Thursday, October 31, 2013


(Where the Heart Lives)
Robin Lee Hatcher
ISBN: 978-0310257776
September 2013/304 pages/$14.99

Diana is ready to begin a new chapter in her life—until the husband she believed dead reappears at her engagement party.

Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word from him in years, Diana’s infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.

But when Tyson returns, claiming to be a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom.

He agrees with one condition—she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.


Robin is the author of 65+ novels and novellas. Her home is in Idaho, where she spends her time writing stories of faith, courage, and love; pondering the things of God; and loving her family and friends.
Find out more about Robin Lee at and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


I loved the first two books in this series (my double review is here) but I think this one may be my favorite. The drama of this historical romance quickly unfolds with an engagement party interrupted by none other than the very-much-alive husband of the shocked no-longer-fiancee-to-be! Hatcher creates memorable and engaging characters in this engrossing tale of second chances, forgiveness, and softening hearts awakened by love. Multiple layers and subplots enhanced by enjoyment of this pleasurable read. This is a must-have for your fall reading list.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Zondervan & 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.”

Robin Lee Hatcher is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Belovedwith an iPad Mini giveaway! 

One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 15th. Winner will be announced November 16th at Robin's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Robin's blog on the 16th to see if you won.
(Or, better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement
delivered to your inbox!)


View blog reactions

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Spooky Hodgepodge

1. What's something you're dealing with that might be described as tricky?

What we've been doing in our house for the past week or so: putting in flooring and getting some of our carpets restretched. There are only so many places you can put furniture (and books out of bookcases, etc.!) when almost every room is impacted. I've been wishing Mary Poppins would show up and just levitate everything up to the ceiling for a bit!

2. What's your treat of choice?

Dark-chocolate covered almonds. Or homemade chocolate chip & pecan cookies.

3. Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional 'Jack' would you most like to meet in person? Why?

No jack-o-lanterns for me. I did it once, and cleaning out that slimy pumpkin wasn't worth the hassle! LOL

I googled the name Jack and didn't find anyone that I particularly want to meet.

4. In your opinion, what's the grossest sounding word in the English language?


5. When did your heart last skip a beat?

Probably while I was writing this. One of the joys of having a heart murmur!

6. Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Picket, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, or Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters...your favorite 'scary' tune?

None of those. I love this and don't think of it as scary, but it does work for a great scary tune: Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

7. It was a dark and stormy night when______________________________.

. . .the electricity went out in the middle of a thunderstorm.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have always loved poetry. One of my favorites for this time of year is Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley.

The Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you


View blog reactions

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Join Barry Tutor, author of the Alzheimer’s/Caregiver book, Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To, as he tours the blogosphere October 21 – November 1 on his first book blast with Pump Up Your Book! He will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form on the participating blogs and good luck!


Like most, I knew about Alzheimer’s disease. It causes old people to forget. When my relationship with this disease began, it highlighted how little I knew. Following my widowed mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I researched this disease to gain insight about my new role as her caregiver and decision maker. What I learned and experienced during her affliction still left me somewhat unprepared for what was yet to come. Sixteen months following my mother’s diagnosis, my dear wife and best friend was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Though now I was familiar with this silent killer, my wife’s diagnosis set into motion many changes and challenges in our lives. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every sixty-eight seconds. Currently, Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the top-ten causes of death that is on the increase and has no means of prevention and no possible cure. Given these facts, support for those afflicted relies on increasing levels of caregiving as the disease progresses. Let me explain something about this “old folk’s disease.” Alzheimer’s affects more than just parents and grandparents. It is also the disease of siblings, spouses, and children. Alzheimer’s forces many families to decide between home versus institutional care. An estimated fifteen million caregivers provide some level of care to the Alzheimer’s victims still living at home. No matter what level of care you are providing, the importance of preparation is paramount. Arming yourself with knowledge begins that preparation process. I was unprepared for the roller-coaster ride my life became as the sole caregiver for two Alzheimer’s victims. To meet their varied challenges, I adapted and developed multiple techniques for targeted personalized care. If only I knew then what I know now. By sharing my knowledge and experience, I hope to better prepare you for your caregiving journey.

Read a preview.

Available through Trafford Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I have not read this book and therefore do not have an opinion on it. The views expressed within the book do not necessarily represent the views of Mocha with Linda. This post should not be construed as an endorsement.


View blog reactions

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Talent for Trouble

A Talent for Trouble
Jen Turano
(Bethany House)
October 2013/352 pages/$14.99

For years, Miss Felicia Murdock's every thought and action have been in pursuit of becoming a minister's wife. When the minister she'd set her sights on has other ideas, she decides something in her life needs to change--and soon--before she wastes any more time pretending to be someone she's not. If that means spreading her wings and embracing a more lively way of life, who's to say nay?

Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton, has had more than enough of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a respectable New York gentleman. Prompted by some friends to lift the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter an adventurous young lady with an unfortunate knack for stumbling into troublesome situations.

Just as Grayson decides he's had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in Felicia's life endangers her. As they work together to extricate themselves from this latest complication, will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping one another out of trouble?


Jen Turano, author of A Change of Fortune, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, and A Talent for Trouble, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at


Jen Turano's books are such a delight to read! I fell in love with her writing with her debut novel, A Change of Fortune, and she's remained a must-read author for me. a Talent for Trouble is another charming story filled with engaging characters and enchanting dialogue. Turano's creative ability and unique style are refreshing, and I'm already eager to see what projects she'll produce next.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House 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.”


View blog reactions

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Christmas Quilt

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Christmas Quilt
Abingdon Press (October 15, 2013)
Vannetta Chapman


A Word From The Author:

I hold a BA and MA degree in English, and I am proud to be represented by Mary Sue Seymour, AAR. I have published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, and have received over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. I am honored to be a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love.

I live and teach in the Texas hill country with my husband, cats, and a rather large herd of deer. Our four children have flown the nest; however, we are fortunate that they all live close enough to visit.

I have always felt that my faith was at the very center of who and what I am, and I am thrilled beyond words to be able to now write about something that is so near to my heart. At various times I have served as a pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. While living in the Dallas area, I served as an adjunct professor of English Literature at Dallas Baptist University. When we moved to a small town in Central Texas, I continued teaching for a few years, but I now write full-time and I play the keyboard in our church’s praise band.

My grandfather was born in Albion, Pennsylvania, and I am currently researching whether I might have Amish roots.


Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie’s sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Quilt, go HERE.


This book combines two of my favorite things: Christmas-themed novels and Abingdon's Quilts of Love series, and I enjoyed this story even more because of the medical aspect. Vannetta Chapman has created a tender tale with likeable characters and a gentle reminder about God's timing and His plans. Add this one to your fall reading list!


View blog reactions

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Mannerly Hodgepodge

1. When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?

Oh wow, how to choose? I guess I'm getting old and cranky but I am appalled at the lack of manners in our society in general. I'll choose 1) kids talking respectfully to adults and 2) people not talking during events, whether it's a school concert or a church service or a movie or whatever.

2. Let's open a proverbial can of worms...Common Core. Are you familiar with the term (talking education reform in the USA)? If so, care to share your thoughts? In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues schools (in your home country) face today?

I'm so glad we are done with K-12 education. I am sick of the constant redefining of education and coming up with fancy terms and techniques instead of just teaching. The biggest issues in schools today is parents don't teach kids to respect authority and schools don't teach kids Reading and Writing and 'Rithmetic. Because too many teachers don't know how to do those three things too well, either.

3. Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.

I don't pay much attention to celebrities.

4. How are you affected by the changing seasons?

When we get our first genuine cold snap, I usually a bunch of sinus drainage which leads to a sore throat.

5. Scariest book you've ever read?

Predator by Terri Blackstock.

6. What time of day are you most hungry? What's your go-to snack?

Early afternoon. Almonds.

7. Do you lean more towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you find harder to deal with in others?

Independent for me, but needy people make me crazy.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

No matter what you do, if you mess with concrete, the dust gets everywhere and it is gross.


View blog reactions

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Greetings from the Flipside

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Greetings from the Flipside
B&H Books (October 15, 2013)
Rene Gutteridge


Rene is the author of seventeen novels. She also has extensive experience writing comedy sketches, and worked for five years as the director of drama for a church. She has a degree specializing in Screenwriting, for which she earned the Excellence in Mass Communication Award, and graduated magna cum laude.

She is married to Sean, a musician and worship leader, and has two children. They reside in Oklahoma, where Rene writes full time and enjoys instructing in college classrooms and writers conferences.


Hope Landon has been rewriting other people's greeting cards since she was six years old -- there's always a funnier caption. She's all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can't write a song for her. That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple's month long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral -- everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it's not that easy to rent a place when you've been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YWCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as an assistant to Jake, a guy who shut down his organization's humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh.

Is there anything in the cards for these two? Find out in the truly original Greetings from the Flipside by authors Rene Gutteridge (Boo) and Cheryl McKay (screenplay for The Ultimate Gift).

If you would like to read the first chapter of >Greetings from the Flipside, go HERE.


View blog reactions

Monday, October 21, 2013

Perfectly Matched

Perfectly Matched
(The Blue Willow Brides, Book 3)
Maggie Brendan
ISBN: 978-0800734640
September 2013/352 pages/$14.99

His life runs like clockwork. Hers is a spontaneous adventure. But God's timing is always perfect.

Anna Olsen knows it's time to leave her sister's increasingly crowded house and start a life of her own. Following both sisters' examples, she becomes a mail-order bride, and after a short correspondence with clock maker and jeweler Edward Parker, she moves to Denver to become his wife.

Almost immediately it's painfully apparent that Anna and Edward are very different. Anna is a free spirit who would rather be painting and enjoying the company of friends than cleaning house. Edward is a consummate perfectionist who, on their wedding day, hands Anna a list of chores that need to be done around the house daily.

Can this mismatched couple see past their differences to a harmonious future? Or will their disparate passions create obstacles neither is willing to surmount?

Read an excerpt.


Maggie Brendan is the bestselling author of several books, including the Heart of the West series and The Blue Willow Brides series. She was a 2013 finalist for the Published Maggie Award of Excellence, a 2013 finalist for the Heart of Excellence Readers' Choice Award, a 2012 finalist for Inspirational Reader's Choice award, and a recipient of the 2004 ACW Persistence Award in Atlanta. She is a member of the ACFW; Author's Guild; Romance Writers of America; Faith, Hope, and Love; and Georgia Romance Writers. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, researching for her novels, and spending time with her family. You can follow her at her website, her blog, and on Facebook and Twitter @MaggieBrendan.


Oh my. What a fun book! I know it's fiction but Maggie Brendan has created such a potentially calamitous situation with the marriage of two polar opposite individuals, I wondered if either of them would live to tell the tale! Not many women would have hung around after Edward pulled out the chore list as soon as they got to the house after the wedding! Sadly, his intentions were not all bad but his execution and timing left much to be desired! This story alternately made me laugh out loud and cringe as Anna and Edward stumbled through each day trying to adjust to marriage and each other. Anna's heart for abused animals and the historical backdrop of the early days of the SPCA provided an interesting angle. In today's world of easily obtainable, no-questions-asked divorces, Perfectly Matched is a refreshing reminder that "irreconcilable differences" can be overcome! A satisfying conclusion to an enjoyable series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Revell 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.”


View blog reactions

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Bride for Keeps

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Bride for Keeps
Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2013)
Melissa Jagears


A Word From The Author:

I am a stay at home mother on a tiny little farm with a fixer-upper house. As much as I love writing and reading about homesteaders, I am so glad I’m a homesteader during an era with modern grocery stores to take up for my slack. I am an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher by trade, and I still work occasionally in that field along with being my church’s financial secretary and writing novels.

My husband and I have been married since 2001 and have a daughter and two little boys. My husband shares my fascination with traditional living except for being more hands on. He loves blacksmithing, knife smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Generally whatever a mountain man does, he does it or has or wants to attempt it. He comes in handy for research! And of course, the rest of the family gets involved. I have my own blackpowder rifle, named Calvin, that my husband made for me. And I’m pretty sure my daughter is probably one of very few her age who can instruct adults how to shoot a longbow properly. The boy digs random holes in my yard to make “cement” with dirt and water making our yard a tripping hazard. The baby does what babies do.


A Tender Tale of Love on the Prairie Perfect for CBA Readers!

Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bride for Keeps, go HERE.


Mail-order bride stories fascinate me, and Melissa Jagears has crafted one with a fun twist. What a great cast of characters inhabit this town and this novel! Everett and Julia's situations immediately endeared them to me. Both have much to learn and Jaegers skillfully weaves together moments of humor, awkwardness, and angst into this fledgling marriage. While the outcome is predictable, how Everett and Julia get there and the growth they must experience in the process makes for a delightful read. This is a solid debut novel and I'll be looking for more from this promising author.


View blog reactions

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Glittering Promises

Glittering Promises
(Grand Tour Series)
Lisa T. Bergren
(David C. Cook)
ISBN: 978-1434764287
October 2013/464 pages/$14.99

Lisa T. Bergren’s popular Grand Tour series concludes as Cora Kensington journeys farther into Italy, wrestles with a terrible ultimatum from her father, and comes to terms with the Father who will never fail her.

America’s newest heiress must decide if her potential fortune is rationale enough to give up her freedom and all that God is leading her toward. And when her newly-discovered siblings are threatened with ruin, her quandary deepens. Then as Cora nears Rome, more journalists are tracking the news story of the decade—“Copper Cora,” the rags-to-riches girl—and want to know more about her family and the men vying for her attention. Meanwhile, a charming Italian countess decides that if Cora isn’t going to claim Will’s heart, she might just try…


Lisa T. Bergren is the award-winning author of over thirty-five books, with more than 2 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, Lisa now divides her time between writing, editing, parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of her next trip to Italy. She lives in Colorado Springs. Find out more about Lisa at


Lisa T. Bergren brings her Grand Tour series to a grand conclusion with Glittering Promises. What a saga this has been as Cora has been swept away from her life in Montana to a tour of Europe with the father she never knew existed and her new-found half-siblings! Bergren has saved plenty of action and suspense for this final novel as the group must still take care to avoid those who would harm Cora. I loved the continued character development of Cora and her siblings as they face their many challenges and become more closely bonded. A few surprises await the reader as Bergren brings the novel and series to a satisfying resolution. Don't miss this epic tale!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from David C. Cook 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.”

Lisa T. Bergren is celebrating the release of her new book, Glittering Promisesby giving away a $200 Italian feast from Williams-Sonoma and hosting a fun Facebook party on October 29th.

One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Italian feast from Williams-Sonoma delivered to your door
  • The three-book Grand Tour set
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 29th. Winner will be announced at the "Glittering Promises" Facebook Author Chat Party on October 29th. Connect with Lisa for an evening of book chat, European trivia, and prizes, and get an exclusive look Lisa's next book.

So grab your copies of the Grand Tour series and join Lisa on the evening of October 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page.
Spread the word—
tell your friends
about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 29th!


View blog reactions

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't Worry - It's Hodgepodge Day!

1. What was your biggest worry five years ago? Is it still a worry?

How to navigate my kids' teen years. No, because 1) they are now 18 and 20 and 2) they are absolute blessings!

2. Yesterday (October 15th) was National Grouch Day...what makes you grouchy? What cheers you up when you're feeling grouchy?

Not getting enough sleep.

What cheers me up? Taking a nap.

3. In one word, how does it feel to be photographed?


4. Besides your parents, who would you say had the greatest influence on you in choosing your life path? Explain.

The youth leaders at the church we went to when I was in high school. They were incredible and loved us and had us over to their houses for Bible Studies and fellowships and impromptu times, took us to camps and retreats, etc. I have rarely seen such a group of adults who committed themselves to loving and discipling teenagers, and the result is that most of my group are still committed, active Christians living out their faith and serving in churches today. And we share a deep bond thirty-five years later!

5. The crisp days of autumn are here ...what's something you like to eat, but only if it's crisp?

A crisp, juicy apple. Biting into a mushy apple is hugely disappointing.

6. What's the most useless object you own?

I have no idea.

7. Share a favorite fall memory.

Eating a Fletcher corny dog fresh out of the fryer with my brother at the Texas State Fair just before the Texas/OU football game when I was in college.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of the Texas State Fair, also known as the Fried Food Capital, it never ceases to amaze me what weird ideas people come up with for fried foods. You can see this year's list of New Foods & First Time Vendors, which includes Fried Collard Greens, a Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Burrito, Deep Fried Shrimp & Grits, Deep Fried Spaghetti & Meatball, & Spicy Spam Empanadas.

This year's Big Tex Choice Awards were Best Tasting: Deep-Fried Cuban Roll and Most Creative: Fried Thanksgiving Dinner. They beat out the other finalists, including such "delicacies" as Southern Style Chicken-Fried Meatloaf, Awesome Deep Fried Nutella®, and Fernie’s Deep Fried King Ranch Casserole (which was even Texas-shaped!).

I didn't think anything could top the Fried Butter and Fried Coca-Cola from a few years ago!


View blog reactions

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Reluctant Courtship

A Reluctant Courtship
The Daughters of Bainbridge House, Book 3
Laurie Alice Eakes
ISBN: 978-0800734688
October 2013/336 pages/$14.99

A woman without a prospect. A man without a homeland. Can love give them a future?

Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family's country estate, where she will hopefully stay out of trouble, she finally meets the man she is sure is exactly right for her: Lord Ashmoor. Tall, dark, and handsome--what more could a girl ask for?

But he too is under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison. If he's to keep out of a British prison himself and secure his place in British society, Lord Ashmoor needs a wife beyond reproach--something the vexingly beautiful Honore certainly is not. Though they find themselves drawn to each other, family obligations may conspire to keep them apart forever.

For the sake of her heart, Honore determines to prove Ashmoor's innocence--even if doing so risks her own life.

From the first sentence, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes thrusts you into high drama amid the rocky cliffs of Devonshire, England, and keeps you suspended there until the final page.

Read an excerpt.

Read the first two books in The Daughters of Bainbridge series:
A Necessary Deception (My review is here.)
A Flight of Fancy (My review is here.)


Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, Heart's Safe Passage, Choices of the Heart, A Necessary Deception, and A Flight of Fancy, which won the October 2012 Clash of the Titles Award, voted on by readers. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats. Visit for more.


Laurie Alice Eakes is one of the premiere authors of Regency-era fiction, and A Reluctant Courtship demonstrates why. The world of early nineteenth century with its societal mores comes to life in this intriguing tale that focuses on the youngest of the Bainbridge daughters, Honore. Honore's status (or lack thereof) as a pariah, not only in society but within her family, is heartrending and endears her to the reader, as does Lord Ashmoor's dilemma. Eakes once again crafts a story containing well-developed characters, plenty of drama and romance, and not a little danger. With emotion and suspense that fairly leap off the page, A Reluctant Courtship will capture your heart.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from 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.”


View blog reactions

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Cutting Edge - Review and Interview

Tomorrow is the Release Day for Ace Collins' newest novel! I enjoyed interviewing him at ICRS in June and we spent part of our time talking about this book. That interview is below but first here is some info about the book and my review.

The Cutting Edge
Ace Collins
ISBN: 978-1426714665
October 2013/336 pages/$14.99

Can Leslie become more than just a pretty face?

Leslie Rhoads may have grown up in a small town, but is on the verge of becoming a supermodel in the Big Apple, when the 24-year-old is chosen to grace the cover of Style magazine and star in the controversial Passion Nights’ perfume ads. But before she can step into the spotlight, Leslie is assaulted by a drug gang and disfigured with a broken scotch bottle. Without her perfect face, she is lost and no amount of surgery can ever make her what she once was. Now trying to hide her face from the world, Leslie encounters more trouble as she seeks to rebuild her life: unrequited love, thoughts of suicide, and her assailant out to finish the job. Little does she know that a young girl named Angel will turn it all around, showing Leslie the joy and potential in life and the fact that love truly is blind.


Ace Collins is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than 60 titles, including Music for Your Heart, The Stories Behind The Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Darkness Before Dawn, and Lassie: A Dog's Life. Ace frequently speaks across the country and on radio and has appeared on national television shows, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Fox and Friends, Entertainment Tonight, The Early Show and more. When not writing, he works as a magazine editor and graphic designer, as well as host for a charity organization radio and television broadcast. Ace and his wife, Kathy, are based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.


Ace Collins has created a compelling read with his latest novel. The Cutting Edge cuts deep indeed as it rips away the layers and portrays what can happen when beauty is only skin deep. Collins weaves a suspenseful plot into this issue-driven and character-focused tale. In spite of her lack of inner strength, Leslie Rhoads is a likeable character, and the horrific attack she experiences makes it easy to sympathize with her as she must confront the physical and emotional challenges that result from her attack. This is not a simplistic novel. Leslie grapples with difficult issues such as suicide, the purpose of life, betrayal and the foundations of attraction and love. Collins expertly weaves threads of faith, hope, and love among the suspense and despair in this story that is alternately chilling, poignant, and heartwarming. While this is a standalone, readers of Darkness Before Dawn will enjoy appearances of that novel's main character, Meg Richards. Don't miss this important book.


Your next release is another novel, The Cutting Edge. That looks so intriguing!

The Cutting Edge has the same characters that Darkness Before Dawn did with the addition of a new character, who is Meg's cousin. She is a New York model who is trying to make it and gets an opportunity, after several small gigs, to finally hit the big time, but the ad shoot she's going to do requires nudity. She goes back to her hometown to talk to her folks about it. In the process, she arrives on the last flight in at night. She's waiting on a cab to take her from the airport to the house and her cell phone is dead; she didn't tell her folks she was coming in. Four guys grab her because they recognize her from a model cover and they want all the money she has. She has no money with her, just a few dollars, and she fights them off. They decide to take revenge so they break a bottle of whiskey and carve up her face. Now suddenly, you have someone who is beautiful and has based her entire on being beautiful and she is now unrecognizable. So she has to find value underneath all that. My background characters that I introduced in Darkness Before Dawn are there along with this new character, Leslie Rhoads, who is fighting for her life.

I think the cover is probably the best cover I've ever seen on any of my books. You see her shattered face like she's looking in a mirror but there's a piece of the mirror missing, and that's the alley with the stalker. The stalker is still out there. He thought he killed her and now he's got to go and finish the job, and she doesn't know she's being stalked. There's a bit of an Alfred Hitchcock-style story in the midst of this person who is trying to find value. This deals with suicide, mostly. It's another issues book.

It just amazes me how all of you likeable, friendly authors come up with such macabre, dark storylines!

(Ace-and his wife!-laugh) I think part of that is, you obviously want to take readers to a place they don't go in real life. Also, I tell people all the time that I was an only child growing up so I had to make up these characters to play with. I'm still making them up and they need to get out of my head to keep me from going crazy! They represent some of the characters that are playing around in my head.

So you have the voices inside your head like a lot of other authors do!

Yes, and they keep saying, "I want to come out and play!" So eventually I let them. The Cutting Edge represents some of that. The Cutting Edge also really represents the way America views beauty and the way we should be viewing beauty. In this age when cosmetic surgery fixes all our evils but the problems are still there, this young woman had no depth because she was beautiful. She finds other people who have incredible depth because they weren't. Our spiritual anchor in this book is a little girl, who is abused by her mother, whose face is disfigured. She always looked at this magazine cover before Leslie was carved up and said, "That's my Cinderella." Then when she meets her and she's carved up, the first words out of her mouth are, "God doesn't like you either, does He?"

Oh, my.

That's when part of the turnaround happens in Leslie's life, when she looks at this little girl named Angel, who tells her "Mommy did this. Mommy poured boiling water to me; she threw boiling water on my face because God doesn't like me."

Wow. Okay, I'm taking this one on the plane!

It's one that potentially is going to be a really good read for some folks.

It's not really a sequel to Darkness Before Dawn, though, right? It's just connected with the characters?

It's the second book and I don't know how many will do. But they don't need to read the first one. It's a separate book unto itself. But people kept asking me to see what Meg (from the first book) is doing now. Of course, the mere fact that Leslie gets cut up, you've got a hospital, and Meg is a nurse. I had so many people who really liked the camaraderie of the nurses in the first book. They wanted some of that humor back. It helps lighten up a dark story.

Thanks so much, Ace!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Ace Collins and Abingdon Press. 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.”


View blog reactions

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Weighing in on the Hodgepodge

1. The USA will mark Columbus Day this year on Monday, October 14th. What's something you need or want to explore (literally or metaphorically speaking)?

2. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty...who do you most love to hate?

Definitely the Wicked Witch of the West! Although I don't hate her nearly as much now that I've seen Wicked! LOL

And I probably shouldn't admit this but I've never seen The Little Mermaid. And I didn't even know Sleeping Beauty's villain had a name!

3. Is open-mindedness a virtue?

I've never thought of it as such. Contrary to today's politically correct, anything goes environment, there are still some absolutes that one should not be open-minded about.

4. How often do you weigh yourself?

Rarely. Once every couple of months or less often than that. I can tell by the way my clothes fit.

5. This question comes to you courtesy of Rebecca over at Making Memories, so thanks Rebecca!

Costa Rica was recently named the happiest country in the world on the Happy Planet Index. What's the happiest country in the world to you, and what makes it so?

The USA because it's home! (Although that happy scale is quickly deteriorating, thanks to the direction this country is headed!)

6. Besides The Bible, what is one book you think should be mandatory reading for high school students? Why?

To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a classic!

7. I went shopping at some nearby outlets last week, and while I was there, I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts. How about you? Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

No, but we do minimal gift-giving at Christmas.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Today I start a full-time job as an RN for the first time in 21 years. In fact, it's been exactly 21 years: my last day at my previous job was October 9, way back in 1992. I'd say that's full-circle!


View blog reactions

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dark Justice

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dark Justice
B&H Books (October 1, 2013)
Brandilyn Collins


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e . . ."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice.

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing published in 2002.

When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences.


If I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

Pressed on all sides, Hannah must keep all three generations of women in her family alive. Only then does she learn the threat is not just to her loved ones, but the entire country . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Dark Justice, HERE.


Oh. My. Goodness. Brandilyn Collins just about did me in with this one! Dark Justice may be her most chilling book yet, probably because the scenario is far too easy to imagine in today's world of terrorism and cyber attacks. Collins is a brilliant author who crafts her characters with care, from Hannah and her mother, whose increasing dementia adds a layer of complexity to the danger descending on them, to the law enforcement officers to the perpetrators--if you can figure out who they are! Then she unfolds the plot and paces it perfectly, switching scenes and points of view with precision and escalating the tension until the pages practically turn themselves. I absolutely inhaled this book and read it in one evening, staying up into the wee hours to finish it and occasionally reminding myself, "Don't forget to b r e a t h e . . ."® (Collins's trademark tagline). Don't miss Dark Justice. Just be grateful it's fiction!


View blog reactions