Monday, September 22, 2014

Hidden in the Stars - Giveaway!

I was so excited about Robin Caroll's new book that I inadvertently signed up for two blog tours! I'm giving away the second book, so be sure to read all the way to the end of the post and comment for your chance to win!


Hidden in the Stars
Robin Caroll
(Abingdon Press)
ISBN: 978-1426773600
September 2014/224 pages/$13.99

A quilt holds the secret to a killer still at large—and who his next victim will be.

Following an attack that killed her mother and stole her ability to speak, 21‑year‑old Sophia Montgomery has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s offer to return to their family home. Although detective Julian Frazier is working hard on the case, Sophia unknowingly frustrates him because her inability to speak thwarts her eyewitness evidence. The fact that Julian is undeniably attracted to Sophia doesn’t help either, so Julian hides his feelings as concern for a trauma victim and focuses instead on finding the killer.

Little do they know, the clues to solving the case may be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s “special” quilt design. Who will realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer—still at large—silence her forever?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Caroll is the author of 22 published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of 20‑plus years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character‑filled pets at home in Little Rock, Arkansas. She gives back to the writing community by serving as conference director for ACFW. Her books have been named finalists in such contests as the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

Find out more about Robin at http://www.robincaroll.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

MY THOUGHTS

Robin Caroll is one of my favorite suspense authors so I was excited to discover she was writing one of Abingdon's Quilts of Love novels. Hidden in the Stars is a little different from her usual books but just as captivating. The brutal attack that destroyed Sophia's gymnastic career in addition to taking her mother's life broke my heart and immediately endeared her to me. Caroll's skill at crafting stories with multiple layers is evident as Sophia confronts surprising and difficult revelations about family relationships, recounts painful memories of the attack to the detective with the assistance of a lip reader, and wrestles with her feelings for Julian as well as her grief. Another can't-put-down book from this talented author!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced copy of this book free from Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Don't miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll. September's QOL release is a wonderful combination of mystery, romance, and family love bound together by a quilt and the story it tells.

Hidden in the Stars Robin Carroll Quilts of Love

Enter to win a "Night on the Town" (a $200 Visa cash card!) and RSVP for the "Fall into Fall" Quilts of Love Facebook party on 10/7.

One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card (The perfect accessory for a "night on the town"!)
  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 7. Winner will be announced at the October 7th author chat party with Amber Stockton and Robin Caroll! RSVP for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends
about the giveaway via 
FACEBOOK or TWITTER
and increase your chances of winning.
Hope to see you on October 7th!



GIVEAWAY
I have an additional copy of this book that I am giving away to one of you! To enter, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Sunday, 9/28/14, and I will randomly choose a winner. Continental US residents only. You must include an email address. Void where prohibited.


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Snapshot


Snapshot
Lis Wiehl
(Thomas Nelson)
ISBN: 978-1401689520
January 2014/320 pages/Hardcover/$26.99
October 2014/320 pages/Paperback/$16.99
Also available now on Kindle, Nook, and iBook.


Two little girls, frozen in black and white. One picture worth killing for.

Federal prosecutor Lisa Waldren’s estranged father wants her to investigate a cold case from his FBI days. Lisa nearly refuses, even though a wrongly convicted man faces execution for murder. Then her father reveals a photograph: a little white girl playing alongside a little black girl at a rally in 1965 where the shooting of a civil rights leader took place. She recognizes herself in the photo.

She was there.

Lisa agrees to help, resolved to boldly seek answers she’s skirted for decades. What she discovers are layers of deception, both personal and professional, reaching as high as the head of the FBI. Possibly even the president.

And though Lisa and the other girl may have escaped the 1965 shooting physically unharmed, her little friend, now grown, bears the scars of it. All because of the color of her skin. As Lisa and her father get closer to the truth, the real killer turns the hunt around.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lis Wiehl is a New York Times best-selling novelist, Harvard Law School graduate, and former federal prosecutor. A popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel, Wiehl appears weekly on The O’Reilly Factor, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Imus in the Morning, Kelly's Court, and more. Snapshot was inspired by historical events and an actual photograph of the author. Visit her website at www.liswiehlbooks.com Twitter: @LisWiehl Facebook: LisWiehl


MY THOUGHTS

Lis Wiehl became one of my must-read authors when she released her first series, the Triple Threat Club, so when I had an Amazon gift card earlier this year, I snagged this book. It's been not-so-patiently sitting on my TBR pile waiting for a gap in my review pile, and once I opened it earlier this week, I couldn't put it down. Because I was also a four-year-old girl in Texas in 1965, I was immediately drawn into the story, which was birthed from the photo on the book's cover, a photo of the author herself. Wiehl has crafted a story which, although fiction, rings with truth as it probes the past and exposes the fall-out of attitudes and choices made decades before. Beyond race relations, assassinations, and cover-ups, this is also a tale of family relationships, of a dad and his daughter tentatively bridging the gap that too many years has widened. Expertly pacing the story, Wiehl escalates the tension and suspense to a dramatic and surprising conclusion, making this book impossible to put down. I highly recommend this novel. Grab it now or when the paperback version comes out in a few weeks, but don't miss Snapshot!




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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Love's Fortune


Love's Fortune
(The Ballantyne Legacy)
Laura Frantz
(Revell)
ISBN: 978-0800720438
September 2014/400 pages/$14.99


With two very different horizons stretched out before her, one young woman stands on the cusp of an unknown future.

Sheltered since birth at her Kentucky home, Rowena "Wren" Ballantyne has heard only whispered rumors of her grandfather Silas's vast fortune and grand manor in Pennsylvania. When her father receives a rare letter summoning him to New Hope, Wren makes the journey with him and quickly finds herself in a whole new world--family members she's never met, dances she's never learned, and a new side to the father she thought she knew.

As she struggles to fit in during their extended stay, she finds a friend in James Sackett, the most valued steamship pilot of the Ballantynes' shipping line. Even with his help, Wren feels she may never be comfortable in high society. Will she go her own way . . . to her peril?

With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, Laura Frantz brings 1850s Pennsylvania alive with a tender story of loss, love, and loyalty.

Read an excerpt.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the author of several books, including The Frontiersman's Daughter, Love's Reckoning, and Love's Awakening. She currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.

MY THOUGHTS

Laura Frantz swept me away with her third novel of The Ballantyne Legacy series. I had not read either of the first two books but Love's Fortune easily reads as a standalone. However, it did make me want to go back and find the first two books to learn more about this intriguing clan. Wren and James are both likable characters, and the culture shock Wren experiences as she is plucked from her provincial life in Kentucky and surrounded by the whirlwind and upscale society of her Pennsylvania relatives garnered my sympathy. Authentic, well-researched aspects of mid-nineteenth century Pittsburgh and a well-crafted story combine to produce an engaging novel. Add Love's Fortune to your fall reading list!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Baker/Revell Publishing as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Lying in bed and remembering I'd forgotten to do my Hodgepodge post means coming up with answers first thing in the morning. Definitely a challenge as I'm still drinking my coffee!

And Happy Birthday to our Hodgepodge leader, Joyce!

1. I'm celebrating a birthday this week so a question relating to aging feels appropriate. Douglas MacArthur is quoted as saying, 'You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair." Would you agree? If not why not?

I'd probably disagree. For one, I think self-confidence comes with maturity and age.

2. What remarkable feat, interesting piece of trivia, or historical event occurred on your birth day and month? Not necessarily in your birthyear, just the same date/same month.

August 4 was quite an arresting day. Lizzie Borden was arrested for the ax murder of her parents. And Anne Frank was arrested.

3. Describe a time or circumstance where you wanted to 'have your cake and eat it too.'

4. What's something you do that makes you feel young? Something that makes you feel old?

It's not something I do, but my kids ages make me feel young. Marrying and having kids late helps me ignore the fact that I could really easily have a grandchild in upper elementary school.

But then I go to work for a 12-hour shift and feel every single one of my years. That definitely makes me feel old!

5. When did you last do something that was 'a piece of cake'?

Made my son's birthday cake. Both in the literal and figurative sense!

6. Beef, wine, and cheese all improve with age. What's something else you'd add to that list? (not necessarily food or beverage)

True friendships.

7. If I were to have a giveaway when we hit Volume 200, what should I give away? By my calculations we'll hit Volume 200 on November 26th, the day before Thanksgiving, which means whoever wins would have whatever it is in time for Christmas.

Why, a hodgepodge of things, of course! A Starbucks $5 gift card, an ornament, a Christmas coaster, a Christmas book, a bookmark, etc. You could do several things that wouldn't add up to much money.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Saw this yesterday and didn't know whether to laugh or cry. You don't have to read the article. Just click the link to see the picture where the news video froze. (I couldn't find an image to post.) Things like this definitely make me feel old!

http://abc13.com/309968/



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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tried and True


Tried and True
Wild at Heart (Book 1)
Mary Connealy
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-0764211782
September 2014/320 pages/$14.99

Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister–and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk–they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”–but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Connealy writes fun and lively “romantic comedy with cowboys” for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Kincaid Brides, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie’s Daughters series, and she has been a finalist for a Rita and Christy Award and a two time winner of the Carol Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Find out more about Mary at http://maryconnealy.com/.


MY THOUGHTS

I know I'm always in for a rollickin' good time with a book by Mary Connealy and Tried and True is her best yet! It's always fun when women pretend to be men in the the rugged West, and Connealy's trademark style of writing and humor give this novel plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. There's nothing to laugh at when she tosses in a bit of danger and suspense, however, or when the real reason beneath Kylie and her sisters' disguises comes to light. I just couldn't bear to put this one down and stayed up way into the night until I finished. I'm already looking forward to Shannon and Bailey's stories!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House and Litfuse Publicity Group as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Don't miss the first book in Mary Connealy's Wild at Heart series. In Tried & True, Mary is back with her signature humor and heartfelt story-telling.


Mary's celebrating by connecting with readers during a live webcast event and giving away a Kindle HDX.

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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Tried & True by Mary Connealy
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 23rd. Winner will be announced at the Tried & True LIVE webcast event on September 23rd. Connect with Mary for an evening of swoon-worthy book chat, fun trivia, laughter, a sneak peek at the next book in the Wild at Heart series, and more! Mary will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Tried & True and join Mary and friends on the evening of September 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via 
FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.
Hope to see you on the 23rd!





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Monday, September 15, 2014

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm


Christmas at Rose Hill Farm:
Am Amish Love Story

Suzanne Woods Fisher
(Revell)
ISBN: 978-0800721930
September 2014/240 pages/Hardcover/$15.99


Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn’t who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It’s time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy’s cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos’s wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can’t forget Billy.

When a “lost” rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That’s his plan. The only catch is that he’s having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can’t get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.

As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy–and Amos, too–that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including “Amish Peace.” She is also the coauthor of an Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @suzannewfisher. Get Amish proverbs delivered right to your mobile device! Download the Free App! http://bit.ly/10Tygyi


MY THOUGHTS

I am not a huge fan of Amish fiction per se but there a few authors whose Amish novels I always read, and Suzanne Woods Fisher is one of them. She has released another delightful tale with Christmas at Rose Hill Farm. The characters and plot are engaging, and the details about the roses were fascinating. Like a rose carefully cultivated which blossoms at just the right time, this story and the relationship between Bess and Billy unfold under Fisher's masterful and creative hand. Bring in the season early with Christmas at Rose Hill Farm!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Baker/Revell Publishing and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Join best-selling, award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher for an Amish Christmas to remember. Filled with heart-twisting moments amid the sweet anticipation of love, Christmas at Rose Hill Farm will charm readers into the holiday spirit.



Suzanne is hosting a "Christmas Rose" iPad bundle giveaway and a nation-wide Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch in November. Enter the giveaway below and sign up to host a brunch HERE.

rosehill-400-click 

TWO grand prize winners will receive:
  • An iPad
  • A Rose-patterned iPad case
  • A Rose-patterned phone case (for any model phone)
  • A Christmas wreath
  • A set of Christmas hand-towels
  • Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Five second place winners will receive:
  • Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 28th. All winners will be announced September 29th at Suzanne's blog.

rosehill-brunchbuttonHost a Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch! This fall Suzanne is inviting book clubs across the nation to throw a Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch. Sign up here between now and September 29. If you’re selected as one of the 50 hosts, you’ll receive a copy of the book plus two other Revell titles (give them away as party prizes or door prizes or keep them for yourself), a complete party kit, and a discount code to purchase copies of Christmas at Rose Hill Farm for your book club at a discount. Suzanne is also encouraging each book club brunch to collect non-perishable items for their local community shelter. She will be making a donation to her favorite charity (helping abused women and children) for every brunch that meets their goal. Click here for more details and to SIGN UP!

Don't miss a moment of the fun;
enter today and be sure to visit Suzanne's blog on the 29th to see if you won
one of the great prizes!
(Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement
delivered to your inbox!)







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Friday, September 12, 2014

Hawk - Coming Soon!


Hawk
The Quiet Professionals (Book 2)
Ronie Kendig
Shiloh Run Press
ISBN: 978-1624163180
November 2014/368 pages/$13.99

Raptor’s communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe is struggling with his inner demons, leaving him on the verge of an “other than honorable” discharge. Plagued with corrupted intel, Raptor team continues to track down the terrorist playing chess with their lives. Afghan pilot Fekiria Haidary is devastated when a systems glitch on her aircraft forces a weapons launch on a safe target. And when the deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make an impossible choice: save his brothers-in-arms, or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with their four children, a Maltese Menace, and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. As an author and speaker, Ronie loves engaging readers through her Rapid-Fire Fiction. Ronie can be found at www.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction), Twitter (@roniekendig), and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/RonieK).


MY THOUGHTS

Hooah! Ronie Kendig's second installment in her Quiet Professional series is coming soon! And just like its predecessor, Raptor 6 (which I reviewed here), this one will knock you off your feet and into your chair for the duration! In her inimitable Rapid-Fire style, Kendig packs each page with action and adrenaline. At times, it's hard to tell if Hawk is in more danger from whizzing bullets and RPG's (rocket powered grenades) or from himself...or the echoes of the past which haunt him. Not to mention the whole friend-or-foe conundrum that plagues him, Fekiria, and just about every other person in this riveting book. Kendig's expert character development and depiction of setting give a raw authenticity to this tale that transports the reader into its pages as Hawk and Fekiria battle the enemy, each other, and the elements. (Suffering vicariously through the snowstorm was a challenge as I read in the Texas summer heat; good luck staying warm when this book releases in November! LOL) In addition to being a gripping read, Hawk gives you a brand-new appreciation for the courage, strength, and stamina of our military heroes who risk their lives on a daily basis for us. I highly, highly recommend this book and series and can't wait for Falcon to be released in the spring!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced PDF of this book from Ronie Kendig and Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Feast for Thieves - with a Giveaway!

Update Friday 9/19/14 WINNER!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
2
Timestamp: 2014-09-19 14:28:31 UTC

Congrats to Pam K! Send me your email address, Pam, and the publicist will mail you the book. Please respond by 11:59 pm CDT Monday (11/22/14) or another winner will be chosen. Many thanks to everyone for entering!

* * * * *


Feast for Thieves:
A Rowdy Slater Novel

Marcus Brotherton
(Moody/River North Fiction)
ISBN: 978-0802412133
September 2014/288 pages/$14.99


Sergeant Rowdy Slater is the most skilled—and most incorrigible—soldier in Dog Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, an elite group of paratroopers fighting for the world’s freedom in World War II.

Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find—preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.

The town’s lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye’s new minister or end up in jail.

At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he’s taking over for a young female missionary who’s held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy’s past shows up with an evil plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.

Rowdy’s a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend’s evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling?

This is a wild ride of a book bursting with bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marcus Brotherton is a journalist and professional writer known internationally for his books and literary collaborations with high-profile public figures, humanitarians, inspirational leaders, and military personnel. He has authored or coauthored more than 25 books.

Notable works include We Who Are Alive and Remain, a New York Times bestseller; A Company of Heroes, which ranked No. 1 in the country among World War II/ Western Front books; and the widely-acclaimed Shifty’s War. Marcus’ debut novel, Feast For Thieves, releases in September 2014.

Marcus’ books have been praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Entertainment Weekly, Associated Press, Booklist, Publishers Weekly and more. Critics have called Marcus’s books “… fascinating…” “…brilliantly arranged …” “…magical…” and “… refreshingly frank….”

He has been interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC World Today, HuffPost Live, and The John Batchelor Show, and was featured in the documentary film A Company of Heroes, which aired on PBS stations around the country.

Collaborative works include projects with Lt. Buck Compton (one of the original Band of Brothers), apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias, NFL quarterback Colt McCoy, psychologist Dr. Nancy Heche, fashion journalist Lauren Scruggs, Austin Stone pastor Matt Carter, Bronze Star winner Colonel Susan Luz, Alabama restaurateur Martha Hawkins, humanitarian Susan Scott Krabacher, speaker Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, youth ministry expert Doug Fields, radio show host Steven Arterburn, First Place weight loss program CEO Carole Lewis, musician Tommy Walker, youth speaker Ryan Dobson, university chancellor Rev. Wayne Cordeiro, and more.

Born in Canada in 1968, Marcus earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical education and journalism from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, and a master’s degree in practical theology and writing from Talbot Seminary at Biola University in Los Angeles, where he graduated with high honors.

Marcus lives with his wife and children in Washington State.


WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING:


“This debut historical novel from Brotherton, who has written many nonfiction titles about war veterans (We Who Are Alive and Remain), was inspired by the true story of a paratrooper named Wayne ‘Skinny’ Sisk in Easy Company, featured in the book Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. An ‘incorrigible’ man, Rowdy Slater, becomes a preacher after the war. His first sermon is a disaster, but one line summarizes his insight: ‘If God could care for a ruffian like Cain, even with everywhere he’d been and with all the wrong he’d done, then I reckon God could care for someone like me.’ Rowdy’s story unfolds with satisfying unpredictability, offering plot twists that would be unbelievable if not for strong motivations that encourage suspension of disbelief. The two loves of Rowdy’s life are one of many surprises. Dialogue is colloquial and historically rooted, as in Twain’s Huck Finn. The short novel is packed with action, intrigue, and scoundrels who have Rowdy over a barrel. Readers will want to find out exactly how the unlikely hero is going to escape yet another predicament.” —Publishers Weekly


“Highly recommended! A hard-edged and well-crafted novel, with surreptitiously smart prose, confident plotting, and characters you feel you know.” —Michelle Burford, founding senior features editor of O, the Oprah Magazine


Feast for Thieves is smart, gritty, and unforgettable. Filled with calamity and humor, this book is a hands-down winner. It’s about time veteran writer Marcus Brotherton added his powerful voice to fiction. His writing voice is superb.” —Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Book of Mortals series.


“An exhilarating story told in a neo-Western genre, of all things. Masterful and riveting, humorous yet poignant. Anyone who enjoys books by Ted Dekker, Randy Alcorn, or Leif Enger will enjoy every story woven by Marcus Brotherton. This unique and page-turning adventure will harvest a whole new fold of fans.” —Julie Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of Into the Free


“Part Band of Brothers, part True Grit, this is the rollicking tale of a wartime hero’s fight to find his place in a post-war world. Rich with action, Feast for Thieves is cinematic storytelling at its best.” —Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call


MY THOUGHTS

This is a captivating novel, and I was intrigued by the premise. Rusty's experiences as he begins pastoring the tiny church of Cut Eye, Texas are both amusing and refreshing, as he is unmitigatedly honest (about everything but his past, that is!) and down to earth. Eclectic characters bring the setting to life and Rusty's authenticity provide a fresh perspective of God's grace and forgiveness. Danger, action, and life-threatening suspense escalate the tension as the book progresses. My one disappointment came with the final scene. It was a bit too obtuse for me and didn't clearly tie up the final dangling thread. While not a deal-breaker on recommending the book, it nevertheless jarred me and left me feeling rather unsettled instead of content. (It may be that I just like things clearly spelled out; others who like things left to the imagination won't be bothered at all.) Beyond that, I am happy to recommend Feast of Thieves for an riveting read.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Moody/River North Fiction and Side Door Communications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



GIVEAWAY!!

The publicist, Side Door Communications, is offering a copy of this book to one of my readers. To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 PM CDT Wednesday, 9/17/14, and I will randomly draw a winner. You must include an email address to enter. US residents only, please. Void where prohibited.



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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nowhere to Turn and Interview with Lynette Eason

I am completely addicted to Lynette Eason's books. I generally read them in one sitting because I just can't put them down! I met her in person at ICRS in 2013 and was thrilled to have some time to reconnect with her back in June at this year's show. Read about her latest and newly released novel, then get to know her better with my interview.

Nowhere to Turn
(Hidden Identity, Book Two)
Lynette Eason
(Revell)
ISBN: 978-0800722098
August 2014/320 pages/$14.99

The day Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son and flees from her abusive husband is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe--but in reality, things are just heating up. When Kurt was alive, he took something important from a mysterious individual--who wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long . . .

From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold you in its iron grip as bestselling author Lynette Eason propels you along in a race to discover the truth.

Read an excerpt.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

MY THOUGHTS

Ooh, I love me a Lynette Eason book! I know not to start reading unless I have several hours free because I generally read her books without stopping. Nowhere to Turn grabbed me from the opening scene (my heart was pounding by the end of page two!) and the action and suspense only escalated from there. Eason is a pro at pacing the action; actually, she hardly slows down! The combination of unrelenting action plus excruciatingly fleshed-out scenes of terror and suspense kept me glued to my chair. There is Nowhere to Turn but another page when you are reading this spine-tingling novel! Don't miss it!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Baker/Revell Publishing as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Tell me what's going on with you. Your most recent release is No One to Trust, which I absolutely loved, as I do all your books!

Yes, that came out in January, and the second one [in the series] comes out in September, and the third one comes out early next year. Then I will start a new series, which will be about female bodyguards.

What is the September release about?

It's called Nowhere to Turn. It's about a woman on the run from a stalker, her brother-in-law, who has decided he wants her now that her husband is dead. She gets help from Operation Refuge, which was introduced in No One to Trust. However, there's an underlying reason her brother-in-law needs to find her, and that is because people are after him. There are a lot of subplots and layers. It's more than just a simple stalker story. Other things are happening behind the scenes. Since it's part of the Hidden Identities series, people are disguised, but they keep being found. And the heroine's son is deaf, which factors into the story. He's a brilliant kid and is somewhat based on my own son, who isn't deaf but is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids. It's a cool story and I like it!

Oh, I can't wait to read it! Does the third book have a title yet?

Yes, it was just titled recently and is called No Place to Hide.

That sounds intriguing! Of course, I love all your books. You write such tight suspense and keep me glued to the page. Most of the time I read them in one sitting because I can't put them down! Where do you come up with all of these bizarre ideas?

(She laughs.) I get asked that question a lot and to me, everything is a story. I can look out this window and make a story out of that window over there. I get ideas from newspaper articles or headlines. Watching CNN or Fox News, of course, gives me a plethora of ideas! I don't know – everything I see is a story. I see killers everywhere!

Do you ever scare yourself?

No, I actually laugh at myself because of the way my brain works. I can write late at night, all by myself, about scary stalker stuff and people breaking in houses without any problem. But to read someone else's story? That scares me! I can't read it at night, but I can write my own because I'm in control. I know what's going to happen so I don't have to worry about it.

You don't get nervous if you hear a creak when you are writing.

Not when I'm writing. But when I read someone else's story, I might!

I know you and some of the other ACFW suspense writers, as well as secular authors, go to an event called Writers' Police Academy. What is that?

The Writers' Police Academy is held this year on September 4-7 in Jamestown, North Carolina on the campus of one of the technical colleges where they train police officers, firefighters, and EMTs, so they have all of the equipment there. They bring in every area of law enforcement you can imagine: ATF, homicide detectives who talk about working the streets of New York, forensics experts, canine demonstrations. One year they set off a bomb in the parking lot! They had the robots and the bomb squad work the whole scene. They set up scenarios and actual law enforcement officers show authors how they would deal with it if it were a real situation. We just take notes and try to process everything like crazy so that things will be accurate in our stories. It's a really cool experience. Everyone is so nice and helpful. They want our stories to be right. They want to be represented correctly and well in our stories. It's definitely a secular conference but a bunch of ACFW authors go and we enjoy being there together.

Have you ever asked them a question where they've said they couldn't divulge the answer?

No. A Secret Service agent was there and you could tell he was careful about what he said, but it wasn't like, "If I tell you this, I'm going to have to kill you!"

Have you ever done the Citizen's Police Academy in your city?

I want to do that, but it's never worked out with my schedule. I hope I can do it at some point.

You said you have another contract after this series?

Yes, they haven't named it yet so I'm just calling it the Bodyguards series. It's about four female bodyguards who meet in training. There is a real female bodyguard school in Athens, Greece.

Ooh! Research trip?!

I'm trying to! I'm hoping that will happen in April. My husband and I are still talking about it and looking at finances. I have the dates on the calendar that I want to go. It's called the Athena Academy, and it's just for females. They have a branch in Dallas so if I can't go to Greece, I'll probably go visit the one in Dallas.

So these four friends meet and come back to the United States to open their own bodyguard business, and each one has her own story. I had written the proposal, originally, for three books and the publisher asked me to add a fourth one. That was pretty cool. They want a Lynette Eason book to come out every January and August, with a new series starting in January. I wrote the first paragraph for the first book the other day. It's really exciting to start a new series!

What do you like to do when you're not writing? Besides juggling a busy life!

Yeah, I have kids and I home school and teach online! I try to read sometimes. You know, writing is relaxing for me. Even though it's stressful to meet deadlines. If I find myself with some downtime, I generally just start writing. I'm pretty uninteresting! I used to be really involved in sports and ice skating and scrapbooking, and that stuff just bores me now. I'd rather write! So writing is my hobby!

What is the most unusual thing that has happened to you related to your writing?

I haven't had much, in spite of the genre I write. I did visit the morgue. Now all the HIPPA regulations make it harder to do that. But my mother-in-law was a hospital nurse before she retired and she was good friends with the morgue technician. The technician took me on a tour of the morgue and pulled out an unidentified John Doe that they had, only he was just bones. She showed me how they identify different things, such as age, and how they know it's a male, medical stuff. (I found out later they did identify him.) Then she put him away and got a call that they were bringing in two car wreck victims. And she knew one of them. It was an older lady who had been a nurse at the hospital who had been hit by a drunk driver and been killed instantly. It was awful but it was interesting, too, if you can remove yourself from the emotional aspect of it, to see what she had to do to prepare for them to come in. She also showed me all the autopsy stuff and explained how she used the saw and opened up people's heads. It sounds so sick but it was really interesting! That's probably the most bizarre thing I've done.

I think that's fascinating but of course, I'm a nurse! I hope we haven't scared off any readers!

That's true, that you would get the whole autopsy thing. I really like medicine. I went into education but then decided I didn't want to teach other people's kids. I got tired of dealing with behavior issues. If I had it to do over, I'd probably go into medicine. I think it's fascinating. I guess that's why I write about it so much. Medicine or law enforcement. Although I don't think I'm brave enough to go into law enforcement. When I saw the bad guys, I'd probably just run!

Oh I would, too! Well, this has been such fun! Thank you so much!










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Monday, September 8, 2014

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes


All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes
Betsy St. Amant
(Zondervan)
ISBN: 978-0310338451
September 2014/320 pages

Kat inspected rows of the same old cupcakes. They seemed to blink back at her, as if they knew she was capable of so much more.

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God’s grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Find out more about Betsy at her website and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


MY THOUGHTS

What a delightfully fun novel! I know this is geared for the YA crowd, of which I haven't been a part for a few years, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Betsy St. Amant has created a tale as delectable as the cupcakes that Kat creates and fortunately, consuming this story is calorie-free! Both Kat and Lucas are endearing characters. Their relationship and Kat's longing to do more than at her aunt's basic bakery provide the basis for a great story, and St. Amant takes it to the next level by adding the high stakes of a reality cooking show contest, complete with its own on- and off-camera drama. I alternately laughed and gasped, all while inhaling the flavorful aromas that I was certain were wafting off the rapidly turning pages! You'll definitely want to grab a copy of this book, and I highly recommend eating a cupcake while you read it!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Zondervan and Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Don't miss Betsy St. Amant's latest fiction release, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes. A "sweet" tale of two best friends and the choices they make between dreams and a possible "sure thing," St. Amant's novel is sure to satisfy your romantic-fiction craving.

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Betsy is celebrating with a fun Kindle giveaway and a Love & Cupcakes Facebook party!
One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle
  • All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Love & Cupcakes" Author Chat Party on 9/18. Betsy will be hosting a "sweet" book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at her next book project!


So grab your copy of All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes and join Betsy on the evening of September 18th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today. Tell your friends via 
FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.
Hope to see you on the 18th!














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Friday, September 5, 2014

Gina Holmes Shares About Her Latest Book

Yesterday I told you about Gina Holmes's new release, Driftwood Tides. Today I'm happy to share a conversation with Gina about this new novel.

Please welcome novelist Gina Holmes. Gina is the founder of popular literary site, novelrocket.com. She is a two-time Christy and ECPA Book of the Year finalist and winner of the INSPY, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award. Her books regularly appear on Christian bestseller lists.

Gina, tell us a little bit about your newest release, Driftwood Tides.

Driftwood Tides tells the story of an aging, alcoholic driftwood artist turned beach bum, Holton Creary, and young Libby Slater. Libby grew up with an absent father and a loving but cold, socialite mother. Leading up to her wedding, Libby and her groom-to-be go through genetic testing and she learns her blood type doesn’t match either of her parents. She confronts her mother and is reluctantly told that she’s adopted. She goes searching for her mother, Adele, only to find her husband, Holton Creary lying face down on the carpet of his Nags Head beach shack.

She lies about her real identity until she is finally found out. Holton does not welcome the news. He never knew the wife he had given saint status too had given up a daughter for adoption. Together the two search to find the truth about Adele, Libby’s father and themselves.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

At its heart, Driftwood Tides is really about discovering who we are, whose we are, where we belong and the need to accept and bestow forgiveness.

Why did you set the novel in Nags Head?

Oh, how I love that place! I’m not sure there’s a more peaceful setting in all the world. And the further out I get from civilization, the happier I am. I love the sand dunes, the untouched nature, the quaint towns. Just everything! (Well, except sand in my bathing suit maybe. :-))

You seem to have a recurring theme in your novels about absent fathers, if it’s not too personal, why do you think that is?

It is too personal, but I don’t mind answering (wink!) When I was 6 years old, I was packed up by my stepfather and driven to my father’s house. Overnight I had a new Mom, new sisters and brother, house and life. It was as traumatic an experience as I can imagine. There were few explanations that made sense to me and I missed my other family desperately. I think ever since I’ve been trying to settle some pretty deep-seated questions. Writing books is wonderful for that.

The novel you’ve written that seems to be a fan-favorite is Crossing Oceans, do you ever see yourself writing a sequel?

I love that book too. Makes me cry just thinking about certain scenes. I would love to write a sequel, prequel or off shoot stories. I love those characters dearly. I’m under contract for three different novels, so I’m not sure when I’ll have the time, but I’d love to explore Craig’s story and of course, Bella’s. I miss Mama Peg very much!

You’ve said that your favorite novel you’ve written is Wings of Glass. Why is that your favorite?

Well, for storyline, I think Crossing Oceans is the strongest. I think my writing in Wings of Glass was my best, plus when I was very young I watched my mother in one abusive relationship after another, and then two of my sisters. I had been there too, despite thinking I was better than that. I know the mindset that keeps a woman (or man) in a relationship like that and I wanted to give insight to those who don’t understand. I’ve received enough letters to know I did what I set out to do.

You’re originally from NJ but write all your novels from the South, why do you set your novels down South if you’re from up North?

Ha, you found me out! Yes, I was born and raised in NJ. As much as I love my friends and family, I am definitely more suited for the slower pace of the South. I’ve lived in Southern VA for half of my life and I plan to spend the rest of my life here if I can help it. I try to write books from settings that make me happy. So I write where I want to be. (Although, I’ve got to say, NJ food is amazing and you’ve got to love a boisterous NJ laugh!)

What do you like most about being a writer? Least?

Most, I like being able to have a platform to share lessons I’ve learned in my life that I know others would benefit from. And more than that, I just love to tell a good story.

Least, would be the unpredictability of the business. Sometimes it seems so random and the lack of control makes me uncomfortable sometimes. (Which is probably right where God wants me!)

Do you have any advice for aspiring novelists?

My advice is pretty much always the same. 1. Write. So many people want to have written but don’t actually do the work. 2. Get to a writers conference because there’s so much you don’t know, that you don’t even know you don’t know. If you don’t you’ll be spinning your wheels for years, wasting valuable time. 3. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore and buy yourself a copy of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Then apply it. (Best money I ever spent!) 4. Join a good critique group and get a nice thick skin, ‘cause you’re sure going to need it!

If you could go back to the pre-published writer you were, knowing what you do now, what advice would you give her?

Well, I wouldn’t have told myself how many novels I’d write that would never see the light of day, because I would have given up. I wouldn’t have told myself how little money there is actually to be made or how lonely writing can sometimes be. I wouldn’t have told myself that I’d still have a day job with 4 novels out in stores, including 3 bestselling novels… okay, but that wasn’t your question… I would tell myself to relax. Some of this, most of this is, is out of your hands, and that’s okay. It’s not going to be at all what you think it is, but it’s going to be so much more. You won’t get rich, but you will touch lives. At the end of the day, that’s going to be exactly what will fulfill you.

Where can readers find your books and more about you?

Thanks for asking. My books are in B&N, BooksaMillion, Amazon, Lifeway, Parable, Family Christian and hopefully a good number of independent bookstores. You can find me at Ginaholmes.com. Thanks so much for hosting me!




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