Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 2009

Have you been looking for the unexpected things God brought into your life in January?


The winner of the free book for January is Mara Mittelman of Carneys Point, New Jersey. Click on the View Complete Profile link in the right hand column to find a link to my email. Send me your mailing address.

Readers, if you want a chance to win one of my free books, please sign my Guest Book on my website - . The winners are chosen from those who do. But remember to check back in the next month’s newsletter to see if you won.You can sign up at the top of the right hand column of this blog for Feedblitz. Then the newsletter will feed into your Inbox. I will only post a newsletter once a month.

Want more free books. We also give away a minimum of 12 free books a month on my blog: Most months we give away more than that.This month I’ll be interviewing these authors:

S. Dionne Moore – Polly Dent Loses Grip
Virginia Smith – Age Before Beauty
Anita Higman – Love Finds You in Humble, Texas
Jill Elizabeth Nelson – Evidence of Murder
Mary Connealy – Gingham Mountain
Susan Page Davis – Abiding Peace
Deb Raney – Insight
Barb Techel – Frankie, the Walk and Roll Dog
Miralee Ferrell – Love Finds You in Last Chance, California
Lynette Eason – Silent Terror
Beth Wiseman – Plain Perfect
Shirlee McCoy – Cold Case Murder
Jill Eileen Smith – Michal
Mary Hawkins – Outback from Baragula
MaryLu Tyndall – The Red Siren
I hope you like these covers for my next three book releases.
You can find all kinds of infomation about my books on my Fan page on Facebook:
I’d love for you to come over and become a fan.
Calendar of Events
March 19-22, 2009 – Christian Book Expo, Dallas, Texas

April 18, 2009 – Speaker for Madison County Writers Guild, Madisonville, Texas – in the Library annex
May 9, 2009 – Speaker for "Gifted for His Glory Seminar" at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas, Texas
May 2009 – Release of The Prairie Romance Collection
May 2009 – Release of Wild Prairie Roses

June 13, 2009 – Speaker for DFW Ready Writers – La Hacienda Ranch Restaurant, Colleyville, Texas

July 2009 – Release of Cranberry Hearts

July 18, 2009 – Speaker for CenTex Chapter of ACFW, Austin, Texas

September 2009 – Release of Wild West Christmas
September 2009 – Release of Christmas Love at Lake Tahoe

September 11-12, 2009 – Speaker at North Texas Christian Writers Conference, Roanoke, Texas
September 17-20 - American Christian Fiction Writers National Conference - Denver, Colorado
Summer 2010 – Release of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico

Book Reviews

Paper Roses
By Amanda Cabot
ISBN 978-0-8007-3324-7
Historical Romantic Women's Fiction
Texas Dreams - Book 1

Back Cover Copy:

Her future stretched out like the clear blue Texas sky.
But a storm is coming.

Leaving the past behind in Philadelphia, mail-order bride Sarah Dobbs arrives in San Antonio ready to greet her groom--a man she has never met but whose letters, her paper roses, have won her heart from afar. But there is a problem--Adam Canfield is dead, and Sarah cannot go back East.

As Sarah tries to reconcile herself to a future that is drastically changed, Austin's brother Clay wants nothing more than to shake the Texas dust from his boots, but first he must find his brother's killer. And then there's Sarah.

Something is blooming out in the vast Texas landscape that neither Clay nor Sarah is ready to admit, and the promise of redemption blows like a gentle breeze through the prairie grasses.

My Review:

I was privileged to read this book for an endorsement before it was in print. Here's what I said.

This is the kind of book I like to read. Strong characters, even secondary characters, who still have room to grow. Deep emotions--love and hate, bitterness and unforgiveness, loss and pain, forgiveness and redemption. I also loved the mystery with the unexpected twist at the end.

I highly recommend this wonderful read.

Diamond Duo
By Marcia Gruver
ISBN 978-1-60260-205-2
Historical Romance
Texas Fortunes - Book 1

Back Cover Copy:

Murder Strikes Jefferson, Texas, Putting Love and Faith on Trial

Bertha Biddle is desperately in love with Thaddeus Bloom. . .
Trouble is, she's not sure he returns her affection.

When a stranger named Annie Monroe comes to Jefferson, charming every man in town, Bertha is determined to learn her beguiling secrets. But just how far will she go to win Thad's heart?

Thad is more than smitten with Bertha. But his father plans to send him away to military school.
Will Thad follow his father's dream at the cost of losing Bertha's love forever?

When Annie's unsavory companion enters the scene, foul deeds are afoot, testing faith and hearts. Will a murder provoke a startling twist of fate--in this world and the next?

My Review:

This book was a delightful surprise. I read a lot of debut novels among the books I review. This book is one of the best.

I reread the first page several times, savoring the lyrical wording and the emotions and pictures it evokes, before I turned the page. Then I enjoyed getting to know the well-developed characters as they leapt from the page. Strong secondary characters helped carry the story in its race to the tragedy and its aftermath.

I've been to Jefferson and heard the story of Diamond Bessie. I loved revisiting the historical places in this book.

Marcia Gruver is a welcome new voice in Christian fiction. I can hardly wait for the release of her next book. When you read this one, you'll feel the same way.

By James David Jordan
ISBN 978-0-0854-4749-1
B&H Fiction
Contemporary Suspense

Back Cover Copy:

"I cannot let my little girl die."

When Simon Mason, the world's most famous evangelist. receives threats from Muslim extremists, he hires Taylor Pasbury, a former Secret Service agent, to take charge of his security. When the terrorists strike, making a demand of the pastor that would shake the most steadfast saint, Taylor draws on all of her training to save Simon's daughter. Along the way she learns that she's not the only one who has done things she would like to forget--and she's not the only one who understands that some things are more important than living.

My Review:

This is the first book by James David Jordan that I've read. I found it intriguing and a page turner. The premise is almost too much for anyone to face. I had to ask myself what I would do in the same situation, and I was unable to come to a definitive answer.

Mr. Jordan takes us deep inside the characters to where their beliefs clash with their situations. He shows the anguish the decisions draw from them. He shows all the characters flaws as well as their redeeming qualities.

As I was nearing the end of the book, I felt the story had taken a road that I would have been able to live with. Then Mr. Jordan threw more secrets into the mix. Secrets that would change several lives. I finished the book wishing there was more about these interesting characters. A sequel perhaps?

I highly recommend this wonderful read.

Before the Season Ends
By Linore Rose Burkard
ISBN 978-0-7369-2551-8
Harvest House
Regency Romance

Back Cover Copy:

Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul

England, 1813

Romantic woes at home send Ariana Forsythe to her wealthy Aunt Bentley's townhouse in fashionable Mayfair, London. Under her aunt's calculating eye, Ariana is thrust into high society and a worse intrigue than that which prompted her flight from home. A scandalous rumour involving her with London's current darling rogue, the taciturn, though handsome, Mr. Phillip Mornay, is launched on society in a malicious act of meanness that changes Ariana's life forever. Her faith, her future, and her heart are all at stake as she strives to clear her name and resist the man who does not share her faith.

Will Ariana's beliefs survive? And what about her heart? For it is that part of her which most threatens to betray the truths she has always believed in. When she finds herself backed against a wall, betrothed to the wrong man, how will it ever turn out right?

From the country village of Chesterton to the ballroom of the Prince Regent's London palace, BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS will take you to Regency England where you'll find a world so elegant and comfortable, you'll want to stay for a long, long time.

My Review:

I have enjoyed regency romances in the past, but missed the spiritual thread that I've found in Christian fiction. BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS is a marriage of the two elements.

The characters were well defined, and the setting lush with details.

A very good debut novel, the book has found a place on my keeper bookshelf. I was distracted by the major head-hopping. I've grown used to being able to connect with characters in Christian novels in a deeper level, because they've moved away from this. For the most part, I could overlook it, but when two points of view were present in a single paragraph, which happened occasionally, it pulled me out of the story. Thank goodness, the story is so strong. This strong of a story will keep a reader turning pages in spite of anything else.

I recommend BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS to you. I'm really looking forward to Linore's next book.

Inside Story
By Susan Page Davis
ISBN 978-0-7369-2474-0
Harvest House
Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Back Cover Copy:

Claudia Was Determined to Get That Next Great Story. . But at What Deadly Price?

Claudia Gillette is a prize-winning journalist at a high-profile magazine. She prides herself on her cool independence--setting schedules, traveling the globe, beating the deadline. Landing the interview with Heidi Taber, the only female in an elite U.S.Navy special operations unit, is yet another rung on her ladder of career success.

Lieutenant Bill White is not happy about the journalist standing in front of him in the midst of the Philippine jungle. He has no time for public relations campaigns--certainly not now that their training maneuver has suddenly changed to a covert mission to rescue a well-known aerophysicist from terrorists.

As shells explode and tracer fire streaks the air, Claudia finds herself caughit up in a danger she never expected. . .or wanted. With lives at stake, Claudia fears her presence in the unit is their greatest detriment to survival. Will she find the strength to live through the nightmare. . .or has her ambition cost her her life?

My Review:

Susan Page Davis is a master at creating several kinds of stories. I have particularly loved the stories in this series. Each one was better than the one before, and this is her crowning achievement. Her grasp of the multiple settings was right on. I know, because I have friends who live in both Peru and the Philippines. And the military part was authentic. Check her dedication page.

With characters, who were bigger than life, and that I really cared about, I experienced the setting, the tension--of various kinds, and rejoiced in the satisfying resolution.

Kudos, Susan. Bring on another book.

I highly recommend this wonderful read.

The Duchess and the Dragon
By Jamie Carie
ISBN 978-0-8054-4535-0
Historical Romance

Back Cover Copy:

Two Worlds, One Destiny

Drake Weston, Duke of Northumberland, is heir to wealth, prestige, and power. But when his rage pushes him to a tragic mistake, he must leave everything behind. Not just his home, but England herself. Cloaked in a false identity, Drake slips aboard a ship bearing indentured servants to America.

Serena Winter lives out her Quaker beliefs tending the sick who arrive on ships in the Philadelphia harbor. But never before has she seen such squalor and misery as she finds on the latest ship from England. Nor has she ever met such a one as the half-conscious man with the penetrating eyes and arrogant demeanor. Though she saves his life, even taking him into her family home, there is little gratitude or humility in this man. And yet Serena is certian that beneath the brash exterior is a heart in search of peace.

Against the rich backdrop of Regency-era England and a young America, two passionate, seeking hearts find in each other the strength to face hard truths--and confront an insidious web of deceit that may destroy all they hold dear.

My Review:

Jamie Carie started with an interesting premise and built it into a fascinating page turner. The contrasts were brought to light and magnified in the relationship, creating enormous tension interwoven with equally strong passion. The characters leapt larger than life onto the stage of my mind, and I enjoyed really getting to know them. The spiritual arc was strong and remained true to the times.

A cleverly written book that brings many facets of life in those days to live action. The reader is drawn into the very center of the action and held there until the satisfying ending.

I highly recommend this book.

February Book Releases

February brings thoughts of chocolate and valentines and some of us worry about groundhogs and shadows. Whatever the case, winter can't last forever, and there is always an excuse to read a good book! We've got 11 new releases to choose from this month. Check them out.
1. Evidence of Murder by Jill Elizabeth Nelson from Steeple Hill. When a business owner discovers on her property evidence of a decade-old multiple murder, she and the surviving son of the massacre become targets of a desperate and powerful killer.
2. Framed!, Book 2 of the Without A Trace continuity series by Robin Caroll from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. A modern day Romeo and Juliet story.
3. Gingham Mountain Lassoed in Texas Series by Mary Connealy from Barbour Publishing. A school marm fears cruel intentions when a rancher, with a special heart for unwanted children, adopts too many of them.
4. Illusions by Wanda B. Campbell from Urban Christian. Illusions depicts the struggles of a young pastor and wife.
5. Insight by Deborah Raney from Steeple Hill. Two people brought together by tragedy discover an amazing connection that threatens to tear them apart.
6. Love Finds You In Last Chance, California, by Miralee Ferrell from Summerside Press. A woman trying to make it alone in the old west, a man she isn't sure she can trust, and someone who threatens them both.
7. On a Killer's Trail by Susan Page Davis from Love Inspired Suspense. Can a reformed bad-boy detective and an ambitious reporter overcome their past to solve a string of crimes?
8. The Desires of Her Heart by Lyn Cote from Avon Inspire. The Desires of Her Heart is based on authentic Texas history and portrays the expansion of Angloamericanos into Spanish territory.
9. The Gold Standard by Lisa Lickel from Barbour Publishing - Heartsong Presents: Mysteries. Judy's last relative, Aunt Louise, was poisoned - but how?
10. The Renewal, Book 2 of the Project Restoration Series by Terri Kraus from David C. Cook. For single-mom Leslie Ruskin and master carpenter Jack Kenyon, both starting over in a new town, could working together on restoring the Midlands Building be a blueprint for disaster, or will their lives be transformed by the promise of a new Occupant?
11. Wind Dancer by Jamie Carie from B&H Publishing. Revolutionary period of escaping captivity and finding true salvation.

Happy reading ~


I asked you at the top of the blog if you’ve been looking for the unexpected things God has brought into your life in January. I have.

I had three book deadlines really close, and I felt burdened. God relieved that stress. One of the deadlines was moved enough to give me more time to meet it. This one is for my first 80-95,000 word novel, and I want the time to make it good.

I’ve also found out that the new publisher will release the book both in print and ebook editions. That’s good news.

I’ve been invited to be a speaker at a writing conference in early September, and I received another cover. That’s a lot of unexpected things for this month.

I’ll be looking for more next month. Will you be looking for God’s unexpected in your life in February?