Wednesday, September 12, 2012


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Avon Inspire; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
Shelley Shepard Gray


Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page

A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a newfound love survive?

As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.

Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Found, go HERE.

 Found by Shelley Shepard Gray is the final book in the Secrets of Crittenden County series about how the murder of Perry Borntrager shakes up his Amish community. While the police believe they are close to finding his killer, Perry's former best friend, Jacob Schrock has much to regret and hide about his final meeting with Perry. Deborah, Perry's younger sister, is finally starting to break out from her parents' shell and find a life of her own, which includes working at Schrocks' Variety Store. She's had a crush on Jacob since she was a little girl who followed Perry and Jacob everywhere, but since Perry stole from the store and turned to drugs, Jacob has treated her as though she were the villain. But Jacob is finally starting to see Deborah as her own person instead of as an extension of the Borntrager family, and he can see just what a beautiful woman she has become, but as details of Perry's last day on earth emerge, it tests the couple's newfound attraction. Gray, as always, has created a town filled with people who feel very real and readers would love to visit or even move to! Deborah is the central character in this book, and she's a real standout. Just finding her way and strength, I wish Gray would continue with her story because she's a rare find. There are few flaws in the book: Jacob apologizes to Deborah her first day working at the store, and she is touched  by his change of heart, yet the next time they meet things are just as tense; and after Luke interviews Jacob about the murder, he is certain of Jacob's guilt, yet just a page later he believes his story. In the end, Gray has done a great job of portraying a community's reaction to the murder of a son and how it will impact them all in the years to come. She was more interested in focusing on that than on the gory details of death or the intricacies of a police investigation, and the story is powerful because of her focus on the people.