Books

WRITING BASICS FOR BEGINNERS

Whether you haven't written a word, or you have almost completed your first manuscript, Writing Basics for Beginners will give you the direction you need to take the next step toward publication.

Jeanne Marie Leach believes everyone who has a book idea inside them can learn how to write it; they simply need to be shown how to begin. The task may appear too large and overwhelming. This book starts at the beginning of your writing journey, and will give you the confidence and direction to see the book through to those final two words – THE END.

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cover: fiction and truthFiction and Truth: Stories that Speak to the Soul
compiled and edited by Kathy Ide

When Jesus walked this earth, He taught most often by telling stories. We call them "parables." Afterward, He explained to His listeners (or, in some cases exclusively to His disciples) the parallels and meanings that could be derived from the story.

Fiction and Truth follows this effective format. Christian authors tell engaging short stories with memorable characters in fascinating situations.

Following each story is a brief "Author's Application" in which the writer suggests how the lessons of the stories can be applied to the reader’s daily life.

"God Blesses Me Too," by Jeanne Marie Leach  is the story of an elderly woman who suffered infertility and three failed adoptions only to find that, despite what others have said about and to her down through the years, God has blessed her with a rich, full, blessed life. This is a poignant story that many don't wish to hear—that God can use a childless woman to minister to other people's children in amazing ways.

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Shadow of Danger

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Rachel Ringhold is roused from her bed in the middle of the night and sent away from the orphanage, where she'd grown up and now works. Dazed and confused, she flees from an undisclosed danger. With a prayer in her heart, and little money in her satchel, she sets out to find Seb Jameson, the man who used to work for the orphanage as blacksmith and handy man, and who'd captured her heart as a youth.

Tired, dirty, and malnourished, Rachel finally reaches Leadville, Colorado and discovers Seb engaged to be married. Unaware of the turbulence in Seb and Myra's relationship, Rachel enjoys her new life and grows to a fresh awareness of what Jesus Christ accomplished for her on the cross.

The danger suddenly catches up to her. Her renewed faith is shattered. All she'd ever wanted was for someone to love her and a home of her own, but now her dreams have been stripped from her. Who can save her now? Is there anyone who would want to?


The Plight of Mattie Gordon

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Mattie Gordon's ordinary life is turned upside down when bounty hunter Cyrus Braydon arrives on her doorstep showing a wanted poster for her son. WANTED: Will Gordon, Dead or Alive.

Consumed with finding her son and making sure his soul is ready to meet eternity, Mattie embarks on a desperate race to reach Will before the bounty hunter finds him.

When Mattie discovers someone following her, she reluctantly forms an alliance with Cyrus in order to save herself and Will. She soon discovers her own inadequacies and faces hard realities. The son she thought to be good, isn't, and the bounty hunter she judged as evil is perhaps not so after all.

Now she must save Cyrus from Will's venomous grasp. If she succeeds in helping Cyrus escape, will her son ever listen to her about Jesus' forgiveness? If only she can muster enough faith to trust God for one more miracle. But which one…?


REVIEWS

Author's Choice Reviews: Reviewer Kay Tira

Mattie Gordon's peaceful life in the canyon, quiet and away from the rest of the world, is interrupted by Bounty Hunter Cyrus Braydon. Seeking her only son, Braydon presents Mattie with the poster: "Dead or Alive." Nothing would be the same again.

Will Gordon traveled with a group of other men, but Mattie knew and loved them all. Surely her son could not be involved in cattle rustling as Braydon claimed.

With a western good-guy, bad-guy flair, author Jeanne Marie Leach presents THE PLIGHT OF MATTIE GORDON. Filled with discovery, concern, faith and action, Leach's story presents the gospel, forgiveness, and a sweet romance.

Light and entertaining, THE PLIGHT OF MATTIE GORDON has a strong plot, satisfying ending, and is recommended reading.


CAROLYN R. SCHEIDIES
AUTHOR'S CHOICE REVIEWS

(Warning: book recommendation follows -- if you don't read another book in the spring season, do read this one.)

This is one of the rare books that has made me laugh, cry, and lifted me to greater hope in the Lord.

Mattie Gordon, a widow, is mother to Will and his men, a group of cattle drivers who bunk at the Gordon ranch between jobs. Or at least, she believes her son drives cattle…until bounty hunter Cyrus Braydon shows up with a poster that reads "Wanted: Cattle rustling, horse theft, murder. William Gordon. Dead or alive."

Afraid for her son's faithless soul should he be captured and convicted of murder, Mattie quickly rides out, desperate to find Will and convince him of God's salvation before Cyrus tracks him down.

In Boise City, Oklahoma Mattie meets Cyrus again. Her heart is pulled to the good man he is, leaving her conflicted since he is dutybound to stop her son. When Mattie discovers she is being followed, she has no choice but to share information that will enable her and Cyrus to find her son together, no choice but to trust the bounty hunter to protect her and to take Will alive.

The Plight of Mattie Gordon, a novella, is Jeanne Marie Leach's second Christian Western romance. I laughed over comical one-liners, enjoyed the unique storyline and a few pleasant twists. I personally prefer to see the visuals in more detail, but the plot and Mattie's character - one I strongly identify with as a mom - drew me. The theme of entrusting our children's faith to the Lord is powerful, not one I'll soon forget. If you enjoy Western romances or women's fiction that speaks to your heart, this is for you.

Leach's next book, Shadow of Danger, will debut in 2008. I'll be watching for it.

~Reviewed by Tammy Barley, author and reviewer

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