Pieces of the Heart by Bonnie Calhoun

This is the second book from Calhoun, and I think it indicates her diversity as an author.

I deeply enjoyed learning more about the racism during WWII which I had studied several years ago. I also enjoyed the story as it progressed through Cordelia's life from little girl to young woman, and the story line details were no surprise or different from my studies.

As the reader is drawn into Cordelia's life, the sense of God's hand, the prayers and faith, and the pine cone quilt are fascinating facets of how older women mentor younger women, and how wisdom is conveyed and learned. Practical application of wisdom learned is another facet that Calhoun stitches into the storyline. Character development is fairly good. It doesn't take long to care what happens to Cordelia and Bernard, such as when Bernard is off to war and Cordelia has to deal with the church removing her from the house that she had grown up in because her pastor father and mother had passed away. It is touching how Cordelia deals with the loss... no more spoilers :)

I did find difficulty in correlating the back copy blurbs with what the story is actually about, which is the growing up years of Cordelia and Bernard, her knight in shining armor who saved her from bullies and kept her heart safe. Then the couple are separated when Bernard goes off to war. His travails are interesting, but it is hard to grapple with the two main characters as a couple when they spend most of the last half of the book apart. When Bernard comes back from the war, their marriage and the subsequent trials from dealing with the PTSD is much more brief than the cover leads you to believe.

4 of 5 stars

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Pieces of the Heart
Abingdon Press (June 1, 2013)
Bonnie S. Calhoun


Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, owner/publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the ACFW ‘2011 Mentor of the Year,” President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network, and Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (CCWC) and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference(GPCWC).

For the last six years she has taught workshops in Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, and creating Social Media promotions at both CCWC, and GPCWC, and in 2011 at the Montrose, Pa Christian Writers Conference. She also taught a Facebook workshop at the 2012 ACFW conference.

Bonnie and her husband live in a log cabin in upstate area of New York with a dog and cat who think she’s wait-staff.

Her sites are:


Cordelia Grace watched Bernard Howard, the love of her young life, go off to fight for our country in WWII. And she has spent the last three years creating the Pine Cone quilt that will grace their marriage bed when he comes home. Each row of triangles signifies a layer in her life, sets of memories, hopes, dreams, and prayers for her future, enough spoken words to cover them forever. Her image of their “happy-ever-after” grows proportionally as the quilt expands.

But is the man that returns from the war, the same man that she remembered? Are the dark shades of color that she had to use for the outside edges of the beloved quilt prophetic of her life to come? Can love and faith overcome all?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pieces of the Heart, go HERE.

Fear Has a Name by Creston Mapes


I have loved Creston Mapes' books since his very first one. He has such a marvelous talent for expressing what should be obvious in tender and poignant ways. I think God is using Mapes' work to point out all the deficiencies in Christians, but doing it in a godly, tender way. I am continuously amazed at his insight into Christian motives, and Christian responses to those who need Jesus in the most desperate way. This novel exceeded my expectations, and anticipations.

Who has not known that person in junior high school or in high school that was the "outsider", that person just weird enough to not fit into any group? How often have we all seen that person bullied or treated badly and didn't raise a finger to help or protect? I can distinctly recall a time when I only offered a feeble protest, hardly audible and it did no good.

In his latest novel, Mapes asks the question, "What happens when that misfit person grows up and never finds love, never finds a place to fit, never has friends to count on?" Then he opens the door for the reader to a most believable and intense life.

I really do not like head-jumping in a novel. We all know the bad guy is really bad, so why do I need to read what the bad guy is thinking? I know there are much better ways for authors to create tension so tight it is frayed at the edges; you do not need to head-jump to create that environment of fear for the reader. Mapes does a lot of head-jumping in this novel, but he has crafted it so ingenuously that I never realized I'd passed through several head-jumps. Genius! Another thing I do not like are numerous story lines and the constant jumping between story lines. Mapes has crafted the multiple story lines in such a way that they compliment each other, adding insight to each other. I had never realized this type of story telling could be done in a way that I would literally love it. He did it.

I believe Mapes should find a place on your bookshelves right alongside all your classics like Dickens, and Dumas, and Kipling. He holds his own in that company.

This ranks a 5 of 5 stars novel.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Fear Has a Name
David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)
Creston Mapes


Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


From popular suspense author Creston Mapes comes another faith-building thriller, a tale that follows journalist Jack Crittendon as he fights to protect his family from a stalker's terrifying schemes, investigates a pastor's mysterious disappearance, and struggles to keep his faith amidst unthinkable fear.

With his family's safety on the line, Crittendon realizes there are secrets behind "Christian" walls--secrets with painful, deadly implications. He must find the faith to trust a God who allows inconceivable trials, and the courage to guard his family, with danger exploding at every turn.

Through it all--the sharp, character-driven writing for which Mapes is known--takes fans and new readers on an edge-of-your-seat journey that explores the harsh, far-reaching consequences of bullying and the Christian response to fear.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Fear Has a Name, go HERE.

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