Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge

neverthebride-198x300Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Jessie Stone has been trying to write her own love story (and failing) for a long time. So when God shows up and challenges her to let Him take a turn at it, will she hand over her pen to the original Author? I was perfectly content with what I thought was a fun, chick-lit-ish read about a spunky heroine who can’t find her prince charming. But then God showed up as a walking talking character, (and a cute one at that!) and this story became so much more than just another contemporary romance. Imaginative, thought-provoking, and a little hysterical!

Jessie Stone has spent thirty-five years fantasizing about marriage proposals, wedding dresses, and falling in love. She’s been a bridesmaid eleven times, waved dozens of couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember. But shopping in the love-of-her-life department hasn’t been quite as productive. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her. The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing. And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that God has a better love story than one of the thousands she’s cooked up in her journals? Will she trust Him with her pen when it appears her dreams of being the bride are forever lost?

A romantic comedy with a spiritual twist, Never the Bride is what it means to lose control—and getting more than any woman could ever imagine.

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The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck

IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!!!

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I’ve been waiting 8 years for this book! The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck released two days ago on July 21st. Deliverer is the newest book in the award-winning Sword of Lyric series. It is a sequel to The Restorer which is one of my 12 Favorite Books of All Time. The last book in this series, The Restorer’s Journey, came out in 2007, so this has been a long time coming! The author was unable to write due to health issues for several years.

From 2011-2013, Enclave Publishing released expanded editions of the earlier books (The Restorer, The Restorer’s Son, and The Restorer’s Journey) which are worth checking out, but after 8 years we finally have another sequel! I’m going to order my copy today and I’m confident that it will have been worth the wait!

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Waterfall Press and Mercy’s Fight by Tammy L. Gray

As you may know, Amazon is now publishing. They have 14 different imprints. Waterfall Press is their imprint for Christian Nonfiction and Fiction. This is pretty old news, but I ran across Mercy’s Fight by Tammy L. Gray in my library earlier this week and decided to give it a try. Gray-MercysFight-CV-FL-v2I LOVED it!

The synopsis below says it all, but let me add that a bad boy hero is tough to pull off for many Inspy authors, but Gray does it very well here! She also does a great job with the heroine, resisting the temptation to make the her too helpless. Instead she challenges the hero to see her strengths and face his own fears. Of course she also needs a little bit of rescuing, but c’mon, we wouldn’t want all those alpha-hero vibes to go to waste would we?

Recovering from a past shaped by violence, Matt Holloway has sworn to live a different life than his parents did. Matt has found a purpose that keeps his lingering pain and fear at bay: helping others to heal. Yet the nightmares continue to haunt him.

Grace has lived a life of luxury, sheltered by her family’s money and connections. When a betrayal forces her to question everything, she leaves her family and accepts an ambitious position in a career for which she may not be ready.

When the two first meet, they cannot deny their instant, intense attraction. While Grace is willing to take another risk with her heart, Matt remains chained by his past and struggles to trust their future together. Fighting to save the children they’ve pledged to help, Matt and Grace must learn to overcome the pain in their past and find their true courage.

Gray is also a contributor to the romance novella collection Just One Summer, along with Jenny B. Jones, another great Inspirational romance author. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Waterfall press, but Gray is making them look pretty good right now! Inspirational publishing is going through a bit of a transition which has many Inspy authors turning to the self-pub market as an alternative to the struggling CBA market. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, but more on that later. :-)

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Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo

HCERepackagedProductI recently read Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo. I read Heaven is for Real about six months before my father died, which gave it extra meaning for me later on. While Heaven is for Real is about their son Colton’s experience, Heaven Changes Everything is Todd and Sonja’s thoughts about how this experience has changed their lives. Heaven Changes Everything is a nice follow-up to Heaven is for Real. What I took away from this sequel was the reminder of the peace that can fill our everyday lives when we live them in anticipation of the joyful reunion that is to come.

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The Christy Awards and Storm Siren by Mary Weber

FOR THE LOVE OF QUADRICORNS EVERYWHERE, WHY IS THERE STILL NO FANTASY/SCI-FI CATEGORY FOR THE CHRISTY AWARDS!?!?!?!?!?!

WHY?

There are 3 different contemporary categories, (yes, 3, contemporary, contemporary series, and contemporary romance) and two historical categories, but all we have for the fantasy/sci-fi genre is the Visionary category. Not that there’s anything wrong with visionary, but it’s not really for fantasy or sci-fi. I don’t know why. I really don’t. Every year I’m disappointed. EVERY YEAR.

IT’S. TIME.

In happier news, Storm Siren by Mary Weber won in the Young Adult category.

book-storm-siren“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse – and the girl – can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth – meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

She’s a weather elemental! So Cool! I loved this book and it got some pretty good reviews from some big-name YA authors like Jay Asher (13 Reasons Why) and Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles). Book 2, Siren’s Fury, just came out last month.

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