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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Amish Wedding by Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Long and Beth Wiseman

An Amish Wedding

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What a quick enjoyable read! You will find several chuckles in these pages!

The stories are all different, but are weaved together as in everyday life.

Rose Bender is a bridesmaid in her friend Priscilla Kings wedding, along with Priscilla's sister Naomi.

In the first story "The Perfect Secret" by Kelly Long, we meet Rose and her intended Luke Raber. This one is a very different, not what one expects! We are taken on late night adventures, and some not so nice accidents. Also some very caring [???] bouquets of flowers!

In the second "The Perfect Match" by Kathleen Fuller, we meet Naomi and her friend Margaret. They meet Zeke Lapp, and even though Naomi is interested she decides to set him up with Margaret? You will wonder who will end up whom?? Or any for that matter!

The last is "A Perfect Plan" by Beth Wiseman, Priscilla King and Chester Lapp are getting married, and it seems that everything is happening to make them change their plans.

What you will find in all of these stories and a Wonderful faith in God, and learning to live their faith in believing and forgiveness!

Don't miss this one!

I was provided with a copy of this book by the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.




Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cooper And Me Winter Adventure Review and Giveaway by Monique & Alexa Peters


I have a delightful Children's book to giveaway! This is the story of Cooper and Bella, who are so happy to have snow. They have decided to go sledding and spend a wonderful day slipping and sledding all over the neighborhood. When they had finished it had started to grow dark and snow, and snow.

"Bella said, "Coop, we should both try to bark; we need to get home before it gets dark!"
There are lessons to be learned, such as, getting lost can be scary! There are questions for you to use with your child. Then there are lessons that you can go over together...such as "What season is the book in?"

I recommend this great teaching book. My 4 and 5 year old "love it"! There are several books in this series available. They are great for teaching phonics with the rhyming that is used in each book.

Our friends at Cooper & Me will be offering an EXCLUSIVE DEAL FOR YOU:

Make any purchase of $25 or more at CooperandMe.com and get FREE SHIPPING now through December 15.
MUST USE THIS CODE @ Check Out: COOPERBLOG

Please note that $1 of every Winter Adventure book sold will go to advance research & treatment of pancreatic cancer, via the Lustgarten Foundation

As I said I have a copy of this book to give a lucky winner.



Winner will be chosen on the 8th of December and posted! Good Luck.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, November 28, 2011

First Wild Card Tours: There's Just Something About a Boy by Jenny Lee Sulpizio

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


There's Just Something About a Boy

Isaac Publishing, Inc. (September 23, 2011)

***Special thanks to Jenny Lee Sulpizio for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Jenny Lee Sulpizio, M.S. is a wife, business owner, and mother of three residing in Boise, Idaho. She is an active member within her church and community, and enjoys tapping into her creative side whenever she gets the chance. There’s Just Something About a Boy is the second picture book released in a series that also includes Mommy Whispers, an ode to mothers and daughters everywhere.


Visit the author's website.


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:



Peg Lozier is an award winning portrait painter and illustrator whose work is known for color, whimsy, and a sense of fun. Raised in Boulder, Colorado, she now lives with a plethora of pets in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Visit the illustrator's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:



There’s Just Something about a Boy is a children’s keepsake picture book celebrating the special bond between a mother and her newborn son as she anticipates the love, laughter, and unparalleled adventure that will surely come from raising a little boy.



Product Details:

List Price: $12.95
Paperback: 30 pages
Publisher: Isaac Publishing, Inc. (September 23, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609200365
ISBN-13: 978-1609200367

AND NOW...THE FIRST PAGES (click illustrations to enlarge):


Recalling the moment, that special day
Your tiny image took my breath away.
A precious baby with nothing to hide,
My sweet, little son nestled inside.
There’s just something about a boy…

I prepared your nursery
since around month five,
Waiting for the day
you’d finally arrive.
Stuffed animals, blankies,
your daddy’s first glove--
They sat in your room,
awaiting your love.
There’s just something
about a boy…



My Review:
This is a really Sweet, beautifully illustrated book! It's a great keepsake book for your Son....a look at the years that will fly by all to quickly. My boys ages 4 and 6, loved the very beginning with the boy stretching his mouth...not that they haven't done that!!
I felt that this book was as much for me as for them. They really enjoy it, and have had it read to them several times!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Free Kindle book Dan Walsh's Remembering Christmas

Julie Lessman had this posted on Christian Fiction Gathering!

FREE CHRISTMAS BOOK by the SENSATIONAL DAN WALSH -- the CBA's answer to Nicholas Sparks!! Not sure for how long, but his newest novel, "Remembering Christmas" is FREE RIGHT NOW on Kindle and the Nook. Amazon has rated it as one of the Top 3 Christmas novels, based on customer reviews. This is the one that will be featured on The Book Club Network at starting this Thursday, Dec 1st where they'll be giving 5 copies of the hardcover edition FREE. For the free download, here's the Amazon link:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher

Belonging (Where The Heart Lives)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Robin Lee Hatcher is sharing another wonderful story with us! She has gifted us with some wonderful characters that we can be absorbed into.
The Tale is set in Idaho in the late 1800's, Felicia Kistofferson has arrived in Frenchman's Bluff to become the Teacher. Her life hasn't been easy, she became an orphan, when her Mom died. Put into an orphanage in Chicago, she was put on the Orphan Train, and taken by a couple, that wanted a Housekeeper. She was under the impression that the Kristofferson's had adopted her, but sadly when they passed, she found out the truth!
Colin Murphy has been raising his daughter on his own, since his wife passed 5 years prior. He doesn't like the idea of a teacher with no experience, and figures she won't last.
The town, like most small towns has a busy body that rules!! You wonder if things will work out the way the one who rules wants, or the way God wants?
There is a lot warm fuzzy feelings in this book, loved how when things go wrong there is someone there to help. Makes you wish you lived there! Throughout the whole story I Loved the deepening relationships with God!
Included at the end of the book is an Epilogue...yes how I love that. You get to glimpse the future!

I received this book from Netgalley and the Publisher Zondervan, and was not required to give a positive review.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Marriage Carol by Chris Fabry, Gary Chapman

A Marriage Carol

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


On the Anniversary of their marriage, 20 years ago, Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer [Love the twist on names] are heading out to a Divorce Lawyer. Marlee mentions what she thinks about a lawyer being open on Christmas Eve..."must be divorced?" Jacob decides to head down a faster road, and Marlee states the obvious...I "told you so" as they go slipping and sliding.
When Marlee awakes she can't find Jacob and goes toward a house with a light. How appropriate that the house is a former "Funeral Home" and now a "Marriage Retreat"! Excellent!!!
There is a strong message of following God and not going blindly into the World. That grass always looks greener on the other side. Oh how very true!!
What a delightful twist on Dickens Christmas Carol!! You won't be able to put this one down until it is finished! It is a very fast, but excellent read. Don't let the size of this one put you off, you won't regret it!

I received this book from Netgalley and Moody Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Winners Amish Holiday Tour

Winner of the first package is: Johnda S

The second package goes to: wfnren

The third package goes to: Nancye

Congratulations!! Need your mailing address and I'll get these gifts out to you!!!

NBC Friday December 2nd Family Movie....Game of Your Life

This post is a heads up for a great family movie. Coming Friday December 2nd on NBC, 8pm/7pmC, a movie that you can watch with the kids. It teaches a great lesson of what a "home" is. Experience kids making amazing video games, and being away from home for the first time.

Synopsis:

When industrious high school gamer Zach Taylor lands a prized scholarship to the prestigious Digital Institute of Game Design (DIGD), his future breaks wide open. The opportunity to study under gaming legend Marcus Bentton and alongside the country’s most creative minds will certainly propel him into a successful career as a video game designer. That is, if he can pass the infamous freshman project that eliminates more than half of the class within the first three months.

Paired with brilliant yet socially awkward teammates Phillip and Donald, the trio persuades Sara Ramirez – a determined and striking team leader with whom Zach has a history (and possibly a future) – to join their team. Working off-campus in the teched-out Lincoln Alley loft, the four set out to involve the entire campus in a quirky new social interactive game. But as the group becomes entrenched in the project, Zach learns that his father Billy, a widower, is facing growing financial woes at home. To help out, Zach accepts an opportunity to work directly with Marcus Bentton on a secretive side project that seems too good to be true. The effort requires nearly all of Zach’s time and energy, which he should be devoting to the project. Struggling to keep it together, Zach is torn between his responsibility to his team, his admiration for Bentton and a chance to help his father.

Everything comes to a breaking point when Zach’s team threatens to remove him from the group and the deceptive truth behind Bentton’s project comes to light. With the guidance of Professor Abbie Lambert, Zach must make a decision that not only affects his future, but the lives and livelihoods of the people around him as well. It’s a revealing story that recognizes the magnitude behind the choices we make and the importance loyalty plays in making good decisions.

Game of Your Life - Talks with Nathan from Moms4FamilyTV.com on Vimeo.


Game of Your Life - Tune in Promo from Moms4FamilyTV.com on Vimeo.


Website:
http://www.familymovienight.com/game-of-your-life/
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/familymovienight
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/#!/fmnib

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Stranger's Gift by Anna Schmidt

The Stranger's Gift (Women of Pinecraft, #1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What an entertaining read! Hester Detweiler is a Mennonite and has embraced the faith of giving. She is no longer young, 33, and is giving her life to helping others. Her Dad, Arlen, is a Pastor at their church, and a woodworker. He has brought Samuel into his business, also as a prospective husband for Hester.
They live in Pinecrest Fl, in an Amish/Mennonite Community, and Hester is working with the MCC. As the story opens their is a devastation Hurricane...Hester...on its way with a direct hit of their area.
There is a banned Amishman, living a secluded life nearby. Hester is sent to see if she can get John Steiner to leave.
This is a story of forgiveness, and rebuilding, and following God's Will.
A very enjoyable read!

I received this book from the Publisher, Barbour Books, and was not required to give a positive review.


Friday, November 18, 2011

First Wild Card Tours: TruthTats: The Christmas Story by Jeff Sheets, product creator for Broadman and Holman Publishers

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card is developed by:


and the Advent idea:


TruthTats: The Christmas Story

B&H Publishing Group

***Special thanks to Susan Otis of Creative Resources, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***

SHORT PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:


Truth Tats: The Christmas Story
Celebrating the Season of Advent with Truth Tats

Designed just for the season, Christmas Truth Tats present a new way of telling the story of Christ’s birth. Truth Tats are temporarily on your skin, permanently on your heart.

This is a five week program leading up to Christmas day, each packet of Truth Tats includes a family devotional booklet that kicks off each memory scripture of the week. The twenty accompanying Scripture tattoos are a visual way to continually applying and memorize God’s word. Each week opens with a set of four identical Scripture tattoo designs so that each family member can have his or her own tattoo! Week two, there is a new Scripture for memorization and four new tattoo designs, again identical designs so each person is memorizing the same Scripture.

For over 1,000 years Christians worldwide have been celebrating Advent, a time of spiritual preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. The word “advent” comes from the Latin adventus meaning “coming toward”. So it is entirely appropriate that the four weeks prior to Christmas we will be preparing our hearts for His Advent.

Truth Tats are a unique way to celebrate the season as well as to “show and tell” God’s word to others. This is ideal for the classroom, family devotion time, and in personal Scripture memorization

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Unbound
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Language: English
ASIN: B005LDDJ1S

AND NOW...WEEK ONE OF ADVENT (Click on pictures to enlarge):







My Review: What a Wonderful way to celebrate the true meaning of CHRISTmas! This is a way to for the entire family to come to the real meaning! Our kids can't wait until we start!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson

House of Secrets

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Bailey Cooper along with her sister's Geena and Piper have been summoned to Bremerton, WA by their Dad.

Supposedly their Dad has some information for them? What Bailey and Geena believe is that he will finally admit to murdering their Mother?? There are so so many secrets in their family.

The story has a lot to do with living with a mental illness, specifically Schizophrenia. The girls wonder if they have inherited this illness. There are flashback, periods of remembering. They hadn't been back to WA in fifteen years. All of the girls, even though they have finished college, and have excellent careers ahead, are having a hard time with relationships. They were actually robbed of their childhood.

Mark Delahunt, sees something in Bailey, and he wants a relationship with her. He will not go further into being with her if she is not a believer.

I love the way those who come to the Lord are able to find Forgiveness, and give Forgiveness. I also feel once you finish this book, it is going to linger in your mind for a long time.



I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

The Christmas Singing

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Cindy Woodsmall has a wonderful gift that she is sharing in the form of her wonderful Amish books. This one is no exception. Love the pictures she paints in your mind!
Mattie Eash, or Mattie Lane as she is known in the book, has had her heart broken by Giddeon Beiler. They had been long time sweethearts and she found him hugging another woman.
Mattie has now moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio, and has opened her cake shop. She has a great talent for making wonderful cakes, which seem to be in great demand. She has also tried to move on from Gideon, and is now in a no pressure relationship with Sol.
When an accidental fire destroys her bakery, she decides to go back to PA, and make some cakes for her families weddings, and spend time with her folks.
This is a story of telling lies and living with the consequences, and giving Forgiveness.

I received this book from the publisher, WaterBrook Press, and was not required to give a positive review.


Monday, November 14, 2011

First Wild Card Tours: Sound Among The Trees by Susan Meissner and Giveaway

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


A Sound Among the Trees

WaterBrook Press (October 4, 2011)

***Special thanks to Laura Tucker of WaterBrook Press for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Award-winning writer Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Books of 2008. She is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four. When she's not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at her San Diego church.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A house shrouded in time. A line of women with a heritage of loss. As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, a traitor to her Virginian roots. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn't believe that Susannah's ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house itself bears a grudge toward its tragic past.

When Marielle Bishop marries into the family and is transplanted from the arid west to her husband's home, it isn't long before she is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings misfortune to the women who live there.

With Adelaide's richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must sort out the truth about Susannah Page and Holly Oak— and make peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.





Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307458857
ISBN-13: 978-0307458858

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Excerpt

The bride stood in a circle of Virginia sunlight, her narrow heels clicking on Holly Oak’s patio stones as she greeted strangers in the receiving line. Her wedding dress was a simple A-line, strapless, with a gauzy skirt of white that breezed about her knees like lacy curtains at an open window. She had pulled her unveiled brunette curls into a loose arrangement dotted with tiny flowers that she’d kept alive on her flight from Phoenix. Her only jewelry was a white topaz pendant at her throat and the band of platinum on her left ring finger. Tall, slender, and tanned from the famed and relentless Arizona sun, hers was a girl-nextdoor look: pretty but not quite beautiful. Adelaide thought it odd that Marielle held no bouquet.

From the parlor window Adelaide watched as her grandson-in-law, resplendent in a black tuxedo next to his bride, bent toward the guests and greeted them by name, saying, “This is Marielle.” An explanation seemed ready to spring from his lips each time he shook the hand of someone who had known Sara, her deceased granddaughter. His first wife. Carson stood inches from Marielle, touching her elbow every so often, perhaps to assure himself that after four years a widower he had indeed patently and finally moved on from grief.

Smatterings of conversations wafted about on the May breeze and into the parlor as received guests strolled toward trays of sweet tea and champagne. Adelaide heard snippets from her place at the window. Hudson and Brette, her great-grandchildren, had moved away from the snaking line of gray suits and pastel dresses within minutes of the first guests’ arrival and were now studying the flower-festooned gift table under the window ledge, touching the bows, fingering the silvery white wrappings. Above the children, an old oak’s youngest branches shimmied to the tunes a string quartet produced from the gazebo beyond the receiving line.

Adelaide raised a teacup to her lips and sipped the last of its contents, allowing the lemony warmth to linger at the back of her throat. She had spent the better part of the morning readying the garden for Carson and Marielle’s wedding reception, plucking spent geranium blossoms, ordering the catering staff about, and straightening the rented linen tablecloths. She needed to join the party now that it had begun. The Blue-Haired Old Ladies would be wondering where she was.

Her friends had been the first to arrive, coming through the garden gate on the south side of the house at five minutes before the hour. She’d watched as Carson introduced them to Marielle, witnessed how they cocked their necks in blue-headed unison to sweetly scrutinize her grandson-in-law’s new wife, and heard their welcoming remarks through the open window.

Deloris gushed about how lovely Marielle’s wedding dress was and what, pray tell, was the name of that divine purple flower she had in her hair?

Pearl invited Marielle to her bridge club next Tuesday afternoon and asked her if she believed in ghosts.

Maxine asked her how Carson and she had met—though Adelaide had told her weeks ago that Carson met Marielle on the Internet—and why on earth Arizona didn’t like daylight-saving time.

Marielle had smiled, sweet and knowing—like the kindergarten teacher who finds the bluntness of five-year-olds endearing—and answered the many questions.

Mojave asters. She didn’t know how to play bridge. She’d never encountered a ghost so she couldn’t really say but most likely not. She and Carson met online. There’s no need to save what one has an abundance of. Carson had cupped her elbow in his hand, and his thumb caressed the inside of her arm while she spoke.

Adelaide swiftly set the cup down on the table by the window, whisking away the remembered tenderness of that same caress on Sara’s arm.

Carson had every right to remarry.

Sara had been dead for four years.

She turned from the bridal tableau outside and inhaled deeply the gardenia-scented air in the parlor. Unbidden thoughts of her granddaughter sitting with her in that very room gently nudged her. Sara at six cutting out paper dolls. Memorizing multiplication tables at age eight. Sewing brass buttons onto gray wool coats at eleven. Sara reciting a poem for English Lit at sixteen, comparing college acceptance letters at eighteen, sharing a chance letter from her estranged mother at nineteen, showing Adelaide her engagement ring at twenty-four. Coming back home to Holly Oak with Carson when Hudson was born. Nursing Brette in that armchair by the fireplace. Leaning against the door frame and telling Adelaide that she was expecting her third child.

Right there Sara had done those things while Adelaide sat at the long table in the center of the room, empty now but usually awash in yards of stiff Confederate gray, glistening gold braid, and tiny piles of brass buttons—the shining elements of officer reenactment uniforms before they see war.

Adelaide ran her fingers along the table’s polished surface, the warm wood as old as the house itself. Carson had come to her just a few months ago while she sat at that table piecing together a sharpshooter’s forest green jacket. He had taken a chair across from her as Adelaide pinned a collar, and he’d said he needed to tell her something.

He’d met someone.

When she’d said nothing, he added, “It’s been four years, Adelaide.”

“I know how long it’s been.” The pins made a tiny plucking sound as their pointed ends pricked the fabric.

“She lives in Phoenix.”

“You’ve never been to Phoenix.”

“Mimi.” He said the name Sara had given her gently, as a father might. A tender reprimand. He waited until she looked up at him. “I don’t think Sara would want me to live the rest of my life alone. I really don’t. And I don’t think she would want Hudson and Brette not to have a mother.”

“Those children have a mother.”

“You know what I mean. They need to be mothered. I’m gone all day at work. I only have the weekends with them. And you won’t always be here. You’re a wonderful great-grandmother, but they need someone to mother them, Mimi.”

She pulled the pin cushion closer to her and swallowed. “I know they do.”

He leaned forward in his chair. “And I…I miss having someone to share my life with. I miss the companionship. I miss being in love. I miss having someone love me.”

Adelaide smoothed the pieces of the collar. “So. You are in love?”

He had taken a moment to answer. “Yes. I think I am.”

Carson hadn’t brought anyone home to the house, and he hadn’t been on any dates. But he had lately spent many nights after the children were in bed in his study—the old drawing room—with the door closed. When she’d pass by, Adelaide would hear the low bass notes of his voice as he spoke softly into his phone. She knew that gentle sound. She had heard it before, years ago when Sara and Carson would sit in the study and talk about their day. His voice, deep and resonant. Hers, soft and melodic.

“Are you going to marry her?”

Carson had laughed. “Don’t you even want to know her name?”

She had not cared at that moment about a name. The specter of being alone in Holly Oak shoved itself forward in her mind. If he remarried, he’d likely move out and take the children with him. “Are you taking the children? Are you leaving Holly Oak?”

“Adelaide—”

“Will you be leaving?”

Several seconds of silence had hung suspended between them. Carson and Sara had moved into Holly Oak ten years earlier to care for Adelaide after heart surgery and had simply stayed. Ownership of Holly Oak had been Sara’s birthright and was now Hudson and Brette’s future inheritance. Carson stayed on after Sara died because, in her grief, Adelaide asked him to, and in his grief, Carson said yes.

“Will you be leaving?” she asked again.

“Would you want me to leave?” He sounded unsure.

“You would stay?”

Carson had sat back in his chair. “I don’t know if it’s a good idea to take Hudson and Brette out of the only home they’ve known. They’ve already had to deal with more than any kid should.”

“So you would marry this woman and bring her here. To this house.”

Carson had hesitated only a moment. “Yes.”

She knew without asking that they were not talking solely about the effects moving would have on a ten-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl. They were talking about the strange biology of their grief. Sara had been taken from them both, and Holly Oak nurtured their common sorrow in the most kind and savage of ways. Happy memories were one way of keeping someone attached to a house and its people. Grief was the other. Surely Carson knew this. An inner nudging prompted her to consider asking him what his new bride would want.

“What is her name?” she asked instead.

And he answered, “Marielle…”

Excerpted from A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner Copyright © 2011 by Susan Meissner. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


My Review: This story takes you from Modern day to the Civil War period. We open the story at a wedding reception for Marielle and Carson, at which looks like a beautiful Southern estate. Carson and Marielle have meet over the internet and there interest bloomed into love. They were married in Arizona, and are having the reception in Virginia.
Carson and his two children live in Virginia in the beautiful old home, that has been in the family for many generations. The home is actually Carson's deceased wife's families, and will sometime belong to their children Brette and Hudson. Marielle has agreed to Carson's request that they live here rather than upset the children, and be there for Sara's Grandmother Adelaide.
It must have been very difficult for Marielle to live in Carson's late wife's home! A home that seems to have something wrong with it. There is talk around town that it is haunted? There is supposed to be some lost letter's that would confirm all of this.
I think the part of the book I enjoyed the most was the letter's written by Susannah...she is Adelaide's Great-Grandmother. Loved the description of the South during the War, although parts sounded to true with all the killing and injured.
A very enjoyable read.





Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home To Holly Springs by Jan Karon

Home to Holly Springs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Father Timothy Kavanagh has been asked by someone to come home. He is traveling from his retirement home in NC, leaving behind his beloved wife Cynthia. He has received a cryptic message "Come Home!" Along the way to finding who sent the message he meets several of his childhood friends, and meets some new ones.
He is looking for his blood brother Tommy, and wonders what has happened to a few others, including his Peggy.
He travels in his Mustang with his faithful companion Barnabus, his big dog! Love the reactions to this darling dog! God puts Tim where he needs to be, and forges doors to open to help his learning about why things happened when he was a child.
God is not done with him, and many questions are on their way to being answered. I loved this book, and recommend it for a wonderful read.
This book was provided by my local Library!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Love On The Line by Deeanne Gist

Love on the Line
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Another great book by Deeanne, I've read almost all of her books and really enjoy them. Love that she has as her main character a strong woman, and in this story its Georgie. She is the towns Switchboard Operator, and knows all that is going on in the town, and where everyone is! She is the towns 911!
The other main Character is Texas Ranger, Lucious Landrum, or the name he is hiding under Luke Palmer. He has a mission to capture, what the people feel is Robin Hood, Frank Comer.
You are going to wonder what birding, hats and train robberies have in common, along with a few chuckles.
You'll enjoy how the town rallies around Georgie when disaster strikes! Loved picturing those beautiful hats!
When no will help Luke in his quest to put an end to the Comer gang, you will be surprised as to who comes to his aid. Also love that there is an Epilogue at the end of this book!!

I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Suzanne Woods Fisher new Book!!!

Awesome video....New Book! Can't Wait!!!



The Keeper is being released in January 2012.

Blame It on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Blame It on the Mistletoe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What a delightful read, full of chuckles and good laughs! Agnes Sparrow is now in a nursing home, Greenbrier, and is loosing some weight. Griselda is now taking flying lessons, and doesn't know if she wants to live alone or marry Zeb.

There are such goings on! Enjoy the play on names throughout the book! Is it the Mistletoe or water from the Fountain of Youth?? Meet Leon Fountain, and all the youngins at the Nursing Home! Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving at Ruth's, her take on a tropical one!!

Poor Agnes, Ruth is going to make her a dress, and she is using 3 pieced patterns? Oh my, and you imagine the yards and yards of fabric!!

Experience the joy of the Christmas Pageant, with a real camel. Can't you just picture that!!

Once you pick this book up, your on a wonderful journey, immense yourself and enjoy!!



I received this book through Netgalley and the Publisher Abingdon Press, and was not required to give a positive review!

Monday, November 7, 2011

First Wild Card Tours: Mercy Come Morning by Lisa T. Bergren

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Mercy Come Morning

WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (August 16, 2011)

***Special thanks to Laura Tucker of WaterBrook Press for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


LISA BERGREN is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty books, with more than two million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time working as a freelance editor and writer while parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of the family’s next visit to Taos.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

There are no second chances. Or are there?

Krista Mueller is in a good place. She’s got a successful career as a professor of history; she’s respected and well-liked; and she lives hundreds of miles from her hometown and the distant mother she could never please. It’s been more than a decade since Alzheimer’s disease first claimed Charlotte Mueller’s mind, but Krista has dutifully kept her mother in a first-class nursing home.

Now Charlotte is dying of heart failure and, surprised by her own emotions, Krista rushes to Taos, New Mexico, to sit at her estranged mother’s side as she slips away. Battling feelings of loss, abandonment, and relief, Krista is also unsettled by her proximity to Dane McConnell, director of the nursing home—and, once upon a time, her first love. Dane’s kind and gentle spirit—and a surprising discovery about her mother—make Krista wonder if she can at last close the distance between her and her mother … and open the part of her heart she thought was lost forever.

“A timeless tale, to be kept every day in the heart as a reminder
that forgiveness is a gift to self.”
—PATRICIA HICKMAN, author of The Pirate Queen


Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (August 16, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307730107
ISBN-13: 978-0307730107

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


“She’s dying, Krista.”

I took a long, slow breath. “She died a long time ago, Dane.”

He paused, and I could picture him formulating his next words, something that would move me. Why was my relationship with my mother so important to him? I mean, other than the fact that she was a patient in his care. “There’s still time, Kristabelle.”

I sighed. Dane knew that his old nickname for me always got to me. “For what? For long, deep conversations?” I winced at the harsh slice of sarcasm in my tone.

“You never know,” he said quietly. “An aide found something you should see.”

“What?”

“Come. I’ll keep it here in my office until you arrive. Consider it a Christmas present.”

“It’s December ninth.”

“Okay, consider it an early present.”

It was typical of him to hold out a mysterious hook like that. “I don’t know, Dane. The school term isn’t over yet. It’s a hard time to get someone to cover for me.” It wasn’t the whole truth. I had an assistant professor who could handle things on her own. And I could get back for finals. Maybe. Unless Dane wasn’t overstating the facts.

“Krista. She’s dying. Her doctor tells me she has a few weeks, tops. Tell your department chair. He’ll let you go. This is the end.” I stared out my cottage window to the old pines that covered my yard in shadows. The end. The end had always seemed so far away. Too far away. In some ways I wanted an end to my relationship with my mother, the mother who had never loved me as I longed to be loved. When she started disappearing, with her went so many
of my hopes for what could have been. The road to this place had been long and lonely. Except for Dane. He had always been there, had always waited. I owed it to him to show. “I’ll be there on Saturday.”

“I’ll be here. Come and find me.”

“Okay. I teach a Saturday morning class. I can get out of here after lunch and down there by five or six.”

“I’ll make you dinner.”

“Dane, I—”

“Dinner. At seven.”

I slowly let my mouth close and paused. I was in no mood to argue with him now. “I’ll meet you at Cimarron,” I said.
“Great. It will be good to see you, Kristabelle.” I closed my eyes, imagining him in his office at Cimarron Care Center. Brushing his too-long hair out of his eyes as he looked through his own window.

“It will be good to see you, too, Dane. Good-bye.”

He hung up then without another word, and it left me feeling slightly bereft. I hung on to the telephone receiver as if I could catch one more word, one more breath, one more connection with the man who had stolen my heart at sixteen.

Dane McConnell remained on my mind as I wrapped up things at the college, prepped my assistant, Alissa, to handle my history classes for the following week, and then drove the scenic route down to Taos from Colorado Springs, about a five-hour trip. My old Honda Prelude hugged the roads along the magnificent San Luis Valley. The valley’s shoulders were still covered in late spring snow, her belly carpeted in a rich, verdant green. It was here that in 1862 Maggie O’Neil single-handedly led a wagon train to settle a town in western Colorado, and nearby Cecilia Gaines went so
crazy one winter they named a waterway in her honor—“Woman Hollering Creek.”

I drove too fast but liked the way the speed made my scalp tingle when I rounded a corner and dipped, sending my stomach flying. Dane had never driven too fast. He was methodical in everything he did, quietly moving ever forward. He had done much in his years since grad school, establishing Cimarron and making it a national think tank for those involved in gerontology. After high school we had essentially ceased communication for years before Cimarron came about. Then when Mother finally got to the point in her descent into Alzheimer’s that she needed fulltime institutionalized care, I gave him a call. I hadn’t been able to find a facility that I was satisfied with for more than a year, when a college friend had shown me the magazine article on the opening of Cimarron and its patron saint, Dane McConnell.

“Good looking and nice to old people,” she had moaned. “Why can’t I meet a guy like that?”

“I know him,” I said, staring at the black-and-white photograph.

“Get out.”

“I do. Or did. We used to be…together.”

“What happened?” she asked, her eyes dripping disbelief.

“I’m not sure.”

I still wasn’t sure. Things between us had simply faded over the years. But when I saw him again, it all seemed to come back. Or at least a part of what we had once had. There always seemed to be a submerged wall between us, something we couldn’t quite bridge or blast through. So we had simply gone swimming toward different shores.

Mother’s care had brought us back together over the last five years. With the congestive heart failure that was taking her body, I supposed the link between us would finally be severed. I would retreat to Colorado, and he would remain in our beloved Taos, the place of our youth, of our beginnings, of our hearts. And any lingering dream of living happily ever after with Dane McConnell could be buried forever with my unhappy memories of Mother.

I loosened my hands on the wheel, realizing that I was gripping

it so hard my knuckles were white. I glanced in the rearview mirror, knowing that my reverie was distracting me from paying attention to the road. It was just that Dane was a hard man to get over. His unique ancestry had gifted him with the looks of a Scottish Highlander and the sultry, earthy ways of the Taos Indians. A curious, inspiring mix that left him with both a leader’s stance and a wise man’s knowing eyes. Grounded but visionary. A driving force, yet empathetic at the same time. His employees loved working for him. Women routinely fell in love with him.

I didn’t know why I could never get my act together so we could finally fall in love and stay in love. He’d certainly done his part. For some reason I’d always sensed that Dane was waiting for me, of all people. Why messed-up, confused me? Yet there he was. I’d found my reluctance easy to blame on my mother. She didn’t love me as a mother should, yada-yada, but I’d had enough time with my counselor to know that there are reasons beyond her. Reasons that circle back to myself.

I’d always felt as if I was chasing after parental love, but the longer I chased it, the further it receded from my reach. It left a hole in my heart that I was hard-pressed to fill. God had come close to doing the job. Close. But there was still something there, another blockade I had yet to blast away. I would probably be working on my “issues” my whole life. But as my friend Michaela says, “Everyone’s got issues.” Supposedly I need to embrace them. I just want them to go away.

“Yeah,” I muttered. Dane McConnell was better off without me. Who needed a woman still foundering in her past?

I had to focus on Mother. If this was indeed the end, I needed to wrap things up with her. Find closure. Some measure of peace. Even if she couldn’t say the words I longed to hear.

I love you, Krista.

Why was it that she had never been able to force those four words from her lips?


Excerpted from Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren Copyright © 2011 by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

My Review: 5 out of 5
I am so glad that Waterbrook decided to reissue this timely book. The story is dealing with Alzheimer's and learning to remember and forgive.
When Krista gets the call that her Mother's days are numbered, she doesn't want to go. She has a well established life in Colorado, and now is being called to New Mexico. She has very empty feelings about her Mother. Her boyfriend from years ago, Dane McConnell, now the director of the facility that her Mom, Charlotte Mueller, is in and makes her understand she does in fact need to come.
Now at the age of 38, she has never let any man get to close to her. As we enter the very caring facility that her Mom is in she sees Dane, can anything come of being near him? We also meet a woman who has always been there Krista and her Mother, Elana!
As she is going through some of the things of her Mother's, that in her room at the facility. She discovers a Christmas song book with diary entries. Hopefully she will find some closures and understanding, and of course Forgiveness. Throughout the book you can feel the Lord leading her, and she develops a deeper relationship with him!

I Have A Winner Deliver Me From Evil by Kathi Macias

I used Random.Org and D. L. Cocchio is the winner. Just need your snail mail address and the book will be on it's way.
Congratulations!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Doll Violinist by Mayra Calvani



My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I was given the opportunity to review this beautifully illustrated book...The Doll Violinist by
Mayra Calvani (Author), Amy Cullings Moreno (Illustrator)
The book is about a little girl Emma, who lives in an Orphanage. She slips out every evening to go to a nearby Toy Store. She has spotted a doll that she really wants, but you know she will not be able to have.
I think the imagination of the young ones at this time of the year will be able to understand that some children are not as fortunate. They will also be asking questions about the ending and be able to add their own!
There are lessons being taught in this beautifully illustrated book, wonderful, timely book!


I received this book from the publisher Guardian Angel, and was not required to give a positive review.





Purchase page: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/doll-violinist.htm

About the author:

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Her love for the violin has inspired her to pen three “violin” children’s picture books: The Magic Violin, Frederico the Mouse Violinist, and now the latest, The Doll Violinist.

Visit her website at www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com and get the first two lessons of her popular Walking on a Rainbow Picture Book Workshop free!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Recommendation for Novel Morsels

I just got a great cook book by some of my favorite authors!!
A collaborative recipe book bringing your favorite
Christian authors
and their favorite foods together.

Take a look at the list. See anyone you recognize? I thought so! Sixty-three of your favorite Christian authors have come together in this first-of-its-kind e-book, sharing more than 120 recipes that connect to their books or their characters.

Hannah Alexander
Max Elliot Anderson
Paige Agnew
Christa Allan
Natalie Balnius
Tammy Barley
Lauralee Bliss
Andrea Boeshaar
Shari Braendel
Ramona Cecil
Nike Chellimi
Lynn Cowell
Valerie Comer
Annalisa Daughety
Mary DeMuth
Evangeline Denmark
Karen Ehman
Mary Ellis
Cathy Gohlke
Lisa Grace
Michelle Griep
Beth Webb Hart
Laura V. Hilton
Sharon Hinck
Ronie Kendig
Deborah Kinnard
Deanna Klingel
Laura Kurk
Patti Lacy
Maureen Lang
Anne Mateer
Rose McCauley
Vickie McDonough
Susan Meissner
Cathy Messecar
Stefne Miller
Stephanie Morrill
Shellie Neumeier
Nicole O'Dell
Rachel Olsen
Sandra Orchard
Donna Alice Patton
Donita k Paul
Marta Perry
Rachael Phillips
Cara Putman
Deborah Raney
LeAnn Rice
Linda Wood Rondeau
Lynn Rush
Claire Sanders
Lynda Schab
Lynette Sowell
Carla Stewart
Tiffany Amber Stockton
Christina Berry Tarabochia
Nancy Thelen
Cindy Thomson
Shannon Vanatter
Kit Wilkinson
Jill Williamson
Lisa Wingate
Cheryl Wyatt

This ebook Cookbook can be purchased at http://nicoleodell.com/parent-side/nonfiction/novel-morsels/
Right now I see the Price is $2.99!
your favorite authors bringing recipes to life
Here's an example of one I need to try:
Radical Raspberry Chocolate Cheese Cake
His Revolutionary Love:
Jesus' Radical Pursuit of You
Standard Publishing, May, 2011
Lynn Cowell
www.lynncowell.com

• 1 - 8 oz. softened cream cheese
• 1 - 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
• 1 egg
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (or
blackberries)
• 1 6 oz. chocolate pie crust
• 1/2 bag of chocolate chips
• 1/4 cup of milk
1. Heat oven to 350. With mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually
beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and
vanilla. Beat well.
2. Arrange raspberries or blackberries on bottom of crust. Slowly pour
cheese mixture over fruit.
3. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool.
4. To make chocolate glaze for the top: when the cake has cooled, mix 1/2
bag of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of milk over low heat. Stir until melted
and smooth. Pour over top of pie, smooth out and refrigerate.

Doesn't that sound YUMMY! There at least 119 more!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Wild Card Tours: Shadowed In Silk by Christine Lindsay

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Shadowed in Silk

WhiteFire Publishing (September 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Christine Lindsay for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Christine Lindsay writes historical Christian inspirational novels with strong love stories. She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects such as the themes in her debut novel SHADOWED IN SILK which is set in India during a turbulent era. Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj was seeded from stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India. SHADOWED IN SILK won first place in the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical under the title Unveiled.

The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home. It’s a special time in her life as she and her husband enjoy the empty nest, but also the noise and fun when the kids and grandkids come home. Like a lot of writers, her cat is her chief editor.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

She was invisible to those who should have loved her.
After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.

Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.

Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.





Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing (September 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0976544490
ISBN-13: 978-0976544494

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


December, 1918

Abby Fraser gripped the railing of the New Delhi and lifted her chin to defy the solitary expanse of sea. She refused to believe a wife needed an invitation to join her husband. The war was over at last. Nick and she were married, and it was about time he remembered that.

One of the Queen Alexandra nurses escorting the Indian troops home stood beside Abby. With a rustle of starched cotton, Laine Harkness leaned over and whispered in her ear. “Why do you look like you’re headed for the Black Hole of Calcutta and not about to have a passionate reunion with the love of your life?”

Abby ran a hand down her linen skirt and watched the blue line of shore draw closer. What could she possibly say? Instead of replying she cuddled her little son, Cam, nearer to her side. In less than an hour he’d meet his father for the first time. Had she been foolish not to wait for an answer from Nick? So few letters from him in four years.

“I know you’re American,” Laine went on, “but I assure you, the only thing to be afraid of in this part of the British Empire is the wife of your husband’s commanding officer.” She shuddered with drama and grinned maliciously. “Once you’re settled in your shady little army cantonment, the old battle-axe will whip you into shape in no time. Then you’ll be quite the proper memsahib. It’s them that run the colony for us Brits. Don’t you think for a minute it’s the Viceroy or our army—it’s the average colonel’s wife.”

Abby crinkled her nose as she smiled. “You win. Is this better?”

“Much better. You were altogether too peaked for meeting your handsome lieutenant.”

The New Delhi sliced her way through the narrows of Kolaba Point, and the familiar scent of Bombay reached out to Abby. Laine was right. No sense worrying. Tucking a strand of hair into her chignon, she savored a tantalizing whiff of overripe fruit, roses, marigolds and cloves, mingled with the acrid smell of dust. She lifted Cam up and snuggled her face into his neck, but he wiggled in her arms. At three years old he was heavy, much too big to be carried.

On the deck below, Indian soldiers stood with their British officers waiting to disembark. Yanking on her arm, Cam laughed and pointed to the tugboat pushing the ship into her berth, and Abby laughed with him. She felt six years old again. Like the troops, she was home. So close. In a few minutes she could touch her birthplace, so much brighter and warmer than Aunt Doreen’s dismal mansion in upstate New York or her father’s retirement manor in the Yorkshire Dales.

As soon as the liner stopped, it was as though an oven door dropped open, and hot air rushed in. On the quay, a kaleidoscope of color and humanity dazzled Abby’s eyes—Hindu women in saris of every hue, hot pinks, ochre yellows, lime greens. Parsee women wore their skirts of equally brilliant shades, their black hair ornamented with lace and gold. People balanced immense bundles on their heads. Bengali clerks rushed here and there, wearing yards of white muslin and Hindu caps, while other men wore turbans or solar topis. On the dock, uniformed soldiers joined the throng. So many people. She’d forgotten that claustrophobic feeling, the teeming press of millions. But she loved it all.

She hugged Cam and scanned the crowds of people on the quayside for Nick’s lean face and startling blue eyes. He’d be down there waiting for her, wouldn’t he? Her gaze stopped.

There he was. Her pulse pounded.

A tall soldier wearing his tan uniform, epaulets at his shoulder, his cap on his head, peered upwards at the passengers lining the ship’s railing. She could barely catch her breath as she waved. Cam, not seeing who she waved at, threw out his small hand, pumped it up and down, and laughed.

Nick looked up and waved. Her wide smile dimmed, and her hand went still. It wasn’t Nick. Someone farther along the ship’s railing sent an answering wave to the stranger on the quay.

Abby steadied her breath and swung her gaze over the crowd. Where was he? In addition to her letter announcing she was coming, she’d telegrammed Nick with her itinerary before she left Southampton. She’d sent another telegram and checked twice with the purser when they stopped at the Port of Aden days ago, and still there’d been no message from him.

“See you soon . . . goodbye . . . Christmas . . . take care of yourself,” the nurses said between hugs as they crowded toward the gangway. But Laine remained at Abby’s side.

“Please, Laine, go with the others. You’ve been wonderful, but Nick will be here.”

“You don’t know that for sure.” Laine’s practiced look was that of a nurse hating to give bad news. “You can’t fool me with that Yankee stoicism of yours. The whole voyage out, you’ve tried to hide your concerns.”

“Laine, please.”

“Oh, all right.” Laine grew gruff as she relented, tucking a dark strand of hair under her nursing veil. “I’m always sticking my nose in where I shouldn’t. Occupational hazard.”

Abby took Laine’s arm and shook it. “Don’t be silly. I don’t know what I’d have done those first days of the voyage if you hadn’t taken pity on me till I got my sea legs. We’ll see each other on the train later anyway.” She gave the nursing matron a firm hug.

Laine joined the nurses, but Abby didn’t watch them leave the ship. She arched her neck to look into the sea of faces below. Sunlight glinted off the tin roofs at the quay and bounced off the ground. She squinted like a cat soaking up its rays and, taking a deep breath, moved toward the gangway.

A half hour later she carried Cam on her hip and walked out of the blistering customs shed. A hired bearer followed with their baggage.

The warm breeze loosened tendrils of hair at the base of her neck, and she blew from the side of her mouth to free a strand clinging to her cheek. Too bad she couldn’t tie it back in a plait like she used to. But as the wife of a British officer the time had come for chignons, silk stockings, and serving tea with cucumber sandwiches in flower-laden gardens. Time at last to be a proper memsahib. Her insides skittered. Time at last to be a wife.

Please, Nick, where are you?

The crowd thinned, and her fixed smile began to slip. She kissed Cam on his grime-streaked cheek. Her little boy made up for everything. He had Nick’s deep blue eyes, the right one slightly more narrow than the left so it always seemed one side of his face grinned in mischief. Without the help of the single photograph she had of her husband she doubted she’d have remembered his features. The echo of his voice faded long ago. Had that happened during the first year of the war? Or the second? But they’d only known each other those few weeks in England before he’d shipped out to India.

Coldness seeped into her veins. Was it possible she’d disappeared from Nick’s thoughts? She roused herself. If that indeed had happened, she’d fight it. She’d win back their brief flash of love and turn it into something to last a lifetime.

“Won’t be long, honey,” she said to Cam, more to bolster herself. Nick would be here. Of course he would.

“I’m thirsty, Mama.” Cam fussed, but she didn’t have the heart to scold him.

Over his complaints came the reed-like notes of a lute, the backdrop to thousands of voices, calling out, bartering, chattering. Overlaying the odor of burning cow dung patties hung the pungency of blossoms. Dust and spices clouded the air. Horns beeped and trolley cars rattled past. Wooden axles on bullock carts squeaked, counterbalanced by the tinkling of bells. It all smelled and sounded like home, except there was no sign of her husband.

“Mrs. Abigail Fraser,” boomed a voice with a Cockney accent. “Paging Mrs. Abigail Fraser.”

Abby whirled around to wave to a burly English sergeant. The soldier presented her with a telegram. “Here you are, madam. May I hold the boy for you?”

Entranced by the soldier’s uniform, Cam went to him willingly while she held the envelope for a long moment before tearing it open to read:

Sorry STOP Away on Business STOP Meet your train in Amritsar STOP Nick STOP

All noise ceased and a buzzing filled her head, leaving her only marginally aware of the sergeant returning Cam to her arms and leaving. She blinked and raised her hand to shield her eyes from the sharp colors and white sunshine.

The last of the passengers moved away, and a swarm of children with extended bellies called out to her, “Maa maa, maa maa,” all stretching out small hands to grab her skirt.

“I’m sorry.” She gave them a few annas from her bag. “I’m sorry I don’t have any more.” She wasn’t sure if the moisture blurring her eyes was for Nick not meeting them or for these poor children as young as Cam begging for their food. Most of the children wandered off when the coins were gone, but a few stayed at her knee gazing up at her. A lump grew in Abby’s throat as she caressed one little girl’s head, but even this tiny one fled when a stench came close, gagging Abby.

A wild-eyed sadhu with three bars of sandalwood paste scoring his forehead strolled toward her. With Cam in her arms and her back to the luggage cart, she had nowhere to turn. Ash covered the sadhu’s emaciated body and long, matted hair. She tried to catch his eye, but his gaze—dead-looking—bore through her as though she weren’t there.

She offered him a few coins, but he swerved and glided past her. She shook her head. For a moment she was back in Albany, unseen by those who were supposed to love her.

#

Geoff Richards’ throat thickened as he and his risaldar-major Muhammad Khan, mingled with the troops on the quayside. His men stood with their usual spit and polish as the ranks were dismissed. Like him, their joy to be back on Indian soil shone from their eyes, but their smiles couldn’t quite cover the shadows there. Only a fraction of them were coming home. He could still envision every one of his men who used to ride out with him on parade. That was before they left India for European shores. And paid a terrible price for the British Empire. If the Indian people didn’t hate them . . . perhaps they should.

The familiar shaking began in his right hand.

Geoff clenched it into a fish behind his back and stopped to talk to a few soldiers lingering outside the customs shed. “Will any of you chaps from Rawalpindi have a chance this year at the Christmas polo tournament?”

A Sikh jemadar squared his shoulders, his eyes glinting black with his grin. “Yes, sahib, your regiment will not be able to keep up with us in a polo chukka. I can guarantee it.”

“Right. I’ll take that as a warning, Kanvar. We’ll see you at the tournament in Lahore.”

Geoff clapped the young Sikh on the arm.

Dhyan Singh stood on the outskirts of the group. Both he and his brother had served in Geoff’s regiment while in France. Geoff moved toward the soldier, but the memory of Dhyan’s brother, dying in his arms, pulled Geoff back to the nightmare of the trenches. He locked his hands behind his back, clenching his fist in an attempt to still the tremor. Dear God, I failed them . . . brought only one son home to his mother and father.

He managed a smile. “Ah, Jemadar Singh, how many chukkas will you play when you get home? You must be terribly rusty, old man.”

Dhyan grinned. He, too, acted like a man recently come back to life. “Sahib, I am sure I will have no trouble playing at least ten. If my brother, Manjit, were here today, he would say you would be having many, many troubles playing even two or three.”

The men’s laughter roared, and Geoff leaned toward his risaldar-major. “Khan, did you hear that? I think I’ve been advised to stick to cricket. Seems rumors are about, my polo days are on the wane.”

His grin matched that of the men. It was good to talk about something that didn’t mean the choice between life and death. But his laughter stopped.

Cam Fraser and his mother stood not far from him. He’d know the child anywhere, having played marbles and shuffleboard with him a number of times on the voyage. Other than a nod and exchanging the time of day, he’d hardly spoken to Cam’s mother. Why were they still here? According to ship’s gossip, Lieutenant Fraser was to meet them. But here she was, balancing the boy on her hip, and with her free hand brushed her chestnut hair from her face. And no husband in sight. The trace of fear in her eyes was belied by her clamped mouth that silently said I can look after myself. Of course she could.

He’d leave her to it. His own plans were set, and he began to follow his men, but it was too late.

The boy saw him and squirmed free of his mother’s arms, shooting off like a missile to him. Geoff swept the child up, feeling the warm little body and wiry arms and legs wrap around him. Cam rested his head against Geoff’s chest. The sensation of the child’s curls under Geoff’s chin brought a shiver of feeling he’d thought long dead and buried.

Geoff’s voice quavered as he took steps in the direction of the boy’s mother. “Chin up, old man. There’s a good soldier.”

#

Sunlight blinded Abby. Against its rays the silhouette of a soldier with the lean lines of a cavalry man scooped Cam up. Her little boy wound his arms around the man’s neck, and she put her hand to her mouth. So many nights these past few years she’d urged sleep to come, imagining this scene at the pier.

As the man walked toward her she made out his clean-shaven features under the peaked military cap. Major Richards, who’d befriended Cam on the ship, carried her son back to her. It wasn’t Nick enfolding his son close.

“Mrs. Fraser,” Geoff said when he reached her.

She turned to the major a smile she didn’t feel. “With the two of you such good pals I think it’s about time you called me Abby.” She forced a lighter tone. “I was thinking those suffragettes back home might have something, marching about quite pleased with their self-reliance.”

The major’s stony look melted into puzzlement, then his gray eyes began to dance. “I can imagine you marching about with a placard in your hands. For a good cause, of course.”

“But of course.” In spite of Nick’s absence, her smile deepened. “My husband’s not able to meet us, so I was about to hire a—”

She couldn’t finish her sentence. As the major turned toward the street, the sun set afire the twisted, burgundy scar that traveled from his temple to his cheekbone. She fumbled for the word that escaped her.

“Rickshaw,” he finished for her. “If you’ll allow me, I’ll see you to the train station. Going that way myself. And you’re right, the little CO and I are great friends.”

“Little CO?”

He sent a pointed glance at Cam.

She laughed. “Oh, I see. I hadn’t realized he’d been given a recent promotion.”

“I’m meeting a friend, Miriam, at Victoria Station. We arranged to meet and travel at least some of the time together. She runs a medical clinic in Amritsar, where you’re going.” His mouth grew tender.

She darted a look up at him. What sort of woman made the ever-so-proper major’s heart flutter? Her own insides did a somersault. Did the same kind of love wait for her from Nick?

Within minutes a driver loaded their luggage onto a tonga. They climbed into a separate rickshaw and joined the hundreds of other tongas, bicycles, carts, trams, and cars. With the pier behind them they headed for the station.

“Unfortunate your husband was unable to meet you,” Geoff said, never taking his eyes from the passing streets. “India’s not safe for a woman and child traveling alone.”

“I’m aware of that, Major. I was born here.”

“But not raised here.”

Abby lifted her chin. “I may be a bit of a mixture—American mother, British father—but India is my home.”

His eyes twinkled as he dipped his head, conceding defeat. “Everyone onboard wondered how you as a civilian got passage with demobilizing troops, until we realized who your father was. I imagine the general’s name pulled strings for you.”

“Maybe,” Abby drew the word out. Her adrenalin surged, remembering the stuffy war department offices in London. “Let’s just say I made a few social calls to friends of my late father.”

“Many would call General Mackenzie Hughes a pillar of the British Raj. You must take after him. Most young woman would have collapsed into tears being stranded at the pier.”

“You forget, Major, I am coming home.”

His chuckle reverberated from deep within him. “I do keep forgetting. You’re an old India hand. How old were you when you left?”

“I was a wise old memsahib of six when I first left these shores.” She tucked a strand of hair under her straw boater hat and, catching his eye, laughed out loud.

“Ah, yes . . . a memsahib. “He sat back, and all amusement left his face. His tone bordered on dryness. “I daresay you’ve forgotten all that entails. No fear, the wife of your husband’s colonel—your burra-memsahib—will be only too pleased to instruct you on the protocols of being a proper memsahib.”

Their shared laughter had disappeared as if snatched by the flock of green parrots swooping over their heads. But as though he remembered his manners, the major lifted Cam onto his knee, his well-oiled Sam Browne belt creaking as he did. The man and the boy immersed themselves in conversation. Interspersed with Cam’s piping voice she caught the hint of a Northumberland burr in Geoff Richards’ speech. His crisp, English school accent must be a learned one, like Nick’s.

She had enough of an ear to recognize her husband had worked hard to gain that polished manner of speaking, but she knew next to nothing of Nick’s youth. Six weeks wasn’t long enough to know a man.

Bombay’s traffic bustled past. Her fingers itched to pull out the telegram she’d folded into her bag at the pier. But there was no need. The words were stamped on her mind. Nick hadn’t said much, but at least he’d acknowledged they were coming. She had to cling to that, to keep believing they’d become a real family, given time. Perhaps have more children. Cam would have brothers and sisters, a houseful of them . . . and love. Not the existence she’d had growing up in Albany under the disinterested eye of her mother’s only sister.

She’d waited four years. The train trip would take three days. Only three more days, and all she longed for would be waiting for her in Amritsar.



My Review: 5 of 5 stars

This is a story you never want to end...at least when everyone is fine! What an excellent movie it would make!
Major Geoff Richards and Abby Fraser are thrown together early in this book...when Abby's husband Nick fails to meet her and his Son, when they arrive in India. Cam has never met his father, in his short 4 years, and is now delighting in the companionship of Maj Richards. When they finally arrive at their new home, Abby finds out that Nick has been on Holiday and couldn't take the time to come for them.
You begin to wonder what Abby every saw in the Savvy Nick? He also seems to have his Mistress Tikah living with them in their home.
The Lord has put Miriam and Eshana in what looks like a bleak life for Abby in India. Loved how God is working in all of their lives.
Be ready for a great page turning adventure in India, you probably won't get much sleep until you have finished this amazing story of God's Grace and Love.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Have A Winner!!

Laurie is the winner of A Christmas Journey Home. Congratulations!! Please send your snail mail address and I'll get this book out to you!
Laurie was chosen by Random.org!

First Wild Card Tours: Lethal Remedy (Prescription for Trouble, #4) by Richard L. Mabry

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Lethal Remedy

Abingdon Press (October 2011)

***Special thanks to Julie Dowd (Abingdon Press) for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Richard L. Mabry, MD, is a retired physician and medical school professor who achieved worldwide recognition as a clinician, writer, and teacher before turning his talents to non-medical writing after his retirement. He is the author of The Prescription for Trouble Series, one non-fiction book, and his inspirational piesces have appeared in numerous periodicals. He and his wife, Kay, live in North Texas.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

An epidemic of a highly resistant bacteria, Staphylococcus luciferus, has ignited, and Dr. Sara Miles' patient is on the threshold of death. Only an experimental antibiotic developed and administered by Sara's ex-husband, Dr. Jack Ingersoll can save the girl's life.

Dr. John Ramsey is seeking to put his life together after the death of his wife by joining the medical school faculty. But his decision could prove to be costly, even fatal.
Potentially lethal late effects from the experimental drug send Sara and her colleague, Dr. Rip Pearson, on a hunt for hidden critical data that will let them reverse the changes before it’s too late. What is the missing puzzle piece? And who is hiding it?




Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (October 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426735448
ISBN-13: 978-1426735448

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


No one knew the man’s name. White male, probably in his late seventies, found unresponsive in an alley about two o’clock in the morning and brought to the emergency room. Just another homeless derelict, another John Doe.

“Pneumonia, late stages,” the intern said. He yawned. “Happens all the time. Drank himself into a stupor, vomited, aspirated. Probably been lying in that alley for more than a day. Doesn’t look like he’ll make it.”

“Labs cooking? Got a sputum culture going?”

“Yeah, but it’ll take a day or two to get the results of the culture. The smear looks like Staph. Guess I’ll give him—”

“Wait. I’ve got access to an experimental drug that might help. Let me start him on that.”

The intern shrugged. It was two in the morning. He’d been on duty for more than twenty-four hours straight—why’d Johnson’s wife have to go into labor today?—and he was bushed. The bum probably didn’t have a snowball’s chance of surviving anyway. Why not? “You’ll be responsible?”

“I’ll take it from here. Even do the paperwork.”

“Deal,” the intern said, and ambled off to see the next patient.

Three hours later, John Doe lay on a gurney in a corner of the ER. An IV ran into one arm, a blood pressure cuff encircled the other. Spittle dripped from his open mouth and dotted his unshaven chin. His eyes were open and staring.

“Acute anaphylaxis, death within minutes. Interesting.” He scratched his chin. “Guess I need to make some adjustments in the compound.” He picked up the almost-blank chart. “I’ll say I gave him ampicillin and sulbactam. That should cover it.”

* * *

The woman’s look pierced Dr. Sara Miles’ heart. “Do you know what’s wrong with Chelsea?”

Chelsea Ferguson lay still and pale as a mannequin in the hospital bed. An IV carried precious fluids and medications into a vein in her arm. A plastic tube delivered a constant supply of oxygen to her nostrils. Above the girl’s head, monitors beeped and flashed. And over it all wafted the faint antiseptic smell of the ICU.

Chelsea’s mother sat quietly at the bedside, but her hands were never still: arranging and rearranging her daughter’s cover, twisting the hem of her plain brown skirt, shredding a tissue. Sara decided that the gray strands in Mrs. Ferguson’s long brunette hair were a recent addition, along with the lines etched in her face.

Sara put her hand on the teenager’s head and smoothed the matted brown curls. The girl’s hot flesh underscored the urgency of the situation. Since Chelsea’s admission to University Hospital three days ago, her fever hadn’t responded to any of the treatments Sara ordered. If anything, the girl was worse.

“Let’s slip out into the hall,” Sara said. She tiptoed from the bedside and waited outside the room while Mrs. Ferguson kissed her sleeping daughter and shuffled through the door.

Sara pointed. “Let’s go into the family room for a minute.”

“Will she be—?”

“The nurses will check on her, and they’ll call me if anything changes.” Sara led the way into the room and eased the door closed. This family room resembled so many others Sara had been in over the years: small, dim, and quiet. Six wooden chairs with lightly upholstered seats and backs were arranged along three of the walls. Illumination came from a lamp in the corner. A Bible, several devotional magazines, and a box of tissues stood within reach on a coffee table.

This was a room where families received bad news: the biopsy was positive, the treatment hadn’t worked, the doctors weren’t able to save their loved one. The cloying scent of flowers in a vase on an end table reminded Sara of a funeral home, and she shivered as memories came unbidden. She shoved her emotions aside and gestured Mrs. Ferguson to a seat. “Would you like something? Water? Coffee? A soft drink?”

The woman shook her head. “No. Just tell me what’s going on with my daughter. Do you know what’s wrong with her? Can you save her?” Her sob turned into a soft hiccup. “Is she going to die?”

Sara swallowed hard. “Chelsea has what we call sepsis. You might have heard it referred to as blood poisoning. It happens when bacteria get into the body and enter the bloodstream. In Chelsea’s case, this probably began when she had her wisdom teeth extracted.”

I can’t believe the dentist didn’t put her on a prophylactic antibiotic before the procedure. Sara brushed those thoughts aside. That wasn’t important now. The important thing was saving the girl’s life. Sara marshaled her thoughts. “We took samples of Chelsea’s blood at the time of her admission, and while we waited for the results of the blood cultures I started treatment with a potent mixture of antibiotics. As you can see, that hasn’t helped.”

“Why?”

Sara wished the woman wouldn’t be so reasonable, so placid. She wished Mrs. Ferguson would scream and cry. If the roles were reversed, she’d do just that. “While we wait for the results of blood cultures, we make a guess at the best antibiotics to use. Most of the time, our initial guess is right. This time, it was wrong—badly wrong.”

“But now you know what’s causing the infection?” It was a question, not a statement.

“Yes, we know.” And it’s not good news.

Hope tinged Mrs. Ferguson’s voice. “You can fix this, can’t you?”

I wish I could. “The bacteria causing Chelsea’s sepsis is one that . . .” Sara paused and started again. “Have you heard of Mersa?”

“Mersa? No. What’s that?”

“It’s actually MRSA, but doctors usually pronounce it that way. That’s sort of a medical shorthand for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that’s resistant to most of our common antibiotics.”

Mrs. Ferguson frowned. “You said most. Do you have something that will work?”

“Yes, we do. Matter of fact, when Chelsea was admitted I started her on two strong antibiotics, a combination that’s generally effective against MRSA. But she hasn’t responded, because this isn’t MRSA. It’s worse than MRSA.” She started to add “Much worse,” but the words died in her throat.

Sara paused and waited for Mrs. Ferguson to ask the next question. Instead, the woman crumpled the tissue she held and dabbed at the corner of her eyes, eyes in which hope seemed to die as Sara watched.

“This is what we call a ‘super-bug,’” Sara continued. “It used to be rare, but we’re seeing more and more infections with it. Right now, none of the commercially available antibiotics are effective. These bacteria are resistant to everything we can throw at them.”

Mrs. Ferguson’s voice was so quiet Sara almost missed the words. “What do you call it?”

“It’s a long name, and it’s not important that you know it.” Matter of fact, we don’t use the proper name most of the time. We just call it “The Killer.”

“So that’s it?”

“No, there’s a doctor at our medical center doing trials on an experimental drug that might work for Chelsea.” No need to mention that Jack is . . . No, let it go.

“Can you get some of this? Give it to Chelsea?”

“I can’t, but the man who can is an infectious disease specialist on the faculty here at the medical center. Actually, he helped develop it. Notice I said ‘experimental,’ which means there may be side effects. But if you want me—”

“Do it!” For the first time in days, Sara saw a spark of life in Mrs. Ferguson’s eyes, heard hope in her voice. “Call him! Now! Please!”

“You realize that this drug isn’t fully tested yet. It may not work. Or the drug may cause problems.” There, she’d said it twice in different words. She’d done her duty.

“I don’t care. My little girl is dying. I’ll sign the releases. Anything you need. If this is our only chance, please, let’s take it.”

Lord, I hope I haven’t made a mistake. “I’ll make the call.”

“I’m going back to be with my baby,” Mrs. Ferguson said. She stood and squared her shoulders. “While you call, I’ll pray.”

* * *

“Mr. Wolfe, you can come in now.” The secretary opened the doors to Dr. Patel’s office as though she were St. Peter ushering a supplicant through the Pearly Gates.

Bob Wolfe bit back the retort he wanted to utter. It’s Doctor Wolfe. Doctor of Pharmacology. I worked six years to earn that Pharm D, not to mention two years of research fellowship. How about some respect? But this wasn’t the time to fight that battle.

He straightened his tie, checked that there were no stains on his fresh white lab coat, and walked into the office of the head of Jandra Pharmaceuticals as though he had been summoned to receive a medal. Never let them see you sweat.

Dr. David Patel rose from behind his desk and beamed, gesturing toward the visitor’s chair opposite. “Bob, come in. Sit down. I appreciate your coming.”

Not much choice, was there? Wolfe studied his boss across the expanse of uncluttered mahogany that separated them. Pharmaceutical companies seemed to be made up of two groups: the geeks and the glad-handers. Patel typified the former group. PhD from Cal Tech, brilliant research mind, but the social skills of a tortoise. Patel had been snatched from the relative obscurity of a research lab at Berkeley by the Board of Directors of Jandra Pharmaceuticals, given the title of President and CEO, and charged with breathing life into the struggling company. How Patel planned to do that remained a mystery to Wolfe and his co-workers.

Patel leaned forward and punched a button on a console that looked like it could launch a space probe. “Cindy, please ask Mr. Lindberg to join us.”

Steve Lindberg ran the sales team from an office across the hall. Lindberg could memorize salient scientific material and regurgitate it with the best of them, but Wolfe would bet the man’s understanding of most of Jandra’s products and those of its major competitors was a mile wide and an inch deep. On the other hand, Lindberg had his own area of expertise: remembering names, paying for food and drinks, arranging golf games at exclusive clubs. No doubt about it, Lindberg was a classic glad-hander, which was why he had ascended to his current position, heading the marketing team at Jandra.

Wolfe hid a smile. Interesting. The President of the company and the Director of Marketing. This could be big. The door behind Wolfe opened. He deliberately kept his eyes front. Be cool. Let this play out.

“Hey, Bob. It’s good to see you.” Wolfe turned just in time to avoid the full force of a hand landing on his shoulder. Even the glancing blow made him wince. Lindberg dragged a chair to the side of Patel’s desk, positioning himself halfway between the two men. Clever. Not taking sides, but clearly separating himself from the underling.

Wolfe studied the two men and, not for the first time, marveled at the contrast in their appearance. Patel was swarthy, slim, and sleek, with jet-black hair and coal-black eyes. His blue shirt had a white collar on which was centered the unfashionably large knot of an unfashionably wide gold-and-black tie. Wolfe wondered whether the man was five years behind or one ahead of fashion trends. He spoke with a trace of a British accent, and Wolfe seemed to recall that Patel had received part of his education at Oxford. Maybe he wore an “old school” tie, without regard to current fashion. If so, it would be typical of Patel.

Lindberg was middle-aged but already running to fat—or, more accurately, flab. His florid complexion gave testimony to too many helpings of rare roast beef accompanied by glasses of single malt Scotch, undoubtedly shared with top-drawer doctors and paid for on the Janus expense account. Lindberg’s eyes were the color of burnished steel, and showed a glimmer of naked ambition that the smile pasted on his face couldn’t disguise. His thinning blond hair was combed carefully to cover early male pattern baldness. The sleeves of his white dress shirt were rolled halfway to his elbows. His tie was at half-mast and slightly askew.

Patel, the geek. Lindberg, the glad-hander. Different in so many ways. But both men shared one characteristic. Wolfe knew from experience that each man would sell his mother if it might benefit the company, or more specifically, their position in it. The two of them together could mean something very good or very bad for Bob Wolfe. He eased forward in his chair and kicked his senses into high gear.

Patel leaned back and tented his fingers. “Bob, I’m sure you’re wondering what this is about. Well, I wanted to congratulate you on the success of EpAm848. I’ve been looking over the preliminary information, especially the reports from Dr. Ingersoll at Southwestern Medical Center. Very impressive.”

“Well, it’s sort of Ingersoll’s baby. He stumbled onto it when he was doing some research here during his infectious disease fellowship at UC Berkeley. I think he wants it to succeed as much as we do.”

“I doubt that.” Patel leaned forward with both hands on the desk. “Jandra is on the verge of bankruptcy. I want that drug on the market ASAP!”

“But we’re not ready. We need more data,” Wolfe said.

“Here’s the good news,” Patel said. “The FDA is worried about The Killer bacteria outbreak. I’ve pulled a few strings, called in a bunch of favors, and I can assure you we can get this application fast-tracked.”

“How?” Wolfe said. “We’re still doing Phase II trials. What about Phase III? Assuming everything goes well, it’s going to be another year, maybe two, before we can do a rollout of EpAm848.”

“Not to worry,” Patel said. “Our inside man at the FDA assures me he can help us massage the data. We can get by with the Phase II trials we’ve already completed. And he’ll arrange things so we can use those plus some of our European studies to fulfill the Phase III requirements.”

Lindberg winked at Wolfe. “We may have to be creative in the way we handle our data. You and I need to get our heads together and see how many corners we can cut before the application is ready.”

Wolfe shook his head. “You say this drug will save us from bankruptcy. I don’t see that. I mean, yes, it looks like we may be in for a full-blown epidemic of Staph luciferus, but we won’t sell enough—“

Lindberg silenced him with an upraised hand. “Exposure, Bob. Exposure. If we get this drug on the market, if we’re the first with a cure, our name recognition will skyrocket. Doctors and patients will pay attention to our other drugs: blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes. Our market share will go through the roof in all of them.”

Wolfe could see the salesman in Lindberg take over as he leaned closer, as though to drive home his point by proximity. “We’re preparing a direct-to-consumer push on all those drugs, ready to launch at the same time we release Jandramycin.”

The name didn’t click with Wolfe for a moment. “I . . . Well, I’ll certainly do what I can.”

“Do more than that,” Lindberg said. “Jandra Pharmaceuticals is hurting. We’re staking everything on Jandramycin.”

That was the second time Wolfe had heard the term. “What—“

“Stop referring to the drug by its generic name,” Patel added. “From now on, the compound is Jandramycin. When people hear the name Jandra Pharmaceuticals, we want them to think of us as the people who developed the antibiotic that saved the world from the worst epidemic since the black plague.”

Lindberg eased from his chair and gave Wolfe another slap on the shoulder. “This is your project now. It’s on your shoulders. The company’s got a lot riding on this.”

And so do I. “But what if a problem turns up?”

Patel rose and drew himself up to his full five feet eight inches. His obsidian eyes seemed to burn right through Wolfe. “We’re depending on you to make sure that doesn’t happen. Are we clear on that?”

* * *

Sara leaned over the sink and splashed water on her face. The paper towels in the women’s rest room of the clinic were rough, but maybe that would put some color in the face that stared back at her from the mirror. Her brown eyes were red-rimmed from another sleepless night. Raven hair was pulled into a ponytail because she could never find time or energy for a haircut or a perm. Get it together, Sara. She took a deep breath and headed for the doctor’s dictation room, where she slumped into a chair.

“Something wrong, Dr. Miles?”

Sara turned to see Gloria, the clinic’s head nurse. “No, just taking a few deep breaths before I have to make a call I’m dreading.”

Gloria slid into the chair next to Sara. The controlled chaos of the internal medicine clinic hummed around them. The buzz of conversations and ringing of phones served as effectively as white noise to mask her next words. “Is it one of your hospital patients? Got some bad news to deliver?”

“Sort of. It’s Chelsea Ferguson.”

“The teenage girl? Is she worse?”

“Yes. The cultures grew Staph luciferus.”

Gloria whistled silently. “The Killer. That’s bad.”

“The only thing that seems to be working in these cases is that new drug of Jack Ingersoll’s.”

“Oh, I get it. That’s the call you don’t want to make.” Gloria touched Sara lightly on the shoulder. “When will you stop letting what Ingersoll did ruin the rest of your life? I can introduce you to a couple of nice men who go to our church. They’ve both gone through tough divorces—neither was their fault—and they want to move on. It would be good for you—”

Sara shook her head. “Thanks, but I’m not ready to date. I’m not sure if I can ever trust a man again.”

Gloria opened her mouth, but Sara silenced her with an upraised hand. No sense putting this off. She pulled the phone toward her and stabbed in a number.

* * *

Dr. John Ramsey found a spot in the Visitor’s Parking Lot. He exited his car and looked across the driveway at the main campus of Southwestern Medical Center. When he’d graduated, there were two buildings on the campus. Now those two had been swallowed up, incorporated into a complex that totaled about forty buildings on three separate campuses. Right now he only needed to find one: the tall white building directly across the driveway at the end of a flagstone plaza. The imposing glass fa├žade of the medical library reflected sunlight into his eyes as he wove past benches where students sat chatting on cell phones or burrowing into book bags. He paused at the glass front doors of the complex, took a deep breath, and pushed forward.

There was a directory inside for anyone trying to negotiate the warren of inter-connected buildings, but John didn’t need it. He found the elevator he wanted, entered, and punched five. In a moment, he was in the office of the Chairman of Internal Medicine.

“Dr. Schaeffer will be with you in a moment.” The receptionist motioned him toward a seat opposite the magnificent rosewood desk that was the centerpiece of the spacious office, then glided out, closing the door softly behind her.

John eased into the visitor’s chair and looked around him. He’d spent forty years on the volunteer clinical faculty of Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine. For forty years he’d instructed and mentored medical students and residents, for forty years he’d covered the teaching clinic once a month, and today was the first time he’d been in the department chairman’s office. He swallowed the resentment he felt bubbling up. No, John. You never wanted to be here. You were happy in your own world.

John couldn’t help comparing this room with the cubbyhole he’d called his private office. Now he didn’t even have that. The practice was closed, the equipment and furnishings sold to a young doctor just getting started. John’s files and patient records were in a locked storage facility, rent paid for a year.

He wondered how many of his patients had contacted his nurse to have their records transferred. No matter, she’d handle it. He’d paid her six months’ salary to take care of such things. What would happen after that? He didn’t have the energy to care. Things were different now.

For almost half a century he’d awakened to the aroma of coffee and a kiss from the most wonderful woman in the world. Now getting out of bed in the morning was an effort, shaving and getting dressed were more than he could manage some days. Since Beth died . . . He shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs that clogged his brain. The knowledge that he’d never again know the happiness of having a woman he loved by his side made him wish he’d died with her. What was the use of going on?

But something happened this morning. He’d awakened with a small spark of determination to do something, anything, to move on. He tried to fight it, to roll over and seek the sleep that eluded him. Instead, he heard the echo of Beth’s words: “You’re too good a physician to retire. People need you.” He remembered that conversation as though it were yesterday. She’d urged, he’d insisted. Let’s retire. I want to get out of the rat race and enjoy time with you. Retirement meant the travel they’d put off, the time to do things together. Only, now there was no more together.

This morning, he’d rolled out of bed determined that today would be different. It would be the start of his rebirth. As he shrugged into a robe, as he’d done each day since her death he looked at the picture on their dresser of him and Beth. She’d been radiant that spring day so many years ago, and he wondered yet again how he’d managed to snag her.

He’d shaved—for the first time in days—with special care, and his image in the mirror made him wonder. When did that slim young man in the picture develop a paunch and acquire an AARP card? When had the thick brown hair been replaced by gray strands that required careful combing to hide a retreating hairline? The eyes were still bright, although they hid behind wire-rimmed trifocals. “You’re too old for this, John,” he muttered. And as though she were in the room, he heard Beth’s words once more. “You’re too good a physician to retire. People need you.”

Fortified with coffee, the sole component of his breakfast nowadays, he’d forced himself to make the call. He asked his question and was gratified and a bit frightened by the positive response. John dressed carefully, choosing his best suit, spending a great deal of time selecting a tie. He’d noticed a gradual shift in doctors’ attire over the past few years. Now many wore jeans and golf shirts under their white coats. But for John Ramsey, putting on a tie before going to the office was tantamount to donning a uniform, one he’d worn proudly for years. And he—

“John, I was surprised when I got your call. To what do I owe the pleasure?” Dr. Donald Schaeffer breezed into the office, the starched tails of his white coat billowing behind him. He offered his hand, then settled in behind his desk.

“Donald, I appreciate your taking the time to see me. I was wondering—”

“Before we start, I want you to know how sorry we all are for your loss. Is there anything I can do?”

Perfect lead-in. See if you can get the words out. “As you know, I closed my office four months ago. Beth and I were going to enjoy retirement. Then . . .”

Schaeffer nodded and tented his fingers under his chin. At least he had the grace not to offer more platitudes. Ramsey had had enough of those.

“I was wondering if you could use me in the department.” There. Not the words he’d rehearsed, but at least he’d tossed the ball into Schaeffer’s court.

“John, are you talking about coming onto the faculty?”

“Maybe something half-time. I could staff resident clinics, teach medical students.”

Schaeffer was shaking his head before John finished. “That’s what the volunteer clinical faculty does. It’s what you did for . . . how many years? Thirty? Thirty-five?”

“Forty, actually. Well, I’m still a clinical professor in the department, so I guess I have privileges at Parkland Hospital. Can you use me there?”

Schaeffer pulled a yellow legal pad toward him and wrote a couple of words before he pushed it aside. “I’m not sure what I can do for you, if anything. It’s not that easy. You have no idea of the administrative hoops I have to jump through to run this department. Even if I could offer you a job today—and I can’t— I’d have to juggle the budget to support it, post the position for open applications, get half a dozen approvals before finalizing the appointment.” He spread his hands in a gesture of futility.

“So, is that a ‘no’?”

“”That’s an ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ Afraid that’s the best I have to offer.” Schaeffer looked at his watch, shoved his chair back and eased to his feet. “Coming to Grand Rounds?”

Why not? John’s house was an empty museum of bitter memories. His office belonged to someone else. Why not sit in the company of colleagues? “Sure. I’ll walk over with you.”

As the two men moved through the halls of the medical center, John prayed silently that Schaeffer would find a job for him. With all his prayers for Beth during her final illness, prayers that had gone unanswered, he figured that surely God owed him this one.


My Review: Great fast read! Keeps your attention right to the end...including the epilogue!
There is a new staph, deadlier than MRSA attacking the world, and Dr Sara Miles has a young teenage girl who has it. She knows the only way to get the drug that will give the girl her life back, is to go to her former husband Dr Jack Ingersol.
Dr Ingersol appears to be selling his soul to the devil in the name of the drug company Jandra Pharmaceutical. What a tangled web comes to light thoughout this book. You won't be able to put this book down, there are shootings, car crashes, explosions, and more. The company will stop at nothing to get the FDA approval.
When Dr John Ramsey decides to return to work after the death of his beloved wife, he gets stuck by a needle, and he gets the horrible deadly staph infection. His friends rally around him and the great minds and the power of prayer, set about to find a alternate drug to counter act the side effects of the wonder drug.
I highly recommend this Christian mystery, you won't regret it!