Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cheryl Colwell and Adriana's Secrets


Adriana’s Secret, book 2 in the Secrets of the Montebellis series
Cheryl Colwell
c. Nov 2014
Inspired Reading publishers

Historical inspirational fiction
ebook  $.99
print $13.99
ISBN 978-0989237154
Buy on Amazon

From the publisher:
Tragedy strikes the mountain town of Mont Castello, the home of Adriana Montebelli. Orphaned in 1888, Adriana's life is swept along at the whim of forceful men who decide where she will live and who she will marry. Instead of breaking her, their cruel deceptions toughen her resolve to take control. Though she rises to manage the vast Van Buren estate, she wonders if her broken heart will have the strength to love again. Follow Adriana in this historical novel as she navigates the challenges of woman's suffrage, union violence, and the tragic hardships of love and loss, while struggling to cling to her faith.

My review:
My heart is still racing!
I'll sheepishly admit I didn't read book 1, but I plan on remedying that shortly.
This installment does stand alone. Taking us back a hundred years in California, Colwell sets the stage for betrayal, family dysfunction, greed, suffrage, unions, and above all else, second chances and love. And a pesky bear, as the cover alludes.

Two orphaned sisters handle their parents' deaths in very different ways. Older sister Adriana, at seven, is a gentle and innocent soul, while little sister Ladonna, is a hellion. Who knows what she would have been like if their parents had lived. In this small traditional village with many Italian descendants, life if hard, and the family who took in the girls end up having to give Ladonna away, while second born son to Adriana's ward harbors life-long hatred on many levels.

The story takes the reader along the path of the girl's journey of loss and triumph through their personalities and choices, and the events manipulated by others.

Nicely wrapped from the opening through the flashback around Adriana’s life story, to the ending; told from multiple viewpoints, Colwell has devised a well-crafted tale in the vein of Steinbeck and the Grapes of Wrath. Those who enjoy American history and especially Steinbeck, will enjoy Adriana's Secrets.

About the Author:

Cheryl Colwell began writing fiction in 2007. True to her tagline, "Stunning Suspense," her characters visit stunning locations while they pursue adventurous quests peppered with mystery, suspense, and romance. Passionate about all things creative, Cheryl finds inspiration in the countryside of Ashland, Oregon - the perfect venue for her interests in writing, gardening, and art. John, her husband, best friend, and chiropractor, keeps her in shape for gardening and writing long into the night. They are delighted to have four unique and talented children and three grandchildren. A smart and playful English Shepherd makes their empty nest a happy place. Books: Adriana's Secrets, Book Two in The Secrets of the Montebellis Series, published 2014 by Inspired Fiction Books, The Proof, published 2014 by Inspired Fiction Books, The Secrets of the Montebellis, Book One, published 2013 by Inspired Fiction Books. I Believe in Healing by Cecil Murphey, published 2013 by Regal, includes a story she wrote about the healing of a family member.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Beware Book Lovers Extraordinaire—You Are the Gatekeepers


By Lorilyn Roberts 

If you love to read, relish a good story, visit the library or bookstore frequently to satisfy your unquenchable thirst for something new and original – this blog post is for you.

If you are a Christian and love reading more than watching TV, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, or sleeping, don’t miss out on this great opportunity to discover new authors. 


Book lover beware: If you don’t want to listen to the ranting of an eccentric author, skip the next two paragraphs, but I feel led to share some thoughts that have been burning a hole in my heart. Here goes, the pent-up frustrations of an indie author.

I’m tired of indie authors getting a bad rap. I’m tired of readers and editors and authors and self-proclaimed experts bashing authors who independently publish. I’m tired of hearing that indie authors are unprofessional, have too many grammar mistakes, produce inferior quality books, don’t know how to write, and want to plug up Amazon with worthless books that are mostly given away or sold at 99 cents. I’m tired of reading “this website is for real authors (meaning those traditionally published).” I still struggle with being ignored or bullied. Some authors who have contracts with traditional publishers snub writers like me who have chosen to go indie. You’ve read their comments on blogs and in public places. Worst of all, they contaminate readers. They tell readers indie published books are no good and not to buy them. 


I want to respond to those bullies. Does God really care how books are published? You, the reader, if you take their comments to heart and believe them, are sacrificing an opportunity to discover new books by unknown authors—including me. I will never publish with a traditional publisher. A traditional publisher would have to pay me six months’ advance salary while I wrote that book, and because I make a very comfortable living providing sports captioning for television, no publisher is going to do that. 

That’s the end of my negative rant. I’ll probably never post this anywhere else on the web because I can’t help but be optimistic about the future of book publishing. The opportunities afforded to writers who are willing to work hard and follow an uncharted path are enormous. Readers deserve every opportunity to discover new authors, including this unique pre-Christmas feature offered by the John 3:16 Marketing Network. 


I lead a network of authors readers might not have heard of because I don’t advertise or promote the network. Authors find us. The John 3:16 Marketing Network includes both traditional and indie published authors. Before I admit an author into the network, I check out the author’s website and make sure the prospective author is born again and believes writing is a calling from God. 

God should be at the center of everything we do. As a network of Christian authors, our passion for Jesus Christ spills out onto the pages of our books. We can’t hold back the blessing—we are simply the conduit, the voice, and the pen. Authors find their joy and fulfillment in God when they use their talents to glorify Him. As we fulfill our calling as writers, we trust God to get our books into the hands of readers.

If you want to buy books that are cutting edge, books that aren’t written just to make money, but books that define the times in which we live, that speak of redeemed lives from broken dreams, or take the reader to faraway places, I ask you to go to our Christmas page and check out the books we have featured. Many authors have chosen to go indie. Others are traditionally published. We have done book comparisons that you will find nowhere else. 

Let me give an analogy. If a new restaurant opens up in town and no one goes to that restaurant to “check it out,” is that restaurant going to stay in business? If readers want the options that indie authors offer, I ask that book socialites support us. An opportunity readers don’t want to miss is right here. I hope everyone will check out these wonderful Christian books, many published in the last year.

I spent hours compiling these comparisons to help readers choose books they might enjoy. The books featured on the left side are well-known books, many of which are secular, best-selling books on Amazon and the New York Times. We are giving readers a Christian alternative on the right side of the page. 



While you can give presents for Christmas that will make great gifts, I challenge you to give a gift that will last a lifetime—the gift of reading. Give your mother, your father, your daughter, your son, your best friend, your teacher or your boss a book waiting to be filled with memories. You can sign the book and personalize it. Most recipients of signed books keep those books in a special place on their bookshelf. 

When I think of what’s survived the last few thousand years, the written word has outlasted almost everything. We treasure those relics, we use books to rebuild the past, we cherish the books we read, and we long to enjoy another good story that will touch our souls and become a part of us. Take this opportunity to make future memories for you and your loved ones. Check out the link below and discover new books. You never know what blessing you might be missing if you don’t take a peek. 


All of the books by John 3:16 authors are highly rated. Help us to keep writing books you want to read by supporting John 3:16 Authors. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Taste of Friday - Alice Wisler and a recipe

Welcome Back to Alice Wisler, who shares about her new book Under the Silk Hibiscus and shares a recipe for a literal "Taste" of Friday.


Book releases November 19 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

During World War Two Nathan and his family are sent to Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming for Japanese-Americans. Nathan's one desire is to protect the family's gold pocket watch, a family heirloom brought over from Japan. He fails; the watch is stolen. Struggling to make sense of his life in a bleak camp as the only responsible man of the household, Nathan discovers truths 
about his family, God, and the girl he loves.

Alice says:
This novel takes place in an internment camp in Wyoming where many Japanese-Americans were sent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There's upheaval, frustration, pain, and sorrow.  Families are separated.  Some members are accused of being spies, like Nathan Mori's father.

To balance the discrimination that evolved during this time period, I had to rely on humor and romance.

One of the most fun relationships I enjoyed crafting was between the main character, Nathan, and his aunt Kazuko. Even though she's single and has no children of her own, Aunt Kazuko knows how to keep Nathan and his brothers in line.  But even she knows a body can't live on hard work alone.  Cookies are her friends! She keeps morsels in her sweater sleeves, taking them out when she needs “a pep".

And of course, there's young romance. Nathan dreams of the lovely singer, Lucy, and wants her to notice him, but she seems more interested in his older brother, Ken.

There are two characters which are not people---one is Heart Mountain, the mountain viewed every day from those in the barracks at the camp.  Then there is the Mori family's coveted gold watch, a family heirloom from Japan.

So the questions form:  Will Nathan get the girl?  What happens to the family heirloom during the war and after the war ends? Does Nathan's father return?  How does war and discrimination change hearts?  How does God's love prevail?


Recipe from Under the Silk Hibiscus:
My character, Aunt Kazuko, is all about eating a cookie . . . or two.  She often says she needs “a pep” to pep her up.  Here is her cookie recipe for raisin cookies, sure to add fun to anyone’s day.

Recipe for Aunt Kazuko’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (1946)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
 1 ½ cups rolled oats
2/3 cup buttermilk
½ cup chopped nuts
1 cup seedless raisins
Cream shortening, blend in sugar and add egg. Beat until smooth and light.  Sift flour with salt, soda and cinnamon.  Stir half the flour in with egg mixture; add milk, the rest of flour, and then oats, nuts and raisins.  Stir till well mixed.  Drop from a teaspoon onto a buttered baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes or until nicely browned.  Yields about 36 cookies.

About Alice:

Alice has authored four contemporary novels published by Bethany House:  Rain Song (Christy Finalist), How Sweet It Is (Christy Finalist), Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation, and Still Life in Shadows by River North/Moody. Her newest novel, Under the Silk Hibiscus (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) is her first historical romance. 

Since the death of her four-year-old son, Alice teaches grief-writing workshops and her devotional, Getting out of Bed in the Morning:  Reflections of Comfort in Heartache (Leafwood), covers the many losses we face and how God sustains us through each one.  In 2012, Alice and her husband started a business, Carved By Heart, where they carve memorial plaques/remembrances, house number signs, bird feeders, rustic clocks, and other home d├ęcor.  

Links:



Alice’s Patchwork Quilt Blog:  http://www.alicewisler.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Get a Head Start on Christmas - Comparison Book Selections to Make Shopping Easy






Get a Head Start on Your Christmas Shopping

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Sometimes it's hard to pick out
new books from unknown authors,
yet we all long to find fresh treasures
to add to our Kindles or our bookshelves.
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Below is a wide selection of John 3:16 books to help you with your Christmas shopping.BEll.jpg
We have compared books that you may not have discovered
with more well-known books that have a similar style or flavor.
Enjoy perusing these 40 plus books which are linked to Amazon for easy purchase.
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And don't forget,
Jesus is the reason for the season.
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Be sociable - please share.

    


Nonfiction


If you were helped by "The Highly Sensitive Person" by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D....
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You will be helped even more by "The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity" by Carol A. Brown because of its Christian Perspective.
To learn more or to purchase, click here.
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Fiction


If you liked "The Lake of Dreams" by Kim Edwards...
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You will love "Crooked Lines" by Holly Michael.
To learn more or to purchase, click here.
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Memoir


If you liked "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom...
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You will love "Children of Dreams" by Lorilyn Roberts.

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Fiction


If you liked "Finding Rebecca" by Eoin Dempsey...

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You will love award-winning "The King, A Young Adult Fantasy" by Lorilyn Roberts, with its faith-based overtones.
Click here to learn more or to purchase. 

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Creative Nonfiction


If you liked "Two From Galilee: The Story of Mary and Joseph" by  Marjorie Holmes...
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You will love "Come to Me" by Laura J. Davis.
Click here to learn more or to purchase
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Fiction


If you liked "The Choice" by Nicholas Sparks...
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You will love "Meander Scar" by Lisa Lickel.
Click here to learn more or to purchase.
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Fiction


If you liked "True Believer" by Nicholas Sparks...
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You will love "Healing Grace" by Lisa Lickel.
Click here to learn more or to purchase. 
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Fiction


If you liked "The Hobbit" by JRR Tolkien...The_Hobbitt.jpeg

You will love "Prisoner of Reign" by Emma Right.
To learn more or to purchase, click here.
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Children - Fiction


If you liked "Frozen" by Random House Disney...
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You will love the "Princess Castle Adventure Mystery Series" by Emma Right.
To learn more or to purchase, click here.
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Fiction


If you liked "Redeeming Love" by Francene Rivers...
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You will love "The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman" by Carole Brown.
To learn more or to purchase, click here 
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Fiction


If you liked "Beguiled" by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand...
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You will love "With Music in Their Hearts" by Carole Brown.
To learn more or to purchase, click here. 
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Nonfiction


If you liked "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman...
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Then you will love "How to Restore Your Marriage and Fall in Love Again" by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC.
To learn more or to purchase, click here. 
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Nonfiction


If you liked "The Prayer That Changes Everything" by Stormie O. Martin...
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Then you will love "God Restores" by Violet James, MSN.
To learn more or to purchase, click here. 
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Nonfiction


If you liked "Prayer" by Charles F. Stanley...
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You will love  "Feed Your Spirit - A Collection of Devotionals on Prayer" by Kimberley Payne.
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Nonfiction


If you liked "Reshaping It All" by Candace Cameron Bure...
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You will love "Women of Strength" by Kimberley Payne.
To learn more or to purchase, click here.
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Nonfiction


If you liked "Healing Path" by Dan Allender...
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You will love "From the Other Side of the Couch" by Judy Lair, LPCC.
To learn more or to purchase, click here. 
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Nonfiction


If you liked "Rees Howells Intercessor" by Norman Grubb...
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You will love "One Lamb Redeemed" by Shoshana Goldberg.
To learn more or to purchase, click here
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Fiction


If you liked "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell...
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Check out a great Christian equivalent that's receiving rave reviews, "Summer's Winter," by Robin Johns Grant.
To learn more or to purchase, click here. 

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Fiction


If you liked "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte...
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You will enjoy "Gatehaven" by Molly Bull with its Christian influence.
Click here to learn more or to purchase.
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Fiction


If you liked "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman...
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You will love "Spiralling Out of Control" by Michelle Dennis Evans.
Click here to purchase or learn more. 
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Fiction


If you liked "Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins...
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Don't miss "Spiralling Out of the Shadow" by Michelle Dennis Evans.
Click here to learn more or to purchase.
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Fiction


If you liked "Mind's Eye" by Douglas E. Richards...

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Then you will love "Wake the Dead" by Victoria Buck.
Click here to purchase or learn more. 
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Nonfiction


If you liked "The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke" by Suze Orman...
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Check out this Christian alternative, "Financial Empowerment, Realign Your Finances to God's Will" by Pamela Carmichael.
Click here to order or learn more.
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Fiction - Children


If you like "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis...
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You will love the award-winning book, "The King of the Trees," by William D. Burt.
To order or to learn more, click here 
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Fiction - Children


If you liked "The Berenstain Bears' God Made You Special" by Jan and Stan Berenstain...
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You will love "Tadeo Turtle" by Janis Cox.
Click here to learn more or to purchase.
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Fiction


If you liked "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford...
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You will love "Under the Silk Hibiscus" by Alice Wisler.
Click here to order or learn more.
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Fiction

If you liked "Truth Stained Lies" by Terri Blackstock...
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You should check out "Shadow Stalker" by Barbara Ann Derksen.
Click here to learn more or purchase.
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Nonfiction

If you liked "Experiencing God" by Richard and Henry Blackaby...
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You will love "Do You Know the Names of God?" by Paul Muinde.
Click here to learn more or to purchase. 
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Fiction

If you liked "She's in a Better Place" by Angela Hunt...
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You will love  "Lake Surrender" by Carol Grace Stratton.
Click here to learn more or to purchase.
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Fiction

If you liked "Unlucky 13" by James Patterson...
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You will love "Essence of Evil" by Barbara Ann Derksen.
Click here to learn more or to purchase. 
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Nonfiction

If you liked "Your Best Life Now" by Joel Osteen...
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You will love "When Will My Life Not Suck" by Ramon Presson.
Click here to learn more or to purchase. 
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Fiction

If you liked "The Shack" by William P. Young...
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You will love "The Invitation" by Jim Edwards.
Click here to learn more or to purchase.
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Fiction

If you liked "Like Dandelion Dust" by Karen Kingsbury...
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You will love "The Grace Assignment" by Terri Nighswonger.
Click here to learn more or to purchase.
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Fiction

If you liked "Bourne Identity" by Robert Ludlum...
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You will love "Brother Half Angel" by Martin Roth
Click here to learn more or purchase. 
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Fiction

If you liked "Batman" by Frank Miller...
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You will love "The Good Fight" by Matthew R. Horn.
Click here to learn more or to purchase. 
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Fiction

If you liked "Watchmen" by Alan Moore...
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You will love "Nothing Good is Free" by Matthew R. Horn.
Click here to learn more or to purchase.
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Fiction - Children

If you liked "God Gave us Christmas" by Lisa Tawn Bergren...
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You will love "Santa's Birthday Gift" by Sherrill S. Cannon
Click here to purchase or learn more.
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Fiction 

If you liked "Split Infinity" by Piers Anthony...
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You will love "Seventh Dimension - The Door" by Lorilyn Roberts
Click here to purchase or learn more 
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Nonfiction

If you liked "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young...
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You will love "Journaling with Jesus" by Carol Round.
Click here to learn more or to purchase. 
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Nonfiction

if you liked "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle...
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You will love "Prayer Never Fails" by Berney K. Dorton.
Click here to purchase or learn more. 

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Fiction

If you liked "Indelible" by Karin Slaughter...
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You will love "One Smoothe Stone" by Marcia Laycock.
Click here to purchase or learn more. 
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