Tag Archives: Christian fiction

Featured Reads: Three for the Books, April 2017

Three for the Books, April 2017

The monthly “Three for the Books” post is where I feature new (Hot Off the Presses), best selling (Topping the Charts), and award winning (Cream of the Crop) Christian fiction books. I select one title to feature in each category and provide links to where you can browse additional newly released, best selling, and award winning titles. For my featured reads, I’m also including links to some fabulous reviews by fellow bloggers, so you can check out what others are saying. Have you read any of these featured titles? Any others you’d like to give a shout-out? Comments are always welcome!

Hot Off the Presses

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti is a new contemporary release this month from Abingdon Press. It’s available in print and electronic editions.

Featured Review: Jen at the Mother of Three blog says, “Ruchti doesn’t shy away from tackling the hard stuff of life and never fails to weave gospel grace into her stories.” Check out her full review of A Fragile Hope here.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More New Releases

Topping the Charts

If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock appears on the ECPA bestsellers list for April. This suspense novel is second in a series that’s told in the first person (following If I Run), and is available from Zondervan in print, electronic, and audio formats.

Featured Review: The blogger at Fiction Aficionado reviewed this novel, saying, “Really and truly, if you love suspense, this series should be on your ‘must read’ list. I’ll be counting down the months, weeks, and days until the final book releases!” Click to read more of this review of If I’m Found here.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More Best Sellers

Cream of the Crop

Dauntless by Dina L Sleiman won the Carol Award in the YA category for 2016. This reimagining of the Robin Hood legend is available from Bethany House in print and electronic editions.

Featured Review: Over at the Straight Off the Page blog, Marisa wrote, “Sleiman created a world of both magic and reality within the confines of medieval England that brings readers into the hearts of teenagers and the world of adults. With a gripping tangle of faith, friendships, romance, and survival, Dauntless should be on everyone’s to-be-read list regardless of the reader’s age.”  You can find her full review of Dauntless here.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More Award Winners

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, April 2017

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the April 2017 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s April selection is to be determined. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

By the Book is an in-person book discussion club that has introduced an online Facebook-based discussion option. To join in online, like the By the Book Facebook page, and be sure to check back there periodically for any discussion that may not have made it into your news feed. April’s selection is The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser.

For April, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert AND Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title per month. The selection for April is The Atonement by Beverly Lewis. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the title for the month of April is The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis. The discussion is planned for April 20, 2017.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

Home at Last by Deborah Raney (Abingdon, February 2017, Contemporary Romance)

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky (Multnomah, February 2017, Historical Romance)

The Priority Unit by Susan Page Davis (Tea Tin Press, February 2017, Romantic Suspense)


So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, June 2016

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the June 2016 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s June selection is Sit, Stay Love by Dana Mentink. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

For June, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd AND Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Christian Book Lovers’ Hideaway group’s monthly discussions can be found on their Goodreads discussion page. Their June fiction selection is Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title and one Christian fiction title per month. The selections for June are Heart in Hand by Barbara Cameron AND Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the title for the month of June is The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. Discussion is scheduled for June 15, 2016.

The Christian Fiction Book Club, and the Fans of Christian Romance Goodreads group are taking breaks from discussion for the time being.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton (April 2016, WaterBrook, Historical)

Code 13 by Don Brown (April 2016, Zondervan, Suspense)

An Unbroken Heart by Kathleen Fuller (March 2016, Thomas Nelson, Amish Romance)

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti (April 2016, Abingdon, Contemporary Women’s Fiction)

Behold the Man by Bodie and Brock Thoene (March 2016, Zondervan, Historical)

Change of Heart by Courtney Walsh (March 2016, Tyndale House, Contemporary Romance)


So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?

Audiobook Review: Come to Me Alive by Leah Atwood

Title: Come to Me Alive
Author: Leah Atwood
Narrator: Pamela Almand
Print Publisher: Falling Leaf Press (October 2014)
Audio Publisher: Self Published (July 2015)
Series: Come to Me, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction
Length: 7 hours, 9 minutes, Unabridged

About the Book: (from the description on Audible)

Bryce Landry, country music’s hottest star, has it all, or so everyone on the outside thinks. They can’t see his struggle to discover himself, to find his place in unfamiliar territories, both as a dad and as a Christian. He takes a month off and escapes to the small town of Oden Bridge, Louisiana, where his daughter lives with his grandparents.

Sophie Thatcher has never been a risk taker, but she has no complaints and never thought her life lacked until her boyfriend of three years breaks off their relationship. Only then, does she begin to question what she’s missed by always playing it safe. Meeting Bryce is a call to action. She can let fear rule or trust in faith, which means taking the biggest risk of her life.

As the weeks and months pass, they discover finding each other was easy, but holding on will be a different story.

My Thoughts on the Book:

Come to Me Alive is a sweet, contemporary Christian romance between a school teacher and a formerly “bad boy” country music star. The story focuses primarily on their developing relationship from a cleverly amusing cute meet involving an attacking duck, through some relational rough patches, right on to a satisfying ending. Secondary plot threads involve dealing with challenges balancing career, faith, and fatherhood, as well as reconnecting with estranged family.

I thought the author did a great job introducing the reader to her characters and showing just how they fall in love a bit at a time. It felt very true to life. Maybe even a little too much so, in that the conflicts standing between them and a happy ending weren’t all that evident until much later in the book. The smooth sailing early on gave me pause, but I am glad I stuck with the book because the story becomes deeper and more meaningful as it goes on.

There were plenty of descriptive details throughout, to show the reader exactly what’s happening at any given time. I’ll admit, there were a few instances where I thought the description may have gone a bit overboard, delving into nitty-gritty minutiae like the process of writing a check and what shape that check was, but nit-picking aside I’d rather have too clear a picture than too vague. The hero’s newness to his Christian faith offered plenty of opportunity to showcase some of the ways that faith can change lives. Overall, this is a fun and leisurely read for anyone who enjoys the process of falling in love. And really, who doesn’t? :)

I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook edition, which has been honored with a nomination for one of this year’s Audie awards. The narrator and those involved in production went above and beyond the call of duty. The audio includes a recording of the song that plays a big role in the story. In fact, I’m told that song was arranged and produced specifically for the audiobook. How cool is that, right? At another point, when a character quotes a literary classic in Middle English, the narrator does a convincing job with the accent/pronunciation, all while staying within that character’s voice. Oh, and while children’s voices tend to challenge narrators, the little girl’s voice in this story has a sweet and innocent quality to it that seems quite natural to the character. Overall, an excellent narration that I’d highly recommend to any audiobook fans who enjoy this genre.

Thank you to the narrator for providing a complimentary copy of the audiobook for review purposes.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, May 2016

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the May 2016 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s May selection is Fatal Reunion by Jessica R. Patch. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

For May, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson AND The Air We Breathe by Christa Parrish. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Christian Book Lovers’ Hideaway group’s monthly discussions can be found on their Goodreads discussion page. Their May fiction selection is Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title and one Christian fiction title per month. The selections for May are If I Run by Terri Blackstock AND The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the title for the month of May is The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis. Discussion is scheduled for May 18, 2016.

The Christian Fiction Book Club, and the Fans of Christian Romance Goodreads group are taking breaks from discussion for the time being.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

Miriam by Mesu Andrews (March 2016, WaterBrook, Historical)

Burning Proof by Janice Cantore (March 2016, Tyndale House, Romantic Suspense)

A Heart Once Broken by Jerry S. Eicher (March 2016, Harvest House, Amish Romance)

A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund (March 2016, Zondervan, Historical YA)

The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter (March 2016, Thomas Nelson, Contemporary Romance)


So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?

Book Review: Oath of the Brotherhood by C.E. Laureano

Title: Oath of the Brotherhood
Author: C.E. Laureano
Publisher: Tyndale, TH1NK
Published: May 2014
Series: The Song of Seare, Book 1
Genre(s): Fantasy, Christian Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

In a kingdom where the Old Ways hold fast and a man’s worth lies entirely in his skill with the sword, Conor Mac Nir is a scholar, a musician, and a follower of the forbidden Balian faith: problematic for any man, but disastrous for the son of the king.

When Conor is sent as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom, he never expects to fall in love with the rival king’s sister, Aine. Nor does he suspect his gift with the harp (and Aine’s ability to heal) touches on the realm of magic. Then his clan begins a campaign to eliminate all Balians from the isle of Seare, putting his newfound home in peril and entangling him in a plot for control of the island that has been unfolding since long before his birth.

Only by committing himself to an ancient warrior brotherhood can Conor discover the part he’s meant to play in Seare’s future. But is he willing to sacrifice everything—even the woman he loves—to follow the path his God has laid before him?

My Thoughts:

Oath of the Brotherhood is the first book in C.E. Laureano’s The Song of Seare fantasy trilogy. Featuring relatable characters, dire circumstances to challenge those characters, and a vividly described storyworld with a mediaeval Celtic feel, this book does a great job drawing readers in to the series.

Conor and Aine make likeable leads. Clearly their hearts are in the right place, but we get to see a lot of character growth over the course of this book, and I look forward to seeing where the rest of the series will take them. Romance readers will enjoy the way Conor and Aine are drawn together even when separated by circumstance, and adventure fans will appreciate the story’s suspenseful backdrop of good vs. evil magic and of clan warfare.

Both Conor and Aine grapple with waiting for God’s timing (He’s referred to as Comdiu in this allegory), and preparing themselves to use their talents when called to do so. A large portion of this book is devoted to exploring Conor’s training with the Fíréin brotherhood in music and military skills, which sounds like it could be boring, but which I actually found to be quite fascinating.

I thought the Celtic-sounding names for people and places were a nice touch, lending authenticity to the storyworld. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover the glossary and pronunciation guide at the back of the book until I had finished reading it. Oops! Never would’ve guessed “Eoghan” sounds like “OH-in” or that “bean-sidhe” sounds like “BAN-shee,” although those pronunciations do make so much more sense than what I was saying in my head. LOL! I’ll be sure to consult the glossary as I read the next book so I can get those names right.

For anyone else just starting to read this series, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to wait for Books 2 and 3. Beneath the Forsaken City and The Sword and the Song are both available now, so you’ll be able to read the trilogy in its entirety with nary a pause between books if you wish.

Thank you to Tyndale House for providing a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

Quick Links: About the Book | About the Series | Author’s Site

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, March 2016

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the March 2016 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s March selection is Finding Amanda by Robin Patchen. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

For March, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner AND When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Christian Book Lovers’ Hideaway group’s monthly discussions can be found on their Goodreads discussion page. They’ve extended their discussion of their February selection through March, so if you didn’t have a chance to read The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney by Randy Singer yet, there’s still time.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title and one Christian fiction title per month. The selections for March are A Widow’s Hope by Mary Ellis AND Tomorrow’s Sun by Becky Melby. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the title for the month of March is A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte. Discussion is scheduled for March 16, 2016.

The Christian Fiction Book Club, and the Fans of Christian Romance Goodreads group are taking breaks from discussion for the time being.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

Calico Spy by Margaret Brownley (January 2016, Shiloh Run Press, Historical Romance)

Return to Paradise by Barbara Cameron (February 2016, Abingdon Press, Amish)

Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher (January 2016, Thomas Nelson, Contemporary Romance)

You’re the One That I Want by Susan May Warren (February 2016, Tyndale House, Contemporary Romance)

The Confessions of X by Suzanne M Wolfe (January 2016, Thomas Nelson, Historical)


So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?

Three for the Books: Featured Reads in Christian Fiction, February 2016

Three for the Books, February 2016

The monthly “Three for the Books” post is where I feature new (Hot Off the Presses), best selling (Topping the Charts), and award winning (Cream of the Crop) Christian fiction books. I select one title to feature in each category, as well as providing links to where you can browse additional newly released, best selling, and award winning titles. Have you read any of these featured titles? Any others you’d like to give a shout-out? Comments are always welcome!

Hot Off the Presses

Always Watching by Lynette Eason released this month from Revell. It’s the first in the author’s new Elite Guardians romantic suspense series. Available in electronic, paperback, large print, and audio editions.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More New Releases

Topping the Charts

Risen by Angela Hunt appears on the ECPA’s February Christian Fiction Bestsellers list. It’s a novelization of a movie by the same name that’s coming to theaters this week (February 19, 2016). Here’s some background info about the book, that appeared on the publisher’s blog. The novelization from Bethany House is available in print, electronic, and audio editions.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More Best Sellers

Cream of the Crop

A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes won the 2015 Carol Award for Speculative Fiction. It’s first in the author’s Out of Time series, published by Enclave Publishing. Available in print and electronic editions. Check out my review to learn more.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More Award Winners

Book Discussions in Christian Fiction, November 2014

Book Discussions in Christian FictionI’m a big fan of a good book discussion, so I like to follow along with a number of online Christian fiction book groups and join in on the discussion when I can. Here are the books scheduled for discussion this month. See any books you’ve already read or been wanting to read? Consider joining in on the discussion!

ACFW Book Club

Inklings Discussion Series on Books and Beverages

Christian Fiction Devourers (GoodReads Group)

Fans of Christian Romance (GoodReads Group)

  • A Grand Teton Sleigh Ride: Four Generations of Wyoming Ranchers Celebrate Love at Christmas by Elizabeth Goddard & Lynette Sowell

Book Discussions in Christian Fiction, October 2014

Book Discussions in Christian FictionOctober has been dubbed National Reading Group Month.  If you love reading, but don’t regularly participate in a book discussion club, what better time to start!

Check out your local libraries, bookstores, and churches to connect with an in-person book discussion group, or consider forming one of your own with a few friends.

And if you’re looking for an online discussion, I’m featuring links below to some discussions happening this month that may interest you.

While you’re here, consider following my blog for recommended books, discussion questions, monthly links to online discussions, book group tips, and more for fans of Christian fiction.

ACFW Book Club

  • The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron.  October 20-25 via email list.  I already have my copy in hand and I’m looking forward to reading it!

Inklings Discussion Series on Books and Beverages

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Discussion begins October 15th.

Christian Fiction Devourers (GoodReads Group)

Fans of Christian Romance (GoodReads Group)

Christian Fiction Book Club on Facebook

  • To be announced.