Wednesday, April 15, 2015

CFBA Book Spotlight: Jaded by Varina Denman

About the Book: As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man ... and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart ... and a thirst for hope.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Giveaway: The Remedy by Suzanne Young

About The Remedy: Can one girl take on so many identities without losing her own? Find out in this riveting companion to The Program and the New York Times bestselling The Treatment.

In a world before The Program…

Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.

Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.

Sound exciting? Check out an excerpt!

The Remedy releases April 21st, and I'm excited to offer a giveaway to celebrate! The giveaway includes a copy of The Remedy PLUS copies of The Program and The Treatment.

To enter simply fill out the form below! You must be a resident of the United States. Giveaway is courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Learn More at
Visit the author on her Personal Blog
Follow Suzanne Young on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CFBA Book Spotlight: The Tomb by Stephanie Landsem

About the Book: In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha—a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past—to hope and a new life.

Everyone in Bethany admires Martha—the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees’ strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister’s marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.

Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha’s secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother—risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her—or deny Jesus’ healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.

Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha’s love.

When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he—like Isa—come too late?

Monday, March 23, 2015

HBO Documentary: It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise

Tonight, HBO will air a documentary about the illustrator of the Eloise books, Hilary Knight. Eloise is the little girl who lived in the Plaza Hotel and the storybooks were wildly popular. They ignited the imaginations of little girls throughout time as this documentary discusses.

In fact, one of those girls was Lena Dunham who is one of the executive producers of this film. She loved Eloise so much that when she was 17, she had an image of Eloise tattooed on her! She appears in this documentary since she befriended Knight a few years ago.

I personally love learning about the creative process and creative people, and Eloise is such an iconic children's book that I really looked forward to this documentary. And it doesn't disappoint. The film adequately explores the history of Eloise...from Kay Thompson and her eccentric and controlling ways to the eventual break in relationship with Knight that ended the books.

But Knight signed a contract so early in his career that he forfeited all rights to ever drawing Eloise again. When something like that happens to a person, what do they do? They've been stripped of one of their most essential creative outlests. It's Me Hilary answers a bit of that, showcasing some of his other works and the way in which he engages his imagination in present day.

It's Me, Hilary includes a detailed history of the Eloise books, interviews with celebrities, family, and friends, footage through the years of Knight and rare at home shots of the ways in which he expresses himself creatively now. It's a treat for anyone who enjoys learning about creative people and a wonderful slice of history regarding one of our most iconic children's book illustrations.

It premieres tonight on HBO at 9:00 PM. It will also run at multiple other times throughout the week including the 26th at 10: 30 AM and 4:45 PM, and the 28th at 12:45 PM. Please note that even though this is about a children's illustrator, it's not suitable for children.

Many thanks to HBO for an advanced screener!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CFBA Book Spotlight: Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

About the Book: Where Legend and History Collide,
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford

This past Christmas, I was excited to bring my ereader on vacation. I only packed a few hard copies of books and was looking forward to having so many choices at my fingertips. And then when I got to my brother's place, I realized I had brought the wrong charger. No one had a spare, and I was sad. It put me seriously behind on reviewing and reading! I did happen to bring The Pocket Wife with me, but I had to save it for the flight home! Even saving it, I finished it long before the flight ended, sigh.

The reason why I chose to save this book and why I must have felt compelled to bring it is because it's a thriller. There's a mystery at the heart of it and those are the kinds of stories I usually get engrossed in quickly. And I did get into the book pretty well. It has a really interesting premise...Dana was the last person to see her friend alive, but she doesn't remember the details. Her friend was murdered and she's obviously a suspect since she was the last person to see her. And since she has trouble remembering what happened, she has all this suspect behavior to account for.

The book is fairly quick paced and probes questions about criminal investigations and the mentally ill. I read it one sitting, obviously, because I was on the plane. There are some surprises, but I don't remember feeling genuinely shocked by anything that happened in the book. Even so, it was a good read, a worthy one, and definitely one for anyone who likes thrillers with unique premises!

There's also an interesting cat and an unlikely romance!

I received a copy for review from the publisher.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Ella by Mallory Kasdan and illustrated by Marcos Chin

Do you love Eloise? They you'll get a kick out of Ella by Mallory Kasdan. Ella is a modernized version of the charming classic tale. It's about Ella who lives in the Local Hotel and has all the modern trappings and maybe still all of the neglect. She has a manny, she has a manny who is in a band and little dogs you can fit in a purse, etc.

The book is a fun and a great modern twist. The illustrations are lovely and vibrant. I can imagine that Ella's world will ignite the imagination of a child in the same way Eloise's did. The book is billed as being for hipsters of all ages, and I think you'll agree.

I have to admit when I first heard about this, I wasn't sure it would also be for children, but it is! It's child friendly with adult appeal, my favorite kind of children's book! :)

Definitely give it a look! Later this week, I'll have a review for you of HBO's documentary about the illustrator of the Eloise books, Hilary Knight.

Until then, enjoy!

*Please note I received a copy of this book to review.