Friday, November 05, 2010


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Avon Inspire; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
Shelley Shepard Gray


Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven. Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado. She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town's scenic bike trail.


It's Christmastime at the Brenneman Bed & Breakfast, and everyone is excited about closing down for the holiday.

Anna and Henry will be celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple, and for Katie and Jonathan Lundy, it's their first Christmas with baby Stefan. Winnie and Samuel Miller plan to stop by as well for a wonderful two weeks of family and rest.

But when two unexpected visitors show up, hoping to stay for Christmas, the family must test their commitment to hospitality. Levi is a widower who lost his wife four years ago and can't bear the thought of another Christmas alone. And Melody is a young pregnant woman who won't open up about how she ended up on her own at Christmas at almost nine months pregnant.

Anna, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets, doesn't trust her, and strives to find out the truth about these two strangers who have disrupted their holiday. But as the Christmas spirit descends on them all, as well as snow that traps them in the inn, a healing and hopefulness takes over, allowing new relationships to be built, and the boundaries of family to be extended.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Grace, go HERE.

Grace by Shelley Shepard Gray is the fourth book in the Sisters of the Heart series. Katie Lundy has been anticipating a quiet Christmas with her extended family at their bed and breakfast for months. Normally it's a quiet season without any customers, but when first Levi shows up to escape tragic memories of his home, and then hugely pregnant Melody shows up, the family must pull together to give their guests a nice stay and treasured holiday. Katie at first resents their presence, but best friend Anna and sister-in-law Winnie remind her to offer hospitality in Christian love, for surely there is a reason that God has brought these two lonely souls to their inn. At first Levi and Melody avoid each other's company due to their personal histories, but as the days pass, they find themselves drawn together and that they just may find the healing they need in each other. I'm so glad that Gray decided to return to this terrific series. Anna, Katie, and Winnie are all enjoyable characters whose friendship is both humorous and heart-warming. I did fell as though the sub-plot involving Leah was a bit unnecessary (although Zack's timing was vital). It just felt out of place with the rest of the family focused story in the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, and her proprietary air toward Melody made her difficult to like. But that was a small part of the story, and I truly enjoyed reading about Melody and Levi's gentle romance and healing.