always seems angry at Amalie when there is no simple explanation for him to act that way.

The goods that colonies manufacture are much needed supplies for the war effort and Matthias decides to deliver the goods to the soldiers. When he leaves, Amalie realizes that her fear for Matthias’s safety is equally as strong. What will become of Friedrich, will Matthias return safely, and will Amalie marry Friedrich? LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA is a richly told story of life in the Amana Society and the people who live and love there.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa, go HERE.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

guest article: For the Love of Words

For the Love of Words
by Jaime McDougall

I have always had a love of words and stories flowing through me. Even before I could read or write, I told and imagined amazing stories of places far away. My cousins, who practically lived with us at the time, also got involved with my tales, fearing the scary creatures I told them lived under the ground…

Unlike my friends and cousins, I never outgrew my playful imagination. Learning to write was an amazing, beautiful thing because I could finally keep all these places and people I had created in my head. They could be saved and revisited later, even when new people and places had replaced them in my mind.

From princesses to great warriors, it wasn't long before I had dozens of notebooks filled with my handwriting - which underwent its own evolution from 'can just make it out' to 'finally clear and legible'. Though I had my comfort items, you would almost always see me with a pen and a notebook rather than a toy or game in my hands. I became the talk of the family at one point, some relatives suggesting that it wasn't healthy for me to have a notebook with me all the time. But in the end, no one took it away. Such a passionate artist in the family made more for idle conversation than real action on their part.

Writing has always been not only a part of my life but a part of my identity. When I wrote my first play for the school drama club, no one was surprised that I had written a play; they were simply surprised I wrote humor.

It is because of my love of words that I am so thrilled to be writing at this point in time. The self-publishing revolution is a thrilling time to be a writer, and I am fascinated by all the changes. However, I am also proud. Because of these changes, people like me who have such a love of words don't have to worry that their words will never be heard. I love and respect words, and to think no one would ever read them would break my heart.

I only hope that my love of writing words speaks to people who have a love of reading them.


Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. She has also enjoyed writing a column called ‘The New Australian’ in local newspapers as well as various articles online.

So You Want to Write a Guest Post is her first ebook and is available on Kindle and at Smashwords. You can visit her website at

Thanks Jaime for the wonderful post; how fitting

Visit this book tour here
Read my Review here
Read Author Interview here

An ecopy of this book was provided for review by Pump up your Book tours


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So You Want to Write a Guest Post by Jaime McDougall

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date....well maybe not a date but my camp excursion last week has put me behind in getting my posts posted this week.  We take my daughter to college in less than two weeks YIKES!  We'll be gone about 14 days, I'm really going to be blogged down when I get back if 5 days put me behind, I'm not looking forward to being off line for 14 days.  Soo... for the next few weeks, even month, please bear this in mind when you visit my blog.  It is all coming to a head.  I'm sure it will slow down again, but I don't see the light just yet. The author got me the stuff late last night with apologies, but I'm glad she did because I hadn't even thought about what was to be posted today so she was no later than I was as far as this post goes.  Now with no more chit chat here is the tour for Jaime McDougall's book So You Want to Write a Guest Post.  Be sure to come back tomorrow for her guest article that will be posted.

This short little ebook is packed full of lots of information for those who are considering writing a guest post to appear in bloggersphere.  It is very informational and the ideas that McDougall shares with her readers are very practical to helping write a blog post.  A good little resource tool to have at your finger tips.  She takes you from the beginning...contacting bloggers to get posting sites....all the way through to the end of what to do after the post is published to the public. She shares a list of Dos and Don'ts  and even a list of guest post ideas, what to write on themes.  Information and resource is the theme of this little book.  It is also very affordable.  Check it out  here on Kindle

The publishing world keeps on changing and, now more than ever, it is important for authors to have a presence on the internet.

But where do you start?

So You Want to Write a Guest Post is an easy to follow guide that will help you connect to bloggers and to write guest posts that get potential readers interested in your book.

When Words Count: The Importance of Word Count in Your Post

In my work as a virtual book tour coordinator, I have seen some weird and strange things, but the thing that most often perplexes me is the length of guest posts.
The shortest guest post I have ever seen was about thirty words long. The longest? Easily topped 1500 words.
When you’re writing a guest post, remember that your posts reflect on you and even more strongly on your book. If you go too long and bore the readers, readers will assume your writing is long-winded and boring as well. If your post is too short, you risk insulting your host and the readers.
Yes, word count truly is that important. Many people aren’t aware of the many statistics out there showing how post length affects reader response.
The ‘golden range’ for almost any post – guest or otherwise – is 250 to 500 words. Given that the average reader’s attention span falls greatly the closer you get to 500, you’d do best shooting closer to 250 mark.

Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors. (So far, a cat named Asimov and a puppy named Brin.)

A love of fiction has always coursed through her veins and she told stories as a child even before she knew how to write them. Settling into one genre was never her style and she has plans for novels in women’s fiction, urban fantasy and more – all with a touch of romance.

She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. She has also enjoyed writing a column called ‘The New Australian’ in local newspapers as well as various articles online.

Her fiction work and poetry has been published both online and off in places including The Oddville Press (no longer running) and The Filth zine.

So You Want to Write a Guest Post is her first ebook and is available on Kindle and at Smashwords.

Read Author Interview here

An ecopy of this book was provided for review by Pump up your Book tours


Monday, July 25, 2011

Mailbox Monday ~ July 25, 2011

Join Mailbox Monday meme
@ The Printed Page

Wow just getting back from Church Camp and trying to get caught up on top of that it is my Birthday today so having to party and stay off the computer.  So I'm back logged.
Hubby collected the mail and set it on my desk chair.
So here is what my mailbox looked like when I got back...
this is what the opened stack looked like...
101 Offline Activities You Can do with your Child by Steve and Ruth Bennett
The Hardest Thing To Do by Penelope Wilcock
Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig
Out of Control by Mary Connealy
A River to Cross by Yvonne Harris
A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Beyond Prejudice by Raschelle Wurzer


Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Canary Island Song
Howard Books; Original edition (July 5, 2011)
Robin Jones Gunn


Robin Jones Gunn was born in Wisconsin and lived on a dairy farm until her family moved to southern California when she was five years old. She grew up in Orange County and spent her summers at Newport Beach with friends from her church youth group. After attending Biola University and Capernwray Bible School in Austria, Robin and Ross were married and spent the next two decades working together in youth ministry.

It was the young teens at Robin’s church who challenged her to write stories for them. She hadn’t thought much about being a writer, but took their request to heart and set her alarm for 3am, three days a week. With two small children it was the only time she could find to write the first story about Christy Miller. After two years and ten rejections the novel Summer Promise was accepted for publication in 1988. Robin hasn’t stopped writing since. Over 4 million copies of her 75 books have sold and can be found in a dozen translations all over the world.

Robin and her husband now live in Hawai’i where Ross is a counselor and Robin continues to write to the sound of tropical birds chattering in the palm trees outside her window. Their children are grown but manage to come to the islands with their families every chance they get. Robin's awards include: three Christy awards for excellence in fiction, a Gold Medallion finalist, Mt. Hermon Pacesetter and the Mt. Hermon Writer of the Year award. Robin travels extensively and is a frequent key-note speaker at various events around the world. She serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and Jerry Jenkin’s Christian Writer’s Guild.


When Carolyn’s grown daughter tells her she needs to “get a life,” Carolyn decides it’s time to step out of her familiar routine as a single woman in San Francisco and escape to her mother’s home in the Canary Islands. Since Carolyn’s mother is celebrating her seventieth birthday, the timing of Carolyn’s visit makes for a perfect surprise.

The surprise, however, is on Carolyn when she sees Bryan Spencer, her high school summer love. It’s been seven years since Carolyn lost her husband, but ever since that tragic day, her life has grown smaller and closed in. The time has come for Carolyn to get her heart back. It takes the gentle affection of her mother and aunts, as well as the ministering beauty and song of the islands to draw Carolyn into the fullness of life. She is nudged along by a Flamenco dance lesson, a defining camel ride and the steady gaze of Bryan’s intense blue-gray eyes.

Is it too late for Carolyn to trust Bryan? Can Carolyn believe that Bryan has turned into something more than the wild beach boy who stole her kisses so many years ago on a balmy Canary night?

Carolyn is reminded that Christopher Columbus set sail from the Canary Islands in 1492 on his voyage to discover the New World. Is she ready to set sail from these same islands to discover her new life?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Canary Island Song, go HERE.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Cute as a Button Bookmark

Since I'm away this week and I like to keep things bookish on this blog I thought I'd post this since is does in a round about way have something to do with books.  It is sew cute.  I couldn't pass it up.  Enjoy and have a super weekend.  

Look at this Bookmarker... 

it is so cute and easy to make.  Head over to Gooseberry Patch HERE to get the details.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Look Like My Daddy by Anita Agers-Brooks

I Look Like My Daddy
by Anita Agers-Brooks

I am illegitimate, but I am not an accident. And no matter how you came to exist, neither are you.

I was forty-six years old, when through a dramatic series of events, I found out Dad, the man who raised me,
isn’t my biological father. My identity is surrounded by mystery, but I know exactly who I am.

In the grief-drenched days, after I received DNA results confirming Dad isn’t my birth-father, I went to the
Bible for comfort. My tears stained the pages when I read, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5). I sobbed over God’s promise to be, “A father to the
fatherless.” (Psalm 68:5).

A dear friend said in response to my story. “God sure must have wanted you. He went to a lot of trouble to
create you especially who you are.”

I’ve learned she is right. I am not an accident.
There are six powerful things I discovered while the mystery unraveled:
1. I belong to God, no matter how I was conceived.
2. I exist to glorify Him by becoming the person I was meant to be.
3. I can go to His Word, and His people, to get more information.
4. I found my life’s purpose by asking Him to reveal my unique destiny.
5. I decided in a single moment never to give up.
6. I started by taking one step. Then one more. And another, and then another.

God knitted me together on purpose, with purpose, to fulfill a purpose. My unique DNA combination makes me especially qualified to do the work He planned for me before I was even born. I am wanted, because my Daddy-God adopted me. I am beautiful, because I look like my Daddy-God. I am the daughter of the King of Kings, which makes me a princess. I am secure in my identity, which is found in Christ alone.

But my story isn’t all about me. My story is also about you.

No matter how you started, or where you are today, you are meant for abundant life. You can live the dream
God planted in your heart when He set you in the soil of your mother’s womb. You are not an accident. You
know who you are. You look like your Daddy.

Anita Agers-Brooks is on a mission to find her biological father. On her journey, she shares God’s message as a Communications Specialist, Certified Personality Trainer, public speaker, and writer. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky. Contact her via website or email


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shadows on the Sand
Multnomah Books (July 19, 2011)
Gayle Roper


Gayle is the award winning author of more than forty books. She has been a Christy finalist three times for her novels Spring Rain, Summer Shadows, and Winter Winds. Her novel Autumn Dreams won the prestigious Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Summer Shadows was voted the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Book of the Year (tied with fellow author Brandilyn Collins).

Gayle has won the Holt Medallion three times for The Decision, Caught in a Bind, and Autumn Dreams. The Decision won the Reviewers Choice Award, and Gayle has also won the Award of Excellence for Spring Rain and the Golden Quill for Summer Shadows and Winter Winds. Romantic Times Book Report gave Gayle the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her Amhearst mystery series, Caught in the Middle, Caught in the Act, and Caught in a Bind, originally published by Zondervan, was reprinted in 2007 by Love Inspired Suspense with a fourth original title added, Caught Redhanded. Another original single title, See No Evil, was also released. Caught in the Middle has been optioned for film.

For her work in training Christian writers Gayle has won special recognition from Mount Hermon CWC, St. Davids CWC, Florida CWC, and Greater Philadelphia CWC. She directed St. Davids for five years and Sandy Cove CWC for six. She has taught with Christian Leaders, Authors and Speakers Services (CLASS), serving for several years as their writer in residence. She enjoys speaking at women's events across the nation and loves sharing the powerful truths of Scripture with humor and practicality.

Gayle lives in southeastern Pennsylvania where she enjoys her family of two great sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, and the world's five most wonderful grandchildren. When she's not writing, or teaching at conferences, Gayle enjoys reading, gardening, and eating out.


Carrie Carter’s small café in Seaside, New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He’s recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children—and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her, to Carrie’s chagrin.

When Carrie’s dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries … and into her life. But Carrie has a painful past, too, and when the reason she once ran away shows up in town, the fragile relationship she’s built with Greg threatens to implode from the weight of the baggage they both carry. Two wounded hearts struggle to find a way to make one romance work. Failure seems guaranteed when Carrie locates her waitress but is taken hostage...

If you would like to read the first chapter of Shadows on the Sand, go HERE.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Falls Like Lightning
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
Shawn Grady


Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire, Tomorrow We Die & Falls Like Lightning.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

After graduating from James Logan High School in Union City, California, Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego as a Theology undergrad. There he found clarity of direction and proceeded on to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.


When hotshot smoke jumper Silas Kent gets his own fire crew, he thinks he's achieved what he's always wanted. But a lightning-sparked fire in the Desolation Wilderness of the Sierra Nevadas has his team in a plane before they can even train together.

Pilot Elle Westmore has been called up to drop the crew into the heart of the forest infernos. A single mother of a mysteriously ill six-year-old, she can't imagine her life getting any more complicated.

It doesn't take long for things to go very wrong, very quickly. A suspicious engine explosion forces Elle to make an emergency landing. Silas is able to parachute to safety but soon discovers his crew can't be trusted. They're hiding something, and now Silas is on a race to save himself and Elle from the flames--and from a more dangerous threat: his own team.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Falls Like Lightning, go HERE


Teaser Tuesday ~ A Carpenter's View of the Bible

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought I would play for un! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers
God knows we require physical markers in our lives to remind us of the passing of significant events.  We have a the tendency to forget moments of our past, and our memories become stimulated when we encounter the environments we experienced many years earlier.  Childhood memories, friendships, conversations, and sports competitions of years previous are activated when we walk the streets, school hallways, and over the playing fields of our youth. 

~ taken from p. 49 of A Carpenter's View of the Bible by Charlie March


Monday, July 18, 2011

Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker is happy to bring to you a blog post written by Lorilee just for our members.

Guest blog post from Lorilee Craker, author of Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving and blogger at

The Amish love to barter—swapping goods for goods, services for goods, or services for services. Their old-fashioned money mindset means they are always on the lookout for a way to do some good, honest horse trading, with no cash changing hands.

The Plain folk I interviewed for my book, Money Secrets of the Amish, had all kinds of stories of how they traded with their neighbors and friends, getting something they wanted for some item they had, or for some skill or expertise or elbow grease.... Click here to read the complete post by Lorilee!

Visit Amish Living at:


Mailbox Monday ~ July 18, 2011

Join Mailbox Monday meme


Friday, July 15, 2011

Five Ways to Encourage Summer Learning....

Five Ways to Encourage Summer Learning

Whether or not you homeschool, this post by guest contributor Erin Walton has great ideas for stimulating your kids' curiosity during the summer doldrums. From the post:

"Summer is the perfect opportunity to work with focus on a skill- it can be learning to knit or sew, a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie even if you have to bake (and eat) 50 different kinds to do so, or making 100 vinegar and baking soda volcanoes before September rolls around… anything goes!

No matter how silly the quest seems to be, the real learning comes from sticking with a project, thinking about how to improve each time you work at the quest or simply reaching that lofty goal of 100 volcanoes."

Head here to read all five ideas.