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2014 Easter Books Roundup

Spring is a time of rejoicing and rebirth, both in nature and in faith. In this year's Easter Books roundup, we have selected titles from a wide range of genres and authors to help you reexamine your faith and guide you through this time of reflection. And, in keeping with the cyclical spirit of the holiday, you can help others do the same. May these books assist you in strengthening your relationship not only with God, but also with those closest to you. We hope that you and your family have a blessed and joyous Easter season.

Judith Miller

Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. In A SHINING LIGHT, the third and final book in her Home to Amana series, widow Andrea Wilson and her young son seek temporary refuge in the Amana Colonies. But will the peace she finds there convince her to stay? In this interview, Miller discusses wrapping up her Amana-set series, what about the Amana Colonies makes her stories so unique, and the evolving process of researching each book. She also shares some insight into the religion and culture of the Amana people, as well as what readers can expect from this concluding installment.

A SHINING LIGHT: Home to Amana, Book 3 by Judith Miller (Historical Romance)
After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. Sadly, when the family farm burns and her father dies, Andrea is left with nothing. She must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time, and discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas's future?

» Click here to read the interview.


Julianna Deering

British literature aficionado Julianna Deering is back with the second installment in her Drew Farthering Mystery series following RULES OF MURDER. When the family lawyer is murdered and found with an unusual clue in DEATH BY THE BOOK, can Drew Farthering and Madeline Parker solve the case before the hatpin murderer strikes again? In this interview, Deering opens up about why she felt compelled to continue Drew and Madeline’s story --- and their budding, albeit whirlwind romance --- as well as who her favorite new character is. She also talks about not judging a book by its cover (literally and metaphorically, of course), what she would be doing if she wasn't an author, and what kind of trouble we can expect Drew to get into next.

DEATH BY THE BOOK: A Drew Farthering Mystery by Julianna Deering (Historical Mystery)
Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered. Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? And why does Drew's investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

» Click here to read the interview.

LIFE SUPPORT: Grace Medical, Book 3 by Candace Calvert (Romance)
Nurse Lauren Barclay put her life on hold to keep a watchful eye on her troubled sister. But that means confronting the brooding physician assistant who caused painful turmoil in her family. PA and single parent Elijah Landry is determined to protect his disabled brother and make peace with Lauren. He wants that and so much more. But as Lauren and Eli draw closer, a powerful hurricane roars toward Houston. Can hope weather the storm?

» Click here for our special feature.


MISS BRENDA AND THE LOVELADIES: A Heartwarming True Story of Grace, God, and Gumption by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell (Memoir/Social Issues)

For Brenda Spahn, entrepreneur and businesswoman, wealth was a lifestyle --- until a brush with the law threatened to send her to prison. In those dark moments, Brenda made a promise to God. Spared incarceration, a renewed Brenda glimpsed into the lives of women serving time in one of the worst places in America --- the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama. What she saw prompted a God-inspired vision.
» Click here for our special feature.


CRASH THE CHATTERBOX: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
Inside your head and heart is a chatterbox. Its lies are keeping you from realizing your God-given potential. But what can you do about them? In CRASH THE CHATTERBOX, Pastor Steven Furtick focuses on four key areas in which negative thoughts are most debilitating: insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.


AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything by Kyle Idleman (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
We've all had "aha!" moments in our lives, times when a sudden revelation surprises us with insight. According to pastor and bestselling author Kyle Idleman, we can experience this same kind of "aha!" in our spiritual lives. With everyday examples and trademark testimonies, Idleman draws on Scripture to reveal how three key elements can draw us closer to God and change our lives for good. Reviewed by Michele Howe.


ENCOUNTERS WITH JESUS: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions by Timothy Keller (Christian Living)
Jesus changed the life of every person He met in the Gospels through powerful experiences and words. Timothy Keller’s take on these conversations --- with a skeptical student, a religious insider, an outcast and more --- shows how the central events in Jesus’ life provide ways for us to encounter Him here and now. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.


52 THINGS SONS NEED FROM THEIR DADS: What Fathers Can Do to Build a Lasting Relationship by Jay Payleitner (Parenting)
Bestselling author Jay Payleitner, dad of four grown sons (and one amazing daughter), gives you a bucketful of man-friendly ideas on how build a father-and-son relationship. These 52 quick-to-read chapters offer great ways to relate or spend time as dad and son. And each idea provides a new building block for a father-son relationship that will help your boy along the path to becoming a man. Reviewed by Michele Howe.


EXTREME PRAYER: The Impossible Prayers God Promises to Answer by Greg Pruett (Christian Life/Spiritual Growth)
What do you do when your whole spiritual life falls apart? It is in these heart-hungry moments --- when we feel overwhelmed or alone, struggle with unanswered prayers, aren’t sure what to do, or are crying out for God’s help --- that we are surprisingly poised to pray the most effective kinds of prayers possible. EXTREME PRAYER taps into that longing for connection with God when we need it most by teaching us to pray the kinds of prayers Jesus promised to answer with unlimited power. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

NO ONE TO TRUST: Hidden Identity, Book 1 by Lynette Eason (Mystery/Romance)
Summer Abernathy wakes up one morning to find her husband missing, three men in her home intent on finding him, and the life she's been living based on a lie. The search for her husband --- and answers --- takes Summer ever deeper into a world of organized crime where people are used one moment and discarded the next. And with her deepest relationship of trust already shattered, Summer doesn't know who to believe. Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.

INCOGNITO: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School by Andrea Raynor
As a bright young girl from Ohio, Andrea Raynor always wanted to be a doctor. Instead, she landed --- almost by accident --- at Harvard Divinity School, which, she quickly discovered, was no typical seminary. From navigating relation­ships to exploring whether a pretty girl can truly wear a collar, INCOGNITO tackles our assumptions about spirituality, the church, morality and identity, and affirms that God often works in ways --- and in people --- we least expect. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

MY AMISH BOYFRIEND by Melody Carlson
(Young Adult Fiction)
Shannon McNamara has exciting plans for the summer and can't wait to dive in. But her ill mother has plans of her own: to relocate them both to the heart of Amish country in Ohio where she has relatives who can help her. When a hot young Amish guy named Ezra enters the picture, Shannon is ready to get an Amish makeover and even consider making it a permanent change. Can she really make the jump into a whole new way of life? Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab.


BELOW THE SURFACE by Tim Shoemaker (Young Adult Mystery/Suspense)
After surviving the trauma of abduction, Cooper is plagued by a deep fear he can’t control. A vacation aboard the restored Getaway with his friends is just what he needs. But trouble follows this crew, and the idea of a carefree vacation soon disappears along with a missing woman. Cooper keeps busy and hides behind his practical jokes. But fear has a way of rising. A prank gone wrong, a dark water dive, and the four friends find more than they bargained for --- just below the surface. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

» Click here for more reviews.