Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review: Snowflake Sweethearts by Carrie Turansky

Carrie SnowflakeHiRes200resSnowflake Sweethearts was the first of Carrie Turansky’s books I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Annie Romano, the heroine, has a little girl to provide for so she returns to her hometown to start over where it’s safe. She puts her plans and her life on hold to help care for an older woman and that’s where the adventure begins. Sometimes it’s the bumps in the road that steer us toward the right path and give us a chance to examine our hearts and motives. That’s exactly what happens to Annie in Snowflake Sweethearts. It’s what happens to Alex Jameson, too, when his heart opens to Annie. Carrie’s characters deal with real-life problems. They may not always make the right choices all the time but supporting characters lead the way and gently influence their decisions. Carrie’s sweet heart shines through in her writing and I can’t wait to read more of her books. 

Here’s the book’s blurb: Bringing her daughter to the one place she feels safe, single mother Annie Romano returns to Fairhaven, Washington. Though hoping to start a new life as a personal chef, Annie accepts a different job. Alex Jameson, the handsome man she secretly loved as a teenager, needs a live-in caregiver for his ailing grandmother. A big-city workaholic in town temporarily, Alex doesn't seem to realize how much he needs family—or love. But the holiday season, his grandmother's matchmaking friends and one fatherless little girl start pulling at both Annie's and Alex's heartstrings. Just in time for the most special Christmas ever.
Here's my recent interview with Carrie. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Book Review - Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof

BeStillMySoul (1)I recently devoured Joanne Bischof's debut novel, Be Still My Soul. 

Did I say devour? Well, I did! 

This story grabbed me from the first page and never let go.

Lonnie, the heroine, is someone who is so easy to feel for. You want her to be happy. When things go bad in her life, you want to reach into the book and help her out. But you can't. Lonnie knows where to go for help though. She leans on the Lord and even when things seem like they will never be right, she still reaches to God in her weakness and doubt. I wanted to slap Gideon, the hero, for quite a while because he was no hero at all. In fact, he treated Lonnie pretty badly. But her quiet nature and gentle spirit won him over in many ways. Still, there was much to be worked on in Gideon's life before he could ever become a true hero to Lonnie. The story was sweet and filled with angst and kept me turning pages. But the writing is what made me beg for my evening reading time to come quickly. Joanne is a phenomenal writer and I'm thrilled to have read her book. I can't wait for book two in the sequel! 

Be Still My Soul - Gideon only ever cared about himself. Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?

Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.

Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate. Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob. Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts? You can find Joanne on the Internet at these sites: Facebook page: Website: Twitter:!/joannebischof Be Still My Soul on Pinterest: Amazon buy: B&N Buy: CBD Buy: I reviewed this book for Blogging for Books with no obligation to write a positive review.BloggingForBooks-125x125

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review of Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

I just finished Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer and LOVED it! Here's the book blurb: All Travis Archer has ever cared about is his brothers and his land. But when a good deed goes awry, he’s stuck with a bride that endangers both. Here’s the official blurb: No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk. Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can’t bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again. Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

The only thing about this book that upset me was the fact that it ended. Karen is a very engaging writer. Her characterization is wonderful. She gets deep into the heads of her characters and you care about them. She uses symbolism in such a way that when it dawns on you what she's done, you can't do anything but sigh. I have about five other books to read and review but all I want to do is pick Short-Straw Bride up and read it again!I interviewed Karen recently on my blog so check it out if you're interested in knowing more about her.

The contest has been closed. Find more reviews and interviews at

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter Review

Wildflowers from Winter is a gripping story!

Bethany Quinn is a mess! A wreck! And she doesn’t really know it at first. She’s an architect in a Chicago firm and her future seems bright. She’s got a boyfriend and it seems like her life will only get better. But she’s got a past that she doesn’t want to face. People she has walked away from that she doesn’t care to ever see again. But she gets called to return to her hometown and the memories of her trailer park days flood her mind no matter how hard she tries to run away from them. Her plan was to make her necessary visit and then return to her Chicago world and boyfriend. But her past wraps itself around her ankle and keeps dragging her back. She inherits a five hundred acre farm along with Evan, the farmhand. Well, she doesn’t really inherit him but she might as well have because he is as attached to the farm as she realizes she still is. It’s not going to be as easy to walk away as Bethany thought—and hoped. This woman has so many issues in her life, I wanted to jump in and help her overcome them. I found myself talking to her as I read and there were a few times I wanted to slap her, too. Katie has done a wonderful job of setting the scene and of conveying emotions. Wildflowers from Winter digs deep into the subject of loss and the grief that follows it. It also offers hope for a future. I interviewed Katie on my blog earlier this year. Interview with Katie "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Inspiring Heroes Inspire Readers by Jack Cavanaugh

Today, I introduce you to Jack Cavanaugh, novelist extraordinaire.

I met Jack in 2003 at the Christian Writers Guild Writing for the Soul writers conference. He was an instructor of one of the classes I took and I have never forgotten the things I learned there. He has the kindest nature and doesn't mind answering questions and taking time to help others perfect their craft.

Jack is an award-winning, full-time freelance author with twenty-six published novels to his credit. Two of his latest novels (Beyond the Sacred Page and Dear Enemy) are published through OakTara, my publisher, so we have much in common. A student of the novel for more than a quarter of a century, Jack takes his craft seriously, continuing to study and teach at Christian writers conferences. He is the former pastor of three churches in San Diego County and draws upon his theological background for the spiritual elements of his plots and characters. Jack has three grown children and lives with his wife in Southern California.

We'll learn a little more about Jack at the end of this article, but first let's hear what Jack has to say about heroes and how they inspire readers.

Inspiring Heroes Inspire Readers by Jack Cavanaugh

As a reader you know them— Emma Woodhouse Jane Eyre Robin Hood Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Atticus Finch Frodo Romeo and Juliet Sherlock Holmes You’ve shared their adventures. Shared their pain. And even though in your heart of hearts you know they’re not real, they feel like friends. Every year Margaret Mitchell gets the highest compliment an author can receive when Atlanta tourists walk into the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and ask for directions to the graves of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. How do authors do it, clothe fictional characters in flesh and blood? Creating characters is an act of inspiration. The word inspire means, “to breathe life into.” So how does an author do that? He follows the same recipe the Creator used when He fashioned man— “And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) An author begins with dust of the ground attributes: Physical description, Clothing, Hard-wiring his character with a personality type. Then, the author breathes life into his creation with motivation and intangibles: Giving him hopes and dreams, Setting obstacles and opposing characters in his path, Placing doubts in his mind, Forcing him to change, Making him face his greatest fear. To make a hero, the author adds: Courage, Cleverness and resourcefulness, A special talent or insight, And a wound to make him human. Finally, the author places the character in a scene with other characters and sets them in motion. It’s an anxious moment, even for the author, to see how the hero will handle himself. Bestselling author Terri Blackstock expressed this anxiety at a writers’ conference when she asked the other authors, “Do you pray for your characters?” How do authors know if their creation has truly come to life? They know they’ve succeeded if at the end of the book the reader suffers mild depression upon realizing they will no longer be spending time with the characters of the story. As magical as this seems, it gets better. If authors do their jobs well, there comes a moment when the reader is no longer reading the story, but living it; a dramatic moment of realization when the truth of the story crystallizes and — with a sharp intake of breath — the reader discovers something about himself. His life is changed. His sights are elevated. His resolve strengthens. He is a better person for having read the story. Not only has the author breathed life into his characters, he’s breathed new life into his reader. This is inspirational fiction at its finest.

I don't know about you, but this post inspired me! I am inspired as a reader and as a writer. Thank you, Jack, so much for taking the time to write this post for my blog.

Here's a little bit more about Jack: Jack's novels have been translated into a dozen foreign languages, largely because of the universal scope of his topics. Jack has not only written about American history, but about South Africa, banned English Bibles, German Christians in the days of Hitler and Communism, revivals in America, and angelic warfare. Jack’s current writing schedule includes motion picture screenplays and e-book novels with Internet distribution. His novel Death Watch has been optioned to be made into a motion picture by Out Cold Entertainment, Inc. AWARDS • Silver Medallion Award (1995), Christian Booksellers Association • Christy Award (2002, 2003), Excellence in Christian Fiction • Silver Angel Award (2002), Excellence in Media • Gold Medal, Best Historical (2001), ForeWord Magazine • Best Historical Novel (1994), San Diego Literary Society • Best Novel (1995, 1996, 2005), San Diego Christian Writers Guild

You can find Jack at this website:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Pew Perspective: Book Review - TO DANCE ONCE MORE by Sherri Wilson ...

A Pew Perspective: Book Review - TO DANCE ONCE MORE by Sherri Wilson ...: Today's book is one early-American historical romance readers will like best--it is so true to the times! Lydia Barrington is the younge...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


WRITING FROM THE SOUL: WELCOME AUTHOR SHERRI WILSON JOHNSON: Sherri Wilson Johnson is from Georgia and lives there with her husband, who loves to fish and build guitars, her children, and two d...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Novel Rocket: The 5 P's of Writing: When Your Dream Bucks the Od...

Novel Rocket: The 5 P's of Writing: When Your Dream Bucks the Od...: I’d heard it all. Good luck breaking into the CBA with fantasy, no agent will represent you, and speculative fiction is a hard sell. Good ...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Reading, Writing, and the Stuff In-Between: Sherri Johnson and Free Books!

Reading, Writing, and the Stuff In-Between: Sherri Johnson and Free Books!: When trusting others causes nothing but pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again? Today w...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Francine Rivers

Today my guest is Francine Rivers. I met her in 2003 (if my memory serves me correctly) at The Christian Writers Guild writing conference in North Carolina. I had my picture made with her (I cannot find the photo album that holds that picture) when I first got there because a group of ladies asked me to take their picture with her. I did not know who she was at the time, I’m ashamed to say, but I didn’t want to miss out on the photo shoot. I ate lunch at her table and listened to everyone talk about her books. What amazed me was how she wanted to know about all of us. Then that night, she was the keynote speaker. How had I missed such a lovely lady through all the years of my reading and writing? I do not know. But I can say that she blessed me through and through. Today, we honor Francine and her book, Redeeming Love, which is twenty years old now! Read more...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Novel Reviews: Sherri Wilson Johnson's To Dance Once More ~ Revie...

Novel Reviews: Sherri Wilson Johnson's To Dance Once More ~ Revie...: To Dance Once More By Sherri Wilson Johnson Published by Oak Tara ISBN: 978-1602902862 Back Cover: All Lydia wants is to trav...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rose McCauley, Christian Author: Book Giveaway by Sherri Wilson Johnson

Rose McCauley, Christian Author: Book Giveaway by Sherri Wilson Johnson: Today's spotlight is on Sherri Wilson Johnson, and she has agreed to give away an ebook copy of To Dance Once More  to one commenter who l...

Friday, May 11, 2012

To Dance Once More feature #links

Hop on over and check out this To Dance Once More feature.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Interview with Left Behind's Bestselling Author Jerry B. Jenkins! *GIVEAWAY!*

Today I have the honor of hosting Jerry B. Jenkins, author of the Left Behind series on my website. Jerry is the author of 180+ books.

Hop on over for a chance to win a copy of his book Riven.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Christian Bookshelf Reviews: Guest Post + Giveaway! Do writers have a responsib...

Christian Bookshelf Reviews: Guest Post + Giveaway! Do writers have a responsib...: Please welcome Sherri Wilson Johnson, the author of To Dance Once More , to Christian Bookshelf Reviews!! Do writers have a responsibility to Their Readers?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Great book giveaway!

Please stop by my blog at to
win a copy of Lindi Peterson's "Her Best Catch" or "Seriously God?" by
Jenny Smith running through this weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Redwood's Medical Edge: Yellow Fever: Not a Thing of the Past

Redwood's Medical Edge: Yellow Fever: Not a Thing of the Past: Ever remember hearing the terms plague, cholera, and perhaps yellow fever? I'm pleased to host Sherri Johnson Wilson today as she discusse...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Bloomin' Plumes: Keeping it Fresh and Sharp!

The Bloomin' Plumes: Keeping it Fresh and Sharp!: How many times have you felt dull? How many times have you felt like the job you were doing was too difficult to complete? Maybe you simp...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Novel Rocket: Publishing is Like a Junior High Dance

Novel Rocket: Publishing is Like a Junior High Dance: I’ve been in the publishing business for over seven years now. I’ve experienced the joy and heartache of the journey. The more I think abou...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Bloomin' Plumes: Getting Them Ready For the World

The Bloomin' Plumes: Getting Them Ready For the World: Psalm 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord . D...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jewels of Encouragement: A Roller Coaster Kind of Spiritual Walk

Jewels of Encouragement: A Roller Coaster Kind of Spiritual Walk: Today we welcome Sherri Wilson Johnson as our guest... I love roller coasters! I love to feel the wind in my hair and I love to scream and...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Hi folks!

Just a quick note to let you know that the last of my chicks has graduated officially and so the school is technically closed.  :)

I will be devoting this blog to talking about homeschooling trends and things like that so stay tuned!

God bless!