Monday Musings: New Releases, News, and More 10/4/21

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New Christian Book Releases for October 2021

These are full price, brand new books I didn’t want you to miss out on. Some were released in September, others release this week.


Labyrinth of Lies (Triple Threat Book #2)

By Hannon, Irene

Amazon Christianbook Google


Waiting on Love (Ladies of the Lake)

By Peterson, Tracie

Amazon Christianbook Google


A Season of Change (The Amish Inn Novels Book 3)

By Wiseman, Beth

Amazon Christianbook Google


A Season on the Wind

By Fisher, Suzanne Woods

Amazon Christianbook Google


Last Hour till Sunrise (Chevalier Protection Specialists Book 2)

By Phillips, Lisa


Hearts of the Sierra Nevada: A Sweet Historical Romance Set in the Sierra Nevadas

By Morgan, Kit


A Perilous Plan: A Regency Romantic Suspense (Imperiled Young Widows Book 1)

By Dickerson, Melanie



Christian Book News

Christy Awards

The 2021 Christy Award finalists have been announced. You can see the whole list here. The winners will be announced at an online event October 28th. (I was invited. Okay, a lot of people were, but still I’m honored.)

The Christy Award was established in 1999 and named for Catherine Marshall’s book, Christy, to recognize novels of excellence written from a Christian worldview. It’s a yearly award with several Christian categories including a special category for the book of the year.

Watch for an update in my Monday Musings post on November 1st for the winners.

Sweet Like Jasmine: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness

Sweet Like Jasmine: Finding Identity in a Culture of Loneliness

By Gray, Bonnie

This is the story of God whispering, “What no one wants, I cherish.”

The daughter of a mail-order bride and a busboy from San Francisco’s Chinatown, Bonnie Gray grew up never truly feeling beautiful or beloved. As an adult, she built her life to look pleasant and ordinary, with a wonderful husband, two amazing boys, and a thriving career. But despite these blessings, she still felt the tugging emptiness of a missing piece.

At 39, a long-forgotten birth certificate in an old file cabinet sparked a curiosity Bonnie couldn’t ignore. Determined to uncover her family’s secrets and understand the home she was born into, Bonnie embarked on a quest that would leave her forever changed. Returning to the culture, places, and stories that shaped her, her search led her to soul-shaking discoveries about her identity, human kindness and what it truly means to belong.

The profoundly moving journey of learning to embrace our true worth, Sweet Like Jasmine celebrates how God uses our unique and broken stories to create a beautiful mosaic of His love, one life at a time.

Amazon Christianbook Google

About the Author:

Bonnie Gray is an international speaker and author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace. Her writing has been featured in numerous Christian publications including Relevant Magazine and Christianity Today. She lives in California with her husband and two boys. Visit her website at and listen to her podcast here: The Stress Less Podcast by Bonnie Gray

A moving memoir about uncovering family secrets, finding true worth, and witnessing brokenness made beautiful, Sweet Like Jasmine celebrates what it really means to belong. You can purchase Sweet Like Jasmine at these ebook retailers.

Amazon Christianbook Google

Monday Musings

The new book year is in full swing now. Children are going back to school, people are putting their gardens to rest and moving indoors to catch up on their reading. I’ve been reading more lately, despite all my reading hang-ups. I’ve recently decided to embrace my tendency to read nonfiction and check out some new Christian books on the market. I admit, I haven’t read a lot of Christian nonfiction. My reading obsessions over the years have been in waves of mainly relationship and other self-help books, nutrition books aimed at getting you to eat less meat in the name of good health, cookbooks (with the same goal,) and the odd assortment of biographies, how-to books, and other interesting non-fiction stories. Most have been secular in nature. 

So imagine my surprise when I went in search of Christian nonfiction and found a lot of secular books being published by Christian publishers. I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around this. On one hand, if a book is “clean” or “inspirational” I can see why a Christian publisher would want to publish it. But while I’m not publishing the books found on this blog myself, I feel a bit responsible for the content. I try to only publish Christian books, which, up until recently, included all books from Christian publishers and indie books that were well checked out. 

Indies have always been a wild card. You never know what you’re going to get but if you do your homework you can find some gems. Often I’ll find an indie author who was traditionally published before and has decided to self-publish for bigger royalties, or someone with a famous Christian podcast, or someone who has been a missionary in six different countries. I would never discard these authors just because they didn’t have a fancy publisher label behind them. But some people are still hesitant to take a chance with indies and I get that. We’ve come to trust big publisher names, that they’d never do us wrong. 

Or would they?

Last month I decided not to post a book from a top publisher because the reviews had complaints about the material being too “raunchy, degrading,” and “disappointing from a Christian publisher.” (Those words were taken from three different reviewers.) I decided that sale or not, if other bloggers wanted to post this book it could be on their conscience, not mine. 

The other day I found a new book in audiobook format to read. It’s a Thomas Nelson book, nonfiction, and was from a humor writer. I’ll give you my whole review of this book as soon as I finish it, but I’ve only an hour left in it and I’m wondering what makes it a Christian book at all.

As I told my newsletter last month, for every “clean” book I post I’m saying no to a Christian book because there are simply too many great finds to post each day. (This was why I decided to stop posting books that weren’t Christian or from Christian authors and I was glad to hear from my newsletter fans that they, too, thought “clean” wasn’t good enough.) I choose the best and have to let the rest go. Now I’m wondering if I need to let a few more top publisher books pass by to make way for more deserving indie authors.

What kind of world are we living in where we can’t even trust the Christian publishers? These are the same people we’re trusting to print our Bibles, remember?

More and more I’m seeing the need for Christian reviewers people can trust. No one wants to waste their time and money on a book they never should have been reading in the first place. It’s made me realize I need to commit to consistent book reviews, not just giving my opinions on the books I read, but also reporting what I find so you can make up your own mind about them. I hope to have a new review for you to read in the next few days.

Discussion Topic of the Week

I’m really grateful to all the people who are willing to put their life stories out there for the world to see. People like Bonnie Gray, (above) who are using the hurts of their past to help others heal and give us a Christian alternative to reality television. I don’t know if I’d be comfortable with everyone knowing everything about me, though, as some memoirs detail.

Would you allow your life story to be published if you thought it would help others in some way? Leave your opinion below.

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