Friday, April 30, 2010

Vickie McDonough ~ Interview + Giveaway!

**I have recently changed the rules for entering my giveaways and there are new ways to earn extra entries, so be sure to read that section at the bottom of this post. =)**

Today author Vickie McDonough is telling us about her new book, The Anonymous Bride. She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Vickie! Tell us a little about yourself.
Besides being a writer, I’m a wife of almost 35 years, mother of four grown sons, grandmother to a feisty four-year-old girl, and primary caregiver for my invalid mother. I love reading historical Christian fiction, especially those set in the West in the late 1800s. I also have some fav TV shows I watch like Chuck, Castle, NCIS—and okay, I’ll admit it—I also like V & Fringe.

I also love to travel and like working in my flower garden.

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
About 9 ½ years. As of this month, I have 18 books that have been published, with five more coming later this year and early next year.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?. 
That’s hard. I’m not sure that I can personally compare writing styles with another author, but reviewers have compared me to Lori Copeland and Mary Connealy. If you like historical western romances with adventure, you’ll probably like my books.

It varies some between books, but probably G-Pg. My books are sweet romances, but I love having chemistry between my hero & heroine. I love showing their sensual attraction to the other, while tossing in things that cause conflict. My h & h always kiss at least once and maybe twice.

In your own words tell us a little about The Anonymous Bride.
The Anonymous Bride is the first book in my Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, which is set in the fictional town of Lookout, Texas. The town has some quirky characters, which add humor to the story, as well as conflict. The main theme of the story is learning to forgive past offense, but I also deal with issues like single parenthood and having a rebellious child. The premise of the first book is “what if a mail-order bride suddenly shows up, expecting to marry the town marshal—but he didn’t order a bride?” Then I took it a step further and said, “what if 3 brides showed up, expecting to marry the same man?” And what if the town held a contest to see which bride would make him the best bride?

Second Chance Brides, book two in the series, tells the story of two of the leftover brides. It releases September 1st.

Finally A Bride is the story of Jacqueline, the ornery tomboy from the first book and a surprise person. It releases on April 1, 2011.

Blurb:
Three mail-order brides arrive in Lookout, Texas, each expecting to marry the local marshal. But—he didn't order a bride. When a contest ensues to discover which bride will make him the best wife, there is a surprise fourth entry--an anonymous one. Mayhem occurs as the whole town tries to figure out who the anonymous bride is, and the mayor pressures the marshal to pick a bride or lose his job. Will Marshal Davis tuck tail and run for the hills? Or will he lose his heart and his bachelorhood?

What made you want to write this story?
I was trying to think up an idea that I hadn’t read before and then thought of the “what if” questions I mentioned above. Those questions morphed into my Anonymous Bride book.

What research did you have to do for this book?
Since I live in Oklahoma, I have visited Texas many times, so I’m pretty familiar with the northeastern part where my story is set. Still, I visited the Denison area and took lots of pictures. I also had to research what type of lawman a small town in the late 1800s would have. I was expecting it to be a sheriff, but in Texas, it was actually a town marshal. He did everything from picking up trash, carrying parcels for elderly citizens to chasing away stray dogs, and occasionally, catching outlaws. I also research flowers and trees and birds and animals of the area, plus information about trains.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
I’d like to see Brandon Routh play Luke. My hero is a brooding character, and brooding looks good on Brandon Routh.

As far the heroine, I can’t decide. None of the actresses I know seem to fit this character. Maybe your readers could offer suggestions. Rachel has medium brown hair and light blue eyes. She’s a serious person because of her past and her struggles with her daughter, but she likes to have fun too.

What are you working on now or going to write next?
I just finished a historical set in 1788 in Charleston for Heartsong Presents. Now, I’m working on the third book in my Texas Boardinghouse Brides’ series.

How can readers get in contact with you?
My website is www.vickiemcdonough.com There’s an email link on the “Contact” page. I’m also a regular contributor to http://www.bustlesandspurs.com/

What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson. It was a very interesting read.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I lived on a kibbutz in Israel with my husband for a year, right after we were first married.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
A horse. I have always loved horses. I used to have three of them—but not all at the same time. I use horses a lot in my stories and would like some more current riding experience.

FAVORITES:

Color?
green

Childhood memory?
Special time with my dad. He bowled two nights a week for several years. After my mom went to bed, sometimes I’d tiptoe into my parents’ bathroom and tape a note on the mirror for my dad. He’d wake me up when he got home and we’d eat popcorn together. I think about that now—how tired he must have been after working all day and then bowling all evening, but he never complained. It didn’t happen all that often, but it was a special time when it did.

Era to write about?
Late 1800s, Midwest or western settings

What is/was this book’s release date?
April 1, 2010

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?
http://thestorybeginnings.blogspot.com/2010/04/anonymous-bride-chapter-1.html

~~~~~
**USA residents only, please**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of The Anonymous Bride!

TO ENTER:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment.

*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

+2 Read and leave a comment on one of my recent book reviews.

**You can earn a total of 4 entries if you do all of the above requirements. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (April 30) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (May 6). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 7th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two Brides Too Many winner!

Winner:
Two Brides Too Many by Mona Hodgson--
Cindy W. (countrybear52@...)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols ~ 5 stars

Not a Sparrow Falls
Linda Nichols
Bethany House Publishers
About the book:
Two Desperate People--
One With All the Answers... One With None

Mary Bridget Washburn is tired of running, tired of being haunted by the empty shell her life has become. How in the world did the little girl she once was become a woman on the wrong side of the law?

Determined to make a new start, she escapes to the quaint city of Alexandria, Virginia, where she takes on her mother's identity and finds sanctuary in the shadow of a decades-old church. But a little girl's plea proves to be her undoing, and the reverend•well, someone's got to open his eyes before disaster comes calling.

Can Mary Bridget and her tainted past stay hidden long enough for her to bring hope to a family falling apart?

My review:
This is one of the most touching books I’ve read in a long time. I very much enjoyed reading it. In a few places it seemed a little slow, but it would quickly pick back up. This book is not a romantic one, but there is a romance. The thing that I liked so much about this book was that it deals with a lot of important issues. It was interesting to read about Alasdair and how he got so caught up in something he didn’t even want in the first place. Isn’t it interesting how once we have something we begin to believe it is ours no matter what, even if we don’t want it?!? We get all defensive and possessive when we think someone is going to take away something of “ours”. That is just one of the many things I loved about this book. I would definitely recommend this, I just wish it was a little more on the romantic side.

Thanks to Bethany House for the reviewer copy of this book.

Monday, April 26, 2010

An Honest Love by Kathleen Fuller ~ 4 stars

An Honest Love
Kathleen Fuller
Hearts of Middlefield series #2
Thomas Nelson Publishers
About the book:
Anna must find the courage to tell Lukas the truth. Will he find the courage to forgive her?

Anna was once betrayed by someone she loved deeply. In an attempt to never be hurt again, she and her mother relocated to Middlefield, Ohio. It was the ideal place for Anna's broken heart to mend. In Middlefield, Anna withdrew from risk, placing all her attention on managing the new gift shop she and her mom bought.

When Lukas introuces himself, Anna can't resist her attraction to him. Though she finds herself falling in love, she's hiding a piece of her past in fear that their future will be destroyed if she tells him the truth.

But love can't be built on lies and the past comes rushing back to Anna in an irreversible way. Now Lukas must decide how he will react to Anna's betrayal. As they cling to their belief in an honest love, they realize it's a path they must walk together even as it leads to unexpected places.

My review:
I did not like this book as much as the first one in the series (which I loved), but I did like it. The writing was great. The author did a great job of portraying the Amish’s beliefs. I *loved* the secondary character’s romance, maybe even more than Anna’s. I would recommend this book to someone who loves Amish fiction.

Thanks to BookSneeze for the reviewer copy of this book.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Funnies!

I already knew I was dumber than the fifth graders, now it's the preschoolers turn!?!?

A PRE-SCHOOL TEST FOR YOU

Which way is the bus below traveling? To the left or to the right?

Can't make up your mind?

Look carefully at the picture again.

Still don't know?

Pre-schoolers all over the United States were shown this picture asked the same question.

90% of the pre-schooler's gave this answer:
'The bus is traveling to the left.'

When asked, 'Why do you think the bus is traveling to the left?'

They answered:
'Because you can't see the door to get on the bus.'

How do you feel now ???

I know, me too.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mona Hodgson ~ Interview + Giveaway!

**I have recently changed the rules for entering my giveaways and there are new ways to earn extra entries, so be sure to read that section at the bottom of this post. =)**

Today author Mona Hodgson is telling us about her new book, Two Brides Too Many. She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Mona! Tell us a little about yourself.
Carman, thanks bunches for this opportunity to connect with your blog audience. Hello everyone!

I’m a wife (nearly 38 years), a mother to two daughters in their 30’s, mother-in-law to one son, and grandmother to three boys and one girl.

I’m also a writer and a speaker. My favorite “work” things to do include writing novels and children’s books, and speaking at women’s retreats.

I like to hoola-hoop, hike, travel, picnic, read, and play games on the Wii. Wii Fitness and Tennis are my favorites.

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I began writing for publication in 1987. For many years, I wrote devotionals, articles, poems, and short stories for fifty different periodicals, including four newspapers that carried my weekly column, Letters from Home.

I have 28 children’s books published and one novel with a second novel, Too Rich for a Bride, scheduled for release in October 2010, exclusively available at Walmart stores until May 2011.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be?
My style is probably most similar to Robin Lee Hatcher’s and Lori Copeland’s. Maybe Cathy Marie Hake’s and Deeanne Gist’s too.

Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
G.

In your own words tell us a little about Two Brides Too Many.
Two sisters arrive in an 1896 mining camp expecting marriage, but finding love.

Two Brides Too Many is the first in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. The books will chronicle the journeys of four sisters and their father to Colorado. Book One is the story of the middle two sisters, Kat and Nell Sinclair, who embark on their journey as mail-order brides. What happens when the girls arrive at the depot in Cripple Creek and find that their grooms-to-be are not there to greet them, let alone marry them?

Blurb:
Two sisters. Two missing misters.

Kat and Nell Sinclair are headed west—away from the manicured lawns of Maine to the boisterous, booming mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado, to start new lives for themselves as mail-order brides.

Aboard the train, romantic dreamer Nell carries a photo of her intended close to her heart and imagines an exciting and love-filled future, while her pragmatic older sister, Kat, resigns herself to marriage as a duty, not a delight.

But when the ladies disembark at the train depot, neither fiance’ awaits them with open arms. The well-bred Sinclair sisters find themselves alone in the wild, frontier town—a place where fire threatens to reduce the buildings to rubble, the working women strut the streets, rogues will gamble for the shoes on one’s feet, and God’s grace is found among the most unlikely of folks.

What made you want to write this story?
I was working on a historical set in an Arizona Copper Mining Camp in the late 1890s when an editor who had seen the opening pages of that novel gave me an opportunity to write the Sinclair Sisters’ stories set in a Colorado Gold Mining Camp in the late 1890s. I nearly dropped my cell phone in my jump at the chance. Like Kat Sinclair, the main character in Book One, I am one of four sisters and knew I’d have a lot of fun writing about the complex sister relationships. I love Colorado. And, of course, I had already done a lot of research on mining camps in the 1890s. I knew the opportunity was God’s answer to my prayers; His provision for my dream to become a published novelist.

What research did you have to do for this book?
I emailed the director of the Cripple Creek District Museum with a list of questions, which she graciously answered. And I did a lot of Internet research to begin with until I could actually tour Cripple Creek and visit their museums. I ordered books about Cripple Creek and mining in Colorado. I needed to know what kinds of business were there at the time, about the railroad and its route from the East, as well as all about the actual fires that destroyed the town. I include at least one “real life” woman from the time and place in each of my historical novels, so I did a lot of reading about Colorado women, specifically any who made a difference in Cripple Creek.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
Kat – Alexis Bledel

Morgan – Jake Gyllenhaal







 
Patrick – Johnny Dep or Justin Chambers

Nell – Rachel McAdams or AnnaSophia Robb







 
Judson – Ryan Gosling

Miss Hattie – Meryl Streep





 
What are you working on now or going to write next?
I’ve recently finished the edits for Too Rich for a Bride, the second book in the Cripple Creek series. I’m working on a proposal for a historical novel for middle grade readers set in Idaho Territory in the 1870s. Next month, I expect to begin writing Beyond a Bride, Book Three in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.

How can readers get in contact with you?
Readers can learn more about me at my website: www.monahodgson.com. They can connect with me at www.twitter.com and www.facebook.com, and readers can find extras at my Facebook fan page—Mona Hodgson Fan Page. They can email me at www.mona@monahodgson.com and ask to receive my quarterly E-newsletter with updates and behind-the-scenes news.

What are you currently reading?
I seldom read one book at a time. Thin Places: A Memoir by Mary DeMuth, a “Blessings, North Dakota” historical by Lauraine Snelling, and Love Finds You in Hershey, Pennsylvania by Cerella D. Sechrist. Nonfiction, a historical novel, and a contemporary novel. I usually have a middle-grade novel going too, but three books at a time is enough for now.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I’ve ridden a camel, fed a giraffe mouth-to-mouth, and held a baby crocodile. I’ve flown in a helicopter and a bi-plane. I’ve been to Africa.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
A roadrunner. Because I tend to dart from here to there and I love to explore. They can keep their lizard lunch to themselves, however. I prefer tacos or grilled cheese sandwiches.

FAVORITES:

Color?
Purple.

Childhood memory?
One of my favorite memories is of camping with my family at Butterfield Country in California. Another is of camping out in the desert with another family.

Era to write about?
The 1800s is a very intriguing time period. I’m inspired by the pluck and faith of the stalwart women, particularly those of the Wild West.

What is/was this book’s release date?
As of October 13, 2009, Two Brides Too Many has been available exclusively at Walmart stores. BUT on May 4th WaterBrook Multnomah will officially release Two Brides. Yes, in less than two weeks, you’ll be able to obtain Kat and Nell’s story from your favorite bookseller. In the meantime, they can accept pre-orders. The book will also be available as an e-Book and as an audio book on May 4th.

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?
Yes. Readers can get a sneak peek at Chapter One at www.monahodgson.com. Click on Mona’s Novels, then on Sneak Peek on the Two Brides Too Many page.

~~~~~
**Anyone can enter this giveaway**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Two Brides Too Many!


TO ENTER:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment.

*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

+2 Read and leave a comment on one of my recent book reviews.

**You can earn a total of 4 entries if you do all of the above requirements. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (April 23) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (April 29). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 30th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Too Close To Home winner!

Winner:
Too Close To Home by Lynette Eason--
Linda (desertrose5173@...)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Texas Roads by Cathy Bryant ~ 5 stars

Texas Roads
Cathy Bryant
Miller's Creek, Texas series #1
WordVessel Press
About the book:
City gal Dani Davis just wants to find a place to call home. Miller’s Creek, Texas seems like the perfect place to start over, except for the cowboy who gives her a ride into town.

Dani secretly finances renovations to the downtown area of Miller’s Creek, but malicious rumors force her to choose between keeping her involvement a secret and the home for which she’s always longed.

Steve Miller is determined to save his dying hometown. When vandalism jeopardizes the downtown restoration project, he can’t help but suspect Dani, whose strange behavior has become fodder for local gossips.

Will Steve and Dani be able to call a truce for a higher cause, and help Dani understand the true meaning of home?

My review:
Texas Roads is such a sweet story! I really loved reading this book. It is a great commentary on trust and letting God take care of your hurts and heal you. Being upfront with people is another theme that really stuck out to me. It even shows how lying or even keeping a secret can cause huge problems, even if you are hiding something for a good reason. Dani and especially Steve are great characters! I really love Steve. He is protective, gentle, and a man of integrity. Loved it all!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand ~ 4 stars

Beguiled
Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand
Bethany House Publishers
About the book:
In the shadows of Charleston, someone is watching her...

Rylee Monroe, a dogwalker in Charleston's wealthiest neighborhood, never feared the streets at night. But now a thief is terrorizing the area and worse, someone seems to be targeting her.

Reporter Logan Woods is covering the break-ins with the hope of publishing them as a true-crime book. The more he digs, the more he realizes this beguiling dogwalker seems to be at the center of everything.

As danger draws ever closer, Logan must choose: Chase the girl, the story, or plunge into the shadows after the villain who threatens everything?

My review:
This book definitely has a style that is different from Dee’s normal writing, but that is to be expected since it was co-written. The suspense element was good and the plot ended in a way that I never saw coming. I had guessed one part of the “Robin Hood” thief very early on, but was surprised at how the whole story intertwined with other character’s personal stories. I didn’t connect with this book as well as with Dee’s other books, but I still really liked it. And if Dee and Mark ever write another book together then I will definitely be reading that one too.

Thanks to Bethany House for the reviewer copy of this book.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Funnies!

SENIORS.......You gotta love em

$1.99 SPECIAL!

We went to breakfast at a restaurant where the 'seniors' special' was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $1.99.

'Sounds good,' my wife said. 'But I don't want the eggs.'

'Then, I'll have to charge you two dollars and forty-nine cents because you're ordering a la carte,' the waitress warned her.

'You mean I'd have to pay for not taking the eggs?' my wife asked incredulously.

'YES!!' stated the waitress.

'I'll take the special then.' my wife said.

'How do you want your eggs?' the waitress asked.

'Raw and in the shell,' my wife replied.

She took the two eggs home and baked a cake.

DON'T MESS WITH SENIORS!!!

We've been around the block more than once!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lynette Eason ~ Interview + Giveaway!

**I have recently changed the rules for entering my giveaways and there are new ways to earn extra entries, so be sure to read that section at the bottom of this post. =)**

Today author Lynette Eason is telling us about her new book, Too Close To Home. She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Lynette! Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a mother to two, a wife, a speaker and an author. I’m getting really good at multi-tasking and I love to meet new people. I married the boy next door 13 ½ years ago. He’s in the ministry and travels a lot so I started writing as a way to combat loneliness!

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I’ve been writing for about 10 years. I have eight books published and seven more in the works.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
Either Steven James or Brandilyn Collins.

I would say it’s G. My editor is always fussing at me to add more romance. I tend to get carried away with the suspense and the mystery I forget my characters are supposed to be falling love at the same time…ha.

In your own words tell us a little about Too Close To Home.
Too Close to Home is the first book in the Women of Justice Series. It’s about an FBI Computer Forensics Agent and a SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement) Homicide Detective. Together they must find a killer before he kills again. And when he goes after Connor’s daughter, Jenna, things get really personal—and time is running out.

Book blurb:
The FBI has a secret weapon. But now the secret’s out.

When missing teens begin turning up dead in a small Southern town, the FBI sends in computer forensics expert Samantha Cash to help crack the case. Her methods are invisible, and she never quits until the case is closed.

Homicide detective Connor Wolfe has his hands full. His relationship with his headstrong daughter is in a tailspin, and the string of unsolved murders has the town demanding answers. Connor is running out of ideas—and time.

Samantha joins Connor in a race against the clock to save the next victim. And the killer starts to get personal.

Too Close to Home ratchets up the suspense with each page even as love blossoms in the face of danger. Read this one with the lights on!

“My friend Lynette has a hit on her hands with this romantic suspense. I enjoyed every minute. The plot managed to surprise and captivate me, and the romance was priceless.”—Dee Henderson, bestselling author, the O’Malley series

“A fast-moving tale filled with nonstop action. No chance to catch your breath with this one!”—Irene Hannon, bestselling author, the Heroes of Quantico series

“Eason gives the reader an exciting ride with characters you will care about.”—Margaret Daley, award-winning Steeple Hill romantic suspense author

What research did you have to do for this book?
I had to do a ton of research. I know quite a bit about computers in general, but not much about computer forensics. Fortunately, I’m a member of a yahoo group – crimescenewriters- where I can find at least one person who is a specialist in any crime area. It was there I found a computer forensics person who answered all of my technical questions in detail.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
Probably Tom Cruise and Poppy Montgomery.

What are you working on now or going to write next?
Right now, I’m working on a book for Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line. It’s book 5 in a continuity series I am writing with five other authors. It’s about Texas Rangers and their fascinating fight against the influx of drugs from Mexico into Texas.

How can readers get in contact with you?
My email is lynetteeason@lynetteeason.com and my website is www.lynetteeason.com. I can also be found on facebook.

What are you currently reading?
Oh my, will it sound awful to say nothing? I just finished Irene Hannon’s last book in her three book series, the Heroes of Quantico.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I’m pretty unsurprising.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose?
My in-law’s black lab, Moses. Why? Because he’s spoiled rotten and gets to sleep all day.

FAVORITES:

Color?
Red

Childhood memory?
Family vacations

Era to write about?
Contemporary (but I love to read Historical, I’m just not smart enough to write about it.)

What is/was this book’s release date?
Too Close to Home released April 1st.

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?
No, but Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble allow you to look inside when you click on the book. I think they let you read a random page or something like that. I’m working on putting up my first chapters on my webpage. I hope to have that available within the next few weeks.

~~~~~
**USA residents only, please**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Too Close To Home!

TO ENTER:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment.

*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

+2 Read and leave a comment on one of my recent book reviews.

**You can earn a total of 4 entries if you do all of the above requirements. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (April 16) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (April 22). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 23rd, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Plain Sight winner!

Winner:
In Plain Sight by Michelle Sutton (ebook)--
Linda (desertrose5173@...)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Too Close To Home by Lynette Eason ~ 4 stars

Too Close To Home
Lynette Eason
Women of Justice series #1
Revell Publishers
About the book:
The FBI has a secret weapon. But now the secret's out.

When missing teens begin turning up dead in a small Southern town, the FBI sends in Special Agent Samantha Cash to help crack the case. Her methods are invisible, and she never quits until the case is closed.

Homicide detective Connor Wolfe has his hands full. His relationship with his headstrong daughter is in a tailspin, and the string of unsolved murders has the town demanding answers. Connor is running out of ideas--and time.

Samantha joins Connor in a race against the clock to save the next victim. And the killer starts to get personal.

Too Close to Home ratchets up the suspense with each page even as love blossoms in the face of danger. Read this one with the lights on!

My review:
This book is dealing with very important subjects, and I appreciated the honesty that the author portrayed them with. This book pretty much revolves around the idea of teenage girls being preyed upon by a man who promises them a shot in the modeling world, and then kidnaps and abuses them. He seeks them out on the internet and then draws them in. This also ties in with the idea of parents not talking to their children about the dangers of online predators and parents not being involved in their children’s lives.

At times, the book got too graphic for me and made me a little freaked out, but not enough that I wanted to stop reading. It was just when you got inside the killer’s head that was SO creepy. I was able to figure out fairly early on who the “Agent” was, but I don’t think most people will be able to. (I’m not boasting. I’m good at that kind of thing because I adore murder mystery shows, NCIS, Miss Marple and stuff like that and I watch them all the time.) The “Boss” took me a little more time to figure out, but I did guess correctly towards the end. I think this series will be a big hit with people who like crime solving shows and other things like that. I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be reading the next books in this series.
*Available April 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Funnies!

I'M FROM THE GOVERNMENT!!!

A DEA officer stops at a ranch in Texas, and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, 'I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs. The old rancher says, 'Okay, but don't go in that field over there.'

The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, 'Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me.' Reaching into his rear pant pocket and removing his badge. The officer proudly displays it to the farmer. 'See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish on any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?' The old rancher nods politely and goes about his chores.

Later, the old rancher hears loud screams and spies the DEA officer running for his life and close behind is the rancher's bull.. With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer. The officer is clearly terrified. The old rancher immediately throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs...... 'Your badge! Show him your badge!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Call of Zulina winner!

**I'm sorry about the delay in picking the winner. My internet has been out for the last few days, so I was stuck.**

Winner:
The Call of Zulina by Kay Strom--
Trinity Rose (wandaelaine@...)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Michelle Sutton ~ Interview + Giveaway!

**I have recently changed the rules for entering my giveaways and there are new ways to earn extra entries, so be sure to read that section at the bottom of this post. =)**

Today author Michelle Sutton is telling us about her new ebook, In Plain Sight. She has offered a copy of her ebook to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Michelle! Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a mom with two boys who are graduating from high school this year. I'm excited and sad that they'll be leaving at the same time. Wait a minute, this comment is not about myself as a novelist. Switching gears here… I've written over a dozen novels (I actually lost count) and have a ton of books coming out in the next two years. I love writing, but used to dread it when I was in school. My husband and boys are very supportive of my writing. That's a wonderful feeling…. But I write too fast for them so they can't keep up with my stories, LOL!

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I've got 14 books in the lineup total so far. And if two proposals I've got pending are taken, that will add two more to the lineup. Sweet, eh? I started writing in August of 2003. I've come a long way, baby. I would not want anyone to read my original books. Ick.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
My writing is similar to Karen Kingsbury, Lisa Samson, and Julie Lessman, but honestly, it's totally me. My books have a bit more edge in the sense that I am not as constrained by the requirements from typical CBA publishers so I am able to be more frank with my readers. And as far as ratings go…my lowest would be PG, with my summer release getting up into the R- for restricted zone. I like them hot.

In your own words tell us a little about In Plain Sight.
This story is the sequel to Danger at the Door. I wanted to name it Danger at the Diner but the publisher said it made her think of food poisoning. Anyway, In Plain Sight is about Bojan's sister from Danger at the Door. Here is a mini-blurb…

Abused by her gypsy ex-boyfriend and left for dead, Jovana moves to America seeking a new life; two handsome men desire her heart, but she must choose the right one or end up in a situation much worse than before.

Back cover blurb:
Jovana was held captive by her gypsy boyfriend for seven years, and when he abandons her she returns to her parents' home in Macedonia. Her brother Bojan introduces her to faith and offers her a new life in Arizona.

While in Arizona, she stays with her future sister-in-law, but as her brother's wedding approaches he is concerned that she will be unsafe staying alone. Her brother has his close friend, her boss Randy, stay with her while they are away to protect her, only she objects to being treated like a child. A handsome stranger is pursuing her and she likes it, but she has no idea his intentions are for her destruction.

On the other hand her boss, Randy, is a wholesome, good man who even speaks her language. She can't imagine a nice man like him wanting a woman with her history, so she pursues the dangerous man, but she gets in way over her head. At the same time she discovers a surprising attraction to Randy developing, and because she is afraid of her feelings toward him, she does everything she can think of to scare him off. But he's tough to shake loose, which is, of course, exactly what she needs to heal.


What made you want to write this story?
I really enjoyed Bojan's story and wanted to write about his sister's healing process. They are a passionate and unique family. I love the cultural elements in this book, too.

What research did you have to do for this book?
Not too much. I still had my Macedonian/English translation that I used for some of the words. I had a ton of research I did for the first book and still had that info including info about the culture from people who came to the US from Macedonia and Albania. They helped a lot with the particulars.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
Jake Gyllenhaal would play the hero, Randy

And the heroine, Jovana, would be played by Leighton Meester





What are you working on now or going to write next?
I am working on the sequel to First Impressions. The title of the second book in the Tombstone Treasures series is First Love

How can readers get in contact with you?
My website is www.michellesutton.net and I give away a book a week (and post book reviews) on my blog which is…

http://edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com/

and for people who like edgier fiction, I have a ning group with over 660 members (both authors and readers) and the link is…

http://edgychristianfictionlovers.ning.com/

What are you currently reading?
Songbird Under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
That I sleep? Um, I dunno.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
Probably a dog because then I could sit on the lap of people I think are awesome and I could get all snuggly. Just kidding. I'd just snuggle my husband, and I'd probably lick everyone else's ears. Kidding again.

FAVORITES:

Color?
Mauve

Childhood memory?
Too many to count. It was pretty cool when I won the high school spelling bee in the 5th grade, though. Except I beat the most popular girl in school whose dad had just died so everyone wanted her to win, including me.

Era to write about?
Modern day anything. I am too lazy to research history and I don't want to tick off the historical snobs by getting something wrong.

What is/was this book’s release date?
April 1st, 2010

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?
Yes, on Goodreads…

http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/62534-in-plain-sight-april-1st-2010

~~~~~
**This giveaway is open to residents of any country**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an ebook copy of In Plain Sight!


TO ENTER:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment.

*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

+2 Read and leave a comment on one of my recent book reviews.

**You can earn a total of 4 entries if you do all of the above requirements. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (April 9) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (April 15). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 16th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In Plain Sight by Michelle Sutton ~ 5 stars

In Plain Sight
Michelle Sutton
(Sequel to Danger at the Door)
Desert Breeze Publishing
About the book:
Jovana was held captive by her gypsy boyfriend for seven years, and when he abandons her she returns to her parents' home in Macedonia. Her brother Bojan introduces her to faith and offers her a new life in Arizona.

While in Arizona, she stays with her future sister-in-law, but as her brother's wedding approaches he is concerned that she will be unsafe staying alone. Her brother has his close friend, her boss Randy, stay with her while they are away to protect her, only she objects to being treated like a child. A handsome stranger is pursuing her and she likes it, but she has no idea his intentions are for her destruction.

On the other hand her boss, Randy, is a wholesome, good man who even speaks her language. She can't imagine a nice man like him wanting a woman with her history, so she pursues the dangerous man, but she gets in way over her head. At the same time she discovers a surprising attraction to Randy developing, and because she is afraid of her feelings toward him, she does everything she can think of to scare him off. But he's tough to shake loose, which is, of course, exactly what she needs to heal.

My review:
(The copy that I reviewed was an ARC ebook, so it is not the final edited version.)

True love gives, it does not take. It does not demand its own way. It is patient, kind, etc… This is the lesson that Jovana is learning, slowly but surely. Through her own painful experiences she has learned to distrust men outside of her family. Even though her brother trusts Randy, her boss and her brother’s friend, he has yet to win Jovana’s trust in him as well. She assumes that he is like all the other men that used her despite the deep faith that she recognizes in him.

I loved the message in this book for women who have been deceived or hurt by men they thought they loved and who loved them back. Randy teaching Jovana about her self-worth was such a sweet thing to read about and I felt her self esteem growing throughout the book. I love it when a guy refuses to be scared away by the woman he loves. That is character… and I love a guy with true character!

The writing seemed a little rushed, especially towards the end, but that might just be because it was an ARC. I’m not a writer so I am not sure exactly how many things change between the ARC and the final edited version of a book, so that might be changed in the final copy.

All in all, I really liked it and I would definitely recommend it. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Promise of Morning by Ann Shorey ~ 3 stars

The Promise of Morning
Ann Shorey
At Home in Beldon Grove series #2
Revell- Publisher
About the book:
Life in Beldon Grove on the Illinois frontier in the 1840s isn't easy. For Ellie Craig, the graves of her three infant children make it unbearably lonely, despite the love of her husband Matthew. When she uncovers a family secret that suggests she may not be as alone as she thought, Ellie is determined to find the truth.

Meanwhile, Matthew Craig faces controversy in the church he pastors when a man arrives in town claiming to be both a minister and the son of the town's founder. Will Matthew find the courage to reclaim his church? Or will he return to itinerant preaching, leaving Ellie even more alone than before?

My review:
There were some things that I really liked in this book, but over-all it failed to keep my attention. It seemed like there were some good opportunities, especially between Matthew and Ellie at the end of the book, that were missed. Such as how Matthew realized he had ignored the fear of abandonment in his wife. He never said he was sorry or talked about it or anything and I thought that would have been a great opportunity to have some healing between the characters. All-in-all I wouldn’t recommend this to others. (This is just my opinion, however, and I’m sure that there will be a lot of people who like this book. I’m just not one of them.)

Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Distant Melody Blog Tour!

About the book:
Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love.

Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives.

As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

A Distant Melody is the first book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.


About the author:
Sarah Sundin is an on-call hospital pharmacist and holds a BS in chemistry from UCLA and a doctorate in pharmacy from UC San Francisco. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.

For more info please visit her website at http://www.sarahsundin.com/!

About the contest:
A Distant Melody, Book 1 in Sarah Sundin’s exciting Wings of Glory series, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re offering one Grand Prize winner the chance to get NOSTALGIC!


Enter the Netflix and Nostalgia contest from author Sarah Sundin!
About the prize:
The Winner of the ‘NETFLIX® & Nostalgia’ giveaway will receive a vintage prize package, including:

*A 6 month NETFLIX® subscription
*$25 Starbucks® gift card
*A box of See’s Famous Old Time Chocolates®
*A jar of homemade strawberry jam
*A Big Band music CD
*A Mini B-17 Model airplane
*Vintage stationery and pen
*British specialty tea
*WWII style playing cards

To enter just click on the icon above! Contest will be live April 5th and run through April 25th!

Here is the link to A Distant Melody's blog tour through LitFuse.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Funnies!

The Storm

They were together in the House. Just the two of them.

It was a cold, dark, stormy night. The storm had come quickly and each time the thunder boomed he watched her jump.

She looked across the room and admired his strong appearance...and wished that he would take her in his arms, comfort her and protect her from the storm.

Suddenly, with a pop, the power went out... She screamed...

He raced to the sofa where she was cowering. He didn't hesitate to pull her into his arms. He knew this was a forbidden union and expected her to pull back. He was surprised when she didn't resist but instead clung to him.

The storm raged on...

They knew it was wrong...

Their families would never understand... So consumed were they in their FEAR that they heard no opening of doors...

just the faint click of a camera...



Friday, April 2, 2010

Kay Strom ~ Interview + Giveaway!

**I have changed the rules for entering my giveaways and there are new ways to earn extra entries, so be sure to read that section at the bottom of this post. =)**

Today author Kay Strom is telling us about her book, The Call of Zulina. She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Kay! Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Christian writer, meaning I am a Christian who writes. Although I also write for secular venues, my worldview stays the same. A lot of my work has a global touch.

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
Well, I’ve really been writing all my life. But I’ve been writing for publication… well, a pretty long time. My first book came out 25 years ago. I just finished book number 36 and am now working on another fiction trilogy, the first book of which is due on the editor’s desk at the end of the summer.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be?
Hmmm, that’s a difficult one. I think of myself as an individual.
Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
Definitely G. Actually, romance is not the main element in the GRACE in AFRICA trilogy.

In your own words tell us a little about The Call of Zulina.
The Call of Zulina is book 1 of the GRACE in AFRICA trilogy.
Set in Africa in 1787, this is the story of Grace Winslow, daughter of a white slave trader and his African princess wife. Raised in na├»ve isolation, it is only when Grace escapes from her parents’ compound and runs head first into the uproar of a slave rebellion that she learns the truth about the family business—the capture and sale of slaves. Grace must decide who she is and on which side—slave or free. One special captive becomes the love of her life.

Blog site: http://www.kaystrom.wordpress.com/
Facebook: Kay Marshall Strom

What made you want to write this story?
When I was in Senegal, West Africa, working on another project, I toured Goree Island, an old slave fortress off the coast. I was horrified at the sight of a pair of baby-sized manacles bolted to the wall! Then I read about a real couple who lived in the area at the time—a white slave trader and his African wife, who ran a slave trading business. I kept wondering: What if…? If they’d had a daughter, who would she be? Which side would she be on?

What research did you have to do for this book?
Lots! I went to Africa twice. I read and read and read. I have friends in Africa who helped me, too. Of course, I had already written Once Blind: The Life of John Newton, the biography of the author of Amazing Grace who was a slave trader, so a lot of research on the time and place were already done.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
Halle Berry would play Grace. Djimon Hounsou would play Cabeto.

What are you working on now or going to write next?
I’m working under contract on another fiction trilogy, this one set in India (Blessings in India). If follows two families through three generations, one of the untouchable caste and the other high caste nominal Christians who own them.

How can readers get in contact with you?
Through my website: http://www.kaystrom.com/

What are you currently reading?
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. She’s a great writer of historical fiction!

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I have a cross tattooed on my wrist. It is a sign of unity with the persecuted Christians in Egypt.

What is/was this book’s release date?
The Call of Zulina was released August 2009.
Book 2, The Voyage of Promise, will be out August 2010.
Book 3, The Triumph of Grace, will be out Spring 2011.

~~~~~
**USA residents only, please**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of The Call of Zulina!


TO ENTER:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment.


*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

+2 Read and leave a comment on one of my recent book reviews.

**You can earn a total of 4 entries if you do all of the above requirements. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (April 2) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (April 8). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 9th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Week's Winners!

Winners:
Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter--
Katie (kateh12783@...)









The Summer Kitchen by Lisa Wingate--
Trinity Rose (wandaelaine@...)









Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith--
Judylynn (seizethebookblog@...)