Posts Tagged With: Christian fiction

Great Reads: 2010 Christy Award Winners


If you’re looking for some great Christian fiction to help fill long summer days, Christy Award nominees are a great starting point.

The Christy Awards are given each year during the International Christian Retail Show, and honor books in 9 Christian fiction categories. The 2010 winners were announced over the weekend, and I was glad to hear that some of my favorite stories (and authors) won. Here’s the list of nominees, with the winners for each category in bold. Congratulations to everyone!

Contemporary Romance

Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House Publishers) 

How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group) 

Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus (Barbour Publishing)


Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas

 Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson (Thomas Nelson)

The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth (Zondervan)


Contemporary Standalone

June Bug by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson)

Veiled Freedom by Jeanette Windle (Tyndale House Publishers)


First Novel

The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry (Moody Publishers)

Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent (Tyndale House Publishers)

Scared by Tom Davis (David C. Cook)



A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Revell Books: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)


Historical Romance*

*The Historical Romance Category includes four finalists due to a tie in scoring.

Beyond This Moment by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander (Thomas Nelson)

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)



Intervention by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan)

Lost Mission by Athol Dickson (Howard Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster)

The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)



By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson (Marcher Lord Press)

The Enclave by Karen Hancock (Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Valley of the Shadow by Tom Pawlik (Tyndale House Publishers)


Young Adult

Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma (Thomas Nelson)

The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason (David C. Cook)

North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)

If you’d like to read back-cover blurbs for the winners, check out the official press release from the Christy Awards. You can also visit the Christy Award website for more information on the awards and past winners. I’ve read several of these books and thoroughly enjoyed them. Looks like I have some more good reads to add my wish list, though!

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Book Review: Morning for Dove


Morning for Dove by Martha Rogers (published by Realms, a Strang Company)

I normally post book reviews on Fun Read Friday, but sometimes I participate in blog tours that ask you to post reviews on certain days. That’s the case with Morning for Dove by Martha Rogers, so I’m happy to start out this week (and get back on track with posting — whew, what a crazy few weeks it’s been!) with my review.

Readers first met Dove Morris and Luke Anderson in Martha Rogers’s first book about the town of Barton Creek in Oklahoma Territory, Becoming Lucy. Dove and Lucy are close friends, so now it’s time to hear Dove’s story.

Morning for Dove takes place in 1897, when everyone in town knows everyone else and when expansion is making its mark whether people like it or not. Some changes, like the town’s first introductions to telegraph offices and ice boxes, are welcome. Others, like learning to live with people from different backgrounds or cultures, aren’t always welcome.

Feuds between cattlemen and ranchers, a theft during a town celebration, parents who try to plan their children’s lives, and the ever-present threat of wildfires because of an extended drought add layers of tension and conflict to the story. But I think the real issues at hand in Morning for Dove are prejudice and forgiveness.

Dove and her brothers are half Cherokee. Most people in town seem accepting of them and their mother, but a couple of influential women in town want nothing to do with them. One of those women, Bea Anderson, is Luke’s mother.

Luke and Dove have known each other for several years. When Luke finally sees Dove in a new light at Lucy’s wedding and wants to know her better, they both know his mother’s feelings about Native Americans. They pursue the relationship anyway with the help of friends Martin and Sarah, praying that Bea’s heart will change and trusting that God will work things out if they’re meant to be together. They soon reach the point of not being able to hide their feelings from others and Luke must stand up to his mother and her opinions.

By story’s end, Dove and Luke are together, their mothers have reconciled, and the bad guys have been dealt with (of course, you knew those things would happen because it’s a romance J). I won’t spoil the surprises along the way of how all these things happen – I’ll just say you should read Morning for Dove yourself. It was a sweet story that made me look inside my own heart and attitudes, but didn’t come across as preachy. The characters were likeable, the historical details well researched, the lessons true even in today’s world. I enjoyed Morning for Dove very much and look forward to the last book in the series, Finding Becky.

For more about author Martha Rogers, visit her blog or website.

Click here to get your own copy of Morning for Dove and to read some reviews.  Or, check out the first book in the Winds Across the Prarie series, Becoming Lucy.

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Fun Read Friday: Allon

Allon by Shawn Lamb (Creation House)

Back cover blurb: Long ago, the land of Allon was a paradise until the fall of the Guardians paved the way for the rise of the Dark Way. King Marcellus now controls the land as his forefathers did, with an iron fist and the help of the evil spirit, Dagar. But an ancient prophecy speaks of a time to come when the Guardians will return and Allon will be restored – led by its rightful heir.

At 16, Prince Ellis is forced to flee the life he has known, pursued by the king’s soldiers. With help from two mysterious strangers he meets in the forest, he must find a way to defeat the evil forces and prove himself worthy to be king if Allon is to have any hope of salvation. Along the way he will face trials that will test his character, his wisdom, his courage, and ultimately, his heart.

Allon is a magical tale of adventure, destiny, and faith that you won’t soon forget.

My review: Years ago, I read fantasy tales fairly often and usually enjoyed them. I’ve read a bit of fantasy more recently, but freely admit that part of why I wanted to read and review Allon is because I thought my son might want to read it. I knew Allon would be clean, but still wanted to know what it was about before handing it off to my 11-year-old. Plus, now we’ll have something fun to discuss once he starts reading it. 🙂

I had a little trouble getting into the story up front, but that might be because I had to shift to a fantasy world mindset and get used to oodles of characters with fairly odd names. The further I got, the more I enjoyed it, so I was eager to pick it up once I got through the first couple of chapters.

Allon begins with Ellis being snatched away from the regular life he’s always known and thrust into a world of danger, hiding, and running for his life. That is, he’s running until his protectors can tell him the truth of his birth and prepare him to fight for his rightful place as heir to the throne of Allon and the hope of peace the people have been longing for. Mentors and supporters of all shapes and sizes help Ellis along the way – everything from men he’s known all his life to a girl who communicates with animals to Guardians that Ellis always thought were just legends. Add a former King’s Champion as Ellis’s personal trainer, evil Shadow Warriors on a rampage for the dark spirit Dagar, and a young woman who wants to win Ellis’s heart – but who will change Allon’s destiny forever if she does – and you have the makings of a grand story.

Truth be told, I never did quite keep all the characters straight, but I didn’t care (and that’s probably because my mind’s not what it used to be LOL). I just let Allon sweep me along for a tale of heroism and coming of age (with a touch of sweet romance) and enjoyed the ride. If you enjoy fantasy or midieval tales (or have a child who does), then Allon is a great choice for your reading time.

Author Shawn Lamb

For more info, visit You’ll find an excerpt from the book, sketches of the main characters, an interactive map of Allon, and more. A very cool site to visit!

You can purchase a copy of Allon here. And if you’re looking for other fantasy-type titles for teens, here’s a good starting point.

If you read (or have already read) Allon, I’d love to know your thoughts. Happy reading!

Categories: Book reviews, Christian fiction, Fun Friday | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Fun Read Friday: Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon


Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon by Miralee Ferrell

Although the “Love Finds You” books from Summerside Press began a while back, this is the first title I’ve read from the series. I love the concept – stories based on interesting towns in America with unique names/settings/histories. Some (like Bridal Veil) are historicals; others are contemporaries. But I love the real-world tie-in because that’s something I try to incorporate in my own novel.

Here’s the basic storyline … Margaret Garvey finds herself torn between a past love and a man who could be her future. She promised her heart to Nathaniel Cooper when she was only 16 and planned to run away with him – but he left town without her. Now it’s four years later and Margaret is finally taking baby steps toward a possible relationship with another man in the logging town, Andrew Browning. Then Nathaniel returns to town, a neighbor asks Margaret to harbor two runaway children, and a murder shocks the entire community. Yes, there’s a lot going on in this story, but I won’t spoil it for you. 🙂

I will say that Bridal Veil was an interesting read and kept me guessing about some things until the end. I loved the small-town feel and the details that made it realistic without bogging down the story.  The characters’ struggles with each other and within themselves rang true, which is important to me as a reader. A little romance, a little suspense, and lots of relationship issues (new and old) help make sure the story has a little something for everyone.

If you want to learn more about author Miralee Ferrell, check out her website or blog, or this interview.

You can buy a copy of Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon or read other reviews here. Or, find some other “Love Finds You” titles here. They’re great books!

Have a great weekend, and happy reading!

Categories: Book reviews, Christian fiction, Fun Friday | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments
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