Sunday, May 22, 2016

STORY IDEAS

What sparked a story idea in you? 
I will never be able to think 
of a laundromat the same. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

CHILDHOOD REGAINED

I am so excited to announce the release of 
CHILDHOOD REGAINED
CHILDHOOD REGAINED – Stories of Hope for Asian Child Workers is a collection of 20 short stories and a poem, all written specifically for this anthology to raise awareness of the plight of millions of young children working long hours in factories, mines, quarries, on city streets, and on commercial farms in Asia.
The editor and writers have all donated their time and skills, and all net proceeds from this anthology will go to SOS Children’s Villages, http://www.soschildrensvillages.ca.
The moving but hopeful stories in this anthology focus on life in South Asia — India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh — where still today, in 2016, children as young as five are forced to work up to 16 hours a day under very difficult conditions, often with meager food and very poor sleeping accommodations.
At the back of the book, you’ll find brief factual information on children working in various sectors in South Asia, as well as study questions for each story, with answers.
Target readership is age twelve through adult.
All 20 stories and one poem were written specifically for this anthology by writers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Sweden, Malta, and India, and have not been published anywhere else.
Governments and charitable organizations are working to reduce the exploitation of disadvantaged children and improve the working conditions for young workers, but reforms cost money. Our aim is to try to help the situation by raising awareness and by contributing the proceeds from this anthology to a highly respected, trustworthy charity that works to improve the lives of young children exploited for profit.
All net proceeds from sales of this anthology will go to:
                                                
                                          Released in both trade paperback and ebook.  

TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD by Timothy Hallinan
INTRODUCTION by Jodie Renner
SANJAY’S MOUNTAIN by Steve Hooley
WHEN THE RAINS COME by Caroline Sciriha
SEEDS OF SLAVERY by Eileen Hopkins
THE GHOST BAZAAR by Barbara Hawley
MY NAME IS RAJ by Lori Duffy Foster
INTAHARI – Confessions of a Suicide Bomber by Peter Eichstaedt
DREAMS ARE FOR SLEEP by Tom Combs
SOME NIGHTS, I WAKE UP CRYING by Patricia Anne Elford
TREASURE OF THE MIND by D. Ansing
THE TORN CARPET by Caroline Sciriha
LIFE STUDY IN CHARCOAL by E.M. Eastick
RAJESH’S GARDEN by Della Barrett and Jodie Renner
RIVER OF LIFE by Steve Hooley
NAMASTE (poem) by Fern G.Z. Carr
FUNNY DANCE by Sanjay Deshmukh
FLOWERS by Hazel Bennett
BRICK BY BRICK by Kym McNabney
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK by Rayne Kaa Hedberg
DREAMS OF ARSENAL by Edward Branley
INVISIBLE by Sarah Hausman
FROZEN TEARS by Steve Hooley
GUIDELINES FOR TEACHERS & LIBRARIANS
STUDY QUESTIONS FOR THE STORIES
BRIEF FACTUAL INFORMATION
KEY TO STUDY QUESTIONS
GLOSSARY

BRICK BY BRICK 
by Kym McNabney
Anika, a twelve-year-old girl from India, is devastated when her alcoholic father pawns her off to a broker like some type of animal. If her mother had survived Anika’s birth, perhaps her father would not hand her over to a man she never met. Mr. Kumar, the broker, takes her to his brick-making yard, where she is forced to live in a cramped dormitory with others. Anika befriends Prisha, a worker in Mr. Kumar’s brick company. Anika works from sunup to sundown, never forgetting her brother’s vow to one day rescue her.
You can find me on:

Review for CHILDHOOD REGAINED
~ Susan Miura, author, reviewer for The Book Report, public relations coordinator for a Chicago suburban library, presenter of “Modern Day Slavery,” and Vice President of the ACFW Chicago Chapter. www.susanmiura.com

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

YEE HAW. ANOTHER STORY BY ALLIE PLEITER.

Title: The Texas Rancher's Return (Blue Thorn Ranch) 
Author: Allie Pleiter
Publisher: Love Inspired (February 1, 2016)
Pages: 219

THE TEXAS RANCHER’S RETURN (BLUE THORN RANCH) is not the first book I have read by ALLIE PLEITER, but it is the first I have read by her that included a cowboy.

Gunner Buckton is back home to help his grandmother with the ranch that has been in his family for years. What he was not counting on is locking horns with the pretty looking Brook Calder.

When Brooke Calder happens to run across a buffalo in the middle of the road – rather bison – she isn’t prepared to move it out of her way, any more then she is ready to deal with the man it belongs to. Brooke would do anything for her daughter, but stepping foot on Buckton’s land makes her wanting to please her daughter a bit of a challenge.

I have read enough ALLIE PLEITER stories to know she is constant in delivering great lines. MS PLEITER knows how to put a story together, always coming up with great plots. Looking forward to reading the next in the Blue Thorn Ranch series.

Monday, April 4, 2016

SO WRAPPED UP IN THIS GREAT READ!

Title: Until The Dawn
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (December 1, 2015)
Pages: 352

What can I say differently about UNTIL THE DAWN then I have about every other book I have read by ELIZABETH CAMDEN? When an author writes as well as MS CAMDEN, it can be difficult to invent new ways to give praise.

Sophie van Riijn volunteers for the Weather Bureau, reporting the readings she finds each day on top of the Dierenpark mansion. Taking the readings gives Sophie a sense of accomplishment and worth. That is until the return of Dierenparks owner attempts to threaten it all.

Quentin Vandermark is not happy about the contraption placed on his family mansion, and intends to do something about it. In time, Sophie van Riijn seeps into his harden soul, and threatens to turn his whole world upside down.

Pros:
Brilliant writing.
Educational.
Exciting.
Heartwarming.
Three-dimensional characters you will love.
A plot that will keep you reading.
Adventurous.
Surprises.
Satisfying.

Cons:
Not one thing!
Well, perhaps that it ended.

Aside from being in awe of MS CAMDEN’S amazing writing, I find the depth of here plots mind blowing. Each time I begin to read one of her novels, I know I am going to be enlightened beyond my expectations. Not only am I educated on specific subject matters, but in a way that is enjoyable, effortless, and natural.

Another astounding ability MS CAMDEN has is to never go in the direction the reader predicts the author would go. I LOVE that about her stories. It is refreshing to have the unpredictable happen, yet in a way that is always satisfying.


Yes, I am a HUGE ELIZABETH CAMDEN fan.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

ALWAYS READY FOR A NEW BRENDA MINTON STORY

Title: The Rancher's First Love (Martin's Crossing)
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired; Not for Online edition (February 23, 2016)
Pages: 224

THE RANCHER’S FIRST LOVE by BRENDA MINTON:

Remington Jenkins is back in Martin’s Crossing, and has his eye on Samantha Martin. He may be able to preach a good sermon on Sunday morning, but convincing Sam she should give them a second chance is proving to be a challenge.

Sam Martin is shocked to see the handsome cowboy she fell in love with nearly a decade ago, walk into the hospital she works at. Rem seems to be a changed man, but can she ever trust the man with her heart again?

I have written many reviews for books by BRENDA MINTON. For THE RANCHER’S FIRST LOVE I will write a list of pros and cons.

PROS:
Amazing writing.
Three dimensional characters that you will fall in love with.
A great storyline. Love how MS MINTON handled it.
Unique and amazing lines that will have you in awe.
A beginning that will grab your attention.
An ending that will leave you satisfied - aside from not wanting it to end.

CONS:
Zero

That pretty much sums up THE RANCHER’S FIRST LOVE. 

Can’t wait for the next.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

A HUGE KAREN WITEMEYER FAN

Title: With This Ring?: A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry
Author: Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears                
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 5, 2016)
Pages: 368

WITH THIS RING?: A NOVELLA COLLECTION OF PROPOSALS GONE AWRY

The Husband Maneuver by KAREN WITEMEYER

THE HUSBAND MANEUVER by KAREN WITEMEYER is the reason I wanted to read, WITH THIS RING?: A NOVELLA COLLECTION OF PROPOSALS GONE AWRY. I have enjoyed every single book MS WITEMEYER has written. Well, that isn’t entirely true. I didn’t “enjoy” every one…I LOVED every one, and THE HUSBAND MANEUVER was no expedition.

The Hawkins foreman, Daniel Barrett is ready to leave his job on the ranch to start his own business. It’s for his own good, in more ways than one. He’d never have a chance with Marietta as long as he continues to work for her father.

When Marietta Hawkins discovers Daniel Barrett - aka Dead-Eye Dan - intends to leave her father’s ranch for his own place, the wheels in her brain start to spinning. No way is she going to risk losing the man she loves.

I remembered Dead-Eye Dan and Marietta from MS WITEMEYER’S previous book. It was fun to see the characters come to life with a story of their own. I loved the scene at the watering hole. MS WITEMEYER is a master at creating unique, loveable, and three-dimensional characters. Her plots are always thought out and captivating.

5 stars

Her Dearly Unintended by REGINA JENNINGS

HER DEARLY UNINTENDED is my first read by REGINA JENNINGS. I was immediately captivated and brought into the story.

Josiah Huckabee comes to the rescue of Katie Ellen Watson when the only bridge to her farm is washed out. They soon find themselves in the midst of a stranger, and pretending to be married. Though Katie might find it difficult to keep up the charade, Josiah finds himself not bother by the situation.

4 stars

Runaway Bride by MARY CONNEALY

I must say, I love when a hero comes to the rescue of the heroine, and that is exactly what happens in RUNAWAY BRIDE by MARY CONNEALY.

Big John Conroy is hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife. A promise he intends to keep. What he didn’t expect is to make another promise to the woman he is falling for.

3 stars

Engaging the Competition by MELISSA JAGEARS

ENGAGING THE COMPETITION by MELISSA JAGEARS

When Harrison Gray discovers Charlotte Andrews is to marry another, he drops what he is doing and heads out to her place. An unexpected situation places them together, and when Charlotte breaks his much needed glasses, it is a start to setting aside their difference that allows them to give in to their feelings for one another.

4 stars

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ONE OF THE BEST WRITTEN BOOKS I'VE READ IN A LONG TIME

Title: Intertwined: A Contemporary Romance Novel
Author: Jennifer Slattery
Publisher: New Hope Publishers (September 7, 2015)
Pages: 320

INTERTWINED: A CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE NOVEL by JENNIFER SLATTERY caught me off guard. Not the typically genre I read, the last thing I expected was to be captivated by so many aspect of this wonderful book.

Tammy Kuhn is a single mom, struggling to deal with the bitterness of a hurtful divorce. Her job is demanding of her time, making it difficult to find a good sitter for her kids. Believing in what she is doing for others, Tammy continues to seek childcare as she works on call.

Nick Zimmerman is a father of two. Two boys he is in constant battle to see. His ex-wife is doing her best to let Nick  know what a horrible father he is, while Nick struggles to win custody. Just when Nick thinks things may get better, tragedy strikes – twice.

I don’t know where to begin. As a writer I found myself engrossed in everything MS SLATTERY wrote between the covers of INTERTWINED. The writing is superb. The story telling amazing. Her choice of words took my breath away. MS SLATTERY followed every writing rule there is to the T.

Two things about MS SLATTERY’S writing that stood out to me is her ability to evoke the natural feeling as though you were in each scene. She brought forth the details in a way that didn’t weigh down the story, instead enhanced it. Not being a detail person, that is saying a lot.

The other thing that struck me, is her ability to take you in the opposite direction you assumed the author would go. Several times I felt I KNEW what was going to happen next, just to have it go in another direction. Not just a couple of times, but many. Not only that, it was done in a subtle and natural way. It was not jarring nor did it feel as though it was forced.

Now that I think of it, I have to point out two more things. The way MS SLATTERY wove in faith so naturally, non-preachy, yet so powerful is astounding. I was blown away by her characters flaws. They were not over the top, yet real. Not once did you feel like, yeah, right.

Yes, I will be purchasing books by JENNIFER SLATTERY in the future.


*Please see my profile for more information on this review.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A MUST READ BY EVERYONE!

Title: Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World
Author: Baz Dreisinger
Publisher: Other Press (February 9, 2016)
Pages: 336

INCARCERATION NATIONS: A JOURNEY TO JUSTIC IN PRISONS AROUND THE WORLD caught my attention immediately. I have been involved in prison ministry since 2004. I have experienced firsthand the injustice. The works of power, dehumanizing, greed, politics, injustice, repercussion from what we are born into, and the affects of such doings.

Before purchasing a book, – unless it is of a favorite author – I scan the reviews. The first one I go to is a one star. I like to know the best and worst of what people are saying before making a decision. Next, I will take a peek in the book. This gives me a glimpse into the authors writing. The voice, the flow, their knowledge of the basic rules of writing a book. Due to a one star review, I was a little leery about ordering INCARCERATION NATIONS, but the subject matter was too vital to pass up.

In my younger years, I thought introduction were optional. Later in life, I found that to be far from the truth. Quite often, they are a crucial part of the story. INCARCERATION NATIONS has an introduction you don’t want to miss. From the first page, I was hooked. I don’t recall being so quickly drawn into a non-fiction, to a point I felt I was reading a great novel. MS. DREISINGER is without a doubt a gifted writer.

INCARCERATION NATIONS is a MUST read - for everyone. For those working in the system, inmates – present and former – victims, and all others. The issues surrounding our locked up nation has spiraled out of control. To a point we MUST stop and rethink what we are doing. We must put an end to this madness.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

LOVE CAROLYNE AARSEN'S PLOTS

Title: Her Cowboy Hero
Author: Carolyne Aarsen
Publisher: Love Inspired (January 1, 2015)
Pages: 218

I admit that I have only read a few books by CAROLYNE AARSEN, but what I have come to realize is she creates great story lines. I love her plots. She is a wonderful writer, though to be truthful I didn’t connect well with the characters in previous books because I felt the deep point of view was weak. That was the only element I felt missing.

HER COWBOY HERO (REFUGE RANCH) by CAROLYNE AARSEN is well written, and a great story line. In the past I may have had a problem with DPOV in MS AAREN’S stories, but that was not the case in HER COWBOY HERO. I loved the plot. I got a sense of what the main characters secret was, so when she finally revealed it I thought, that better not be it. I will not give away any more for those that have yet to read it.

Keira Bannister never stopped loving Tanner Fortier. When he shows up at her family ranch, she is torn between letting her feelings for him surface and keeping them tampered down…where they belong.

Tanner Fortier knew when he headed home he was risking being hurt all over again. Keira Bannister broke his heart once, he wasn’t sure he had it in him to be around her again, yet he needed answers. Needed to know why she disappeared and never returned his calls


It is safe to say that I am a growing fan of CAROLYNE AARSEN.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

BRILLIANT WRITING

Title: Catch of a Lifetime
Author: Candee Fick
Publisher: Bling! Romance (November 2, 2015
Pages: 230

I am smack dab in the middle of giving CATCH OF A LIFETIME by CANDEE FICK four or five stars. Let me begin by saying I am not a football fan – thus the only reason I may not give it five stars. Therefore CATCH OF A LIFETIME had one huge strike against it when it came to me reading this book. However, let me also add that MS FICK in a phenomenal writer, for one would have to be to keep a non-fan of a plot, reading.

Cassie Parker is starting a new job, a new school, and a new life. What she didn’t figure on was that starting new meant being placed right in the middle of her worse nightmare.

Falling for Cassie Parker could quite possibly mean putting Reed Worthington’s job on the line. His team is not only hit with a game changing situation, so is Reeds personal life.

Not being a football fan, I have little – and I do mean little – knowledge about the game. MS FICK managed to make me feel as though I was in the misty of the playing field. She was able to spin together authenticity in a way that many authors cannot pull off. Never have I felt as though a story was so true to real life in such an authentic and effortless way. A true sign of a great write.

CATCH OF A LIFETIME is a complete story from start to finish. The writing is brilliant. I especially loved the ending. I hadn’t seen it coming, yet it was believable and done masterfully. MS FICK incorporated all the elements needed to produce a great story. I would not hesitate to read another of her book.


*Please see my profile for more information on this review. *Please see my profile for more information on this review. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

DO NOT LET THE SIZE FOOL YOU!

Title: Speaking Well: Essential Skills for Speakers, Leaders, and Preaches
Author: Adam Hamilton
Publisher: Abingdon Press; Gld edition (October 20, 2015)
Pages: 96

SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS is not the first book I have read by ADAM HAMILTON, and certainly won’t be the last. In fact I just completed The Call: The Life and Message of the Apostle Paul, before this one and it won’t stop here. MR HAMILTON has a whole list of great titles, diving into important topics.

What I love about MR HAMILTON’S books is the simplistic, yet powerful and impactful way he delivers a message, and SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS is no exception.

As my role as a leader continues to grow, I am finding myself to do more and  more of what I never imagined I would do…speaking in public. If there is one thing I learned early on, it is that I am one that needs to be prepared, no matter how quick/short my talk is to be. In fact, perhaps the shorter the talk, the more important the words you chose become.

Upon receiving SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS, I was surprised at how thin and tiny it is, despite a reviewers comment on that fact. Having read MR HAMILTON’S writing before, it didn't deter me. Once I dove in, my thinking was affirmed.

SPEAKING WELL: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SPEAKERS, LEADERS, AND PREACHERS is packed full of great information. Precise and right to the point. The perfect combination of information, instructions, and a plan for execution. I love the ending of each chapter, with a shot and simple bullet point.


Each chapter provides key information to giving a great speech. The first chapter to really hit home was chapter Three, FIND THE RIGHT STARTING POINT. As a writer it has been drilled into me the importance of grabbing your readers from the first word to get their attention enough that they want to continue reading, resulting in purchasing your book. For whatever reason I never made the connection to the concept in relations to giving a speech. MR HAMILTON’S one of two approaches is good, but for me the second had the reaction of a light bulb turning. In less than a month I am to give a quick rundown of one of the ministries I am a leader in. This is not the first time I have done this, so I realize the importance of the power needed to implement in a few words. I now have a guideline of how to execute my words thanks to MR HAMILTON’S wonderful little book on SPEAKING WELL.

Monday, December 14, 2015

ONE OF THE BEST BEGINNINGS EVER

Title: Out of the Ashes
Author: Sandi Rog
Publisher: Tulpen Publishing (June 5, 2015)
Pages: 302

There are a handful of things that one needs to incorporate to make a great book, and OUT OF THE ASHES by SANDI ROG certainly has a few of them. The cover is the first thing that typically catches reader’s eyes. The second the title. Both I give MS ROG five stars. Another important aspect of a great book is the ability to capture the reader immediately. Another five stars for MS ROG. OUT OF THE ASHES has one of the best beginnings I have ever read. I couldn’t stop reading, wanting to know what would happen next.

Amelia Taylor never plans to marry. Not because she doen’t have the opportunity, but because she can’t see beyond her past family history.

Nathaniel Ward needs a wife, but not just any wife would do. Wealth has afforded him a ray of woman to choose from, but only will do, and he means to set out to find her.


*Please see my profile for more information on this review. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

ONE OF THE BEST DEVOTIONALS - IN NOT THE BEST - I HAVE EVER READ

Title: Jesus Lives
Author: Sarah Young
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Reprint edition (June 4, 2012)
Pages: 368

I had heard about JESUS CALLING and not just once, but by several, many times. I later happened across a used copy of what I thought was JESUS CALLING, but in fact, it was JESUS LIVES.

What a blessing it has been to come across JESUS LIVES: SEEING HIS LOVE IN YOUR LIFE by SARAH YOUNG. I am blown away with the inspiration, wisdom, insight and dept of each devotion. How so much can be packed into so few words is in itself amazing. I cannot pick out a favorite days devotion, for there are so many. My copy contains more underlined and highlighted sentences then not. There were several days I made a copy of that day’s devotion and posted it on social media to share with others, they are that good.


I look forward to reading more by SARAH YOUNG. Wow, what gifted writer. JESUS LIVES: SEEING HIS LOVE IN YOUR LIFE by SARAH YOUNG will remain one of my all time favorite devotionals.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

HUNGRY FOR HOME by BRENDA S ANDERSON

Title: Hungry for Home
Author: Brenda S Anderson
Publisher: Vivant Press (September 22, 2015)
Pages: 300

The first book I ever read by BRENDA S ANDERSON was CHAIN OF MERCY, about Richard Brooks. So when I spotted
HUNGRY FOR HOME  and discovered it was a continuance of Richards story, I had to have it. CHAIR OF MERCY remains my favorite BRENDA S ANDERSON books, it's that good. .

I could not get over the wonderful cover, and the great titles. MS ANDERSON has a way of writing as if you were involved in characters everyday life.

Richard Brooks wife is run down in an ally and robed. Though Richard wants to press charges against the young man who did this to his wife, Sheila has other ideas.

HUNGRY FOR HOME  is a heartfelt story. A lesson in life of what’s really important.

*Please see my profile for more information on this review.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

ANOTHER GREAT READ BY BRENDA MINTON


Title: A Reunion for the Rancher
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher:  Love Inspired (September 15, 2015)
Pages: 224

What can I say, I’m a HUGE fan of BRENDA MINTON. I didn’t just happen across A REUNION FOR THE RANCHER. Oh, no I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival, just like I do any BRENDA MINTON book.

Ruby Donovan is back home in Little Horn, not to see Carson Thorn, but to help her grandmother and to be there for her brother. She doesn’t need the man she once loved complicating her life now that she is finally over him. Really, she is. 

Carson Thorn has done just fine the past twelve years without Ruby Donovan in his life, or so that is what he has been telling himself. So when she suddenly returns to her childhood home, a whole horde of emotions assault him.

What do I love about a BRENDA MINTON books? That would be everything. From the brilliant writing, to the complete storytelling, to the three-dimensional characters that seem to jump off the pages and into your heart.

Looking forward to the next! Yee Haw!! Give me another.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ONE OF THE BEST BEGINNINGS EVER!

Title: The Rancher’s Second Chance
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired (August 18, 2015)
Pages: 224

True, there are no guarantees in life. Yet, what I have found to be true is when I open up a book by BRENDA MINTON, it won’t take long to complete it. Her books, under 250 pages, are not a quick and easy read due to the page numbers, but to the fact that they are so well written, and amazing stories.

Grace Thomas, scared and nowhere to go, finds her way to Martin’s Crossing. A small Texas town, though it isn’t the quaint community that brought here there.

When Brody Martin answers the knock on his door, the last person he expects to be standing on the other side is, Grace Thomas. Why was she here, and what did she want? She was the one who walked away from him, from his hopes and dreams.

Having read every single book by MS MINTON that I can get my hands on, I feel as though I repeat myself in reviewing her books. That alone says a lot when what I write is all positive. Again, MS MINTON has pulled off another amazing story. I have to say, THE RANCHER’S SECOND CHANCE has to be one of the best beginnings I’ve encountered. I could have read it a dozen times, and still want to read it again.

As typically of MS MINTON, her characters are fully developed and three dimensional, jumping off the pages and right into your heart. Her plot is complete and purposeful. She has many great lines that will have you rereading them, because they are that good. After having read countless LI Books, I am in awe of the original lines she never fails to create.


It’s no surprise that I am well aware MS MINTON has another book coming out this month, A REUNION FOR THE RANCHER (Lone Star Cowboy League). It equally comes as no surprised that I am anxiously anticipating the day I can snatch it off the shelf at the store and begin reading it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

AN ENDING YOU WILL NEVER GUESS

Title: Wish You Were Here
Author: Beth K Vogt
Publisher: Howard Books; First Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
Pages: 336

There are many ways that one comes across a book, and one of those ways is by recommendation of another. That is exactly what happened with WISH YOU WERE HERE by BETH K VOGT.

At a writing meeting I attended, a guest author and Brainstorm/Huddle Coach, spoke highly of WISH YOU WERE HERE.  So much so, when I returned home I went online and purchased a copy. She spoke of the brilliant way she structured the story and the plot, despite the fact she didn’t care for the ending.

There was nothing fairy tale about Allison Denman’s walk down the aisle. In fact, you might say it was downright disastrous. Kissing her future husbands brother days before their wedding was neither in her plans nor a good idea. Seth Rayner is all Allison has ever known. Yet it is his brother Daniel that has her dreaming things she never imagined before.

Aside from MS VOGT being a wonderful writer, accurately incorporating every element needed to write a great story, I believe this has to be the first romance I’ve read that I was truly stumped at the outcome. For some time I thought I knew, then it became unclear, then it made sense, and in the end being something else...kind of. I take my hat off to MS VOGT for being able to pull off such an accomplishment.


I feel blessed to have read WISH YOU WERE HERE. As a writer, I learned a lot. I really enjoyed the story, and if there were anything I would change, perhaps it might be the ending. However, to be honest, I was okay with it. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

ACFW AUGUST 2015 NEW RELEASE

August 2015 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

  Contemporary Romance:




 Be My Valentino by Sandra D. Bricker -- Now that the whole truth has come out about her husband's double life-including the fact that she and Jack were never legally married-Jessie is standing on her own for the first time in her life. As she struggles to put Adornments, her rental store for designer labels, on the map in Tinsel Town, her relationship with private investigator Danny Callahan gains momentum. Can Jessie afford to put her faith-and heart-into another relationship when she's so obviously handicapped in the good judgment department? (Contemporary Romance from Abingdon Press)



  One More Wish by Robin Jones Gunn -- As Christy blows out the 26 candles on her birthday cake, she closes her eyes and makes a wish. Could this be the year that she and Todd finally have a baby? As her closest friends announce they are expecting, Christy's heart carries an ache for a child of her own. On their way home from Sierra's wedding, Todd opens up the discussion of adoption and soon a simple invitation turns into a life-changing season. Christy's patience and understanding are stretched beyond her limits, and she finds herself holding not just one baby in her arms, but two. Everything Christy and Todd thought about family and hospitality shifts as the two of them dare to make one more wish and believe that God's timing is flawless. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)



  Island Dreams by Kimberly Rose Johnson -- When a land developer comes to Wildflower Island Chase fights to keep the island the way it is. But there is a problem, he's falling for the developer and if he stops her, he may never see her again. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

  An Unexpected Family by Jill Kemerer -- After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he's never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn't understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he's afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell-and with him-for keeps. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

  Historical Romance:




  Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman -- She used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself. Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy--literally--while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town--as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off--Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman. (Historical Romance from Tyndale House)



Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin -- In 1941, as America teeters on the brink of World War II, Mary Stirling works at the Boston Navy Yard and renews an old friendship with naval officer Ens. Jim Avery. Jim's destroyer escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic, but problems on his ship point to a saboteur at the shipyard. As Mary works to find the culprit and Jim battles U-boats, could their friendship blossom into something more? Or could the dangers they face keep them apart? (Historical Romance from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)



12 Brides of Summer, Novella Collection #3 by Margaret Brownley, Miralee Ferrell, and Pam Hillman -- Love Is Buzzing in the Good Old Summertime! Spend the sunny days of summer relaxing with an ice cold glass of lemonade and revel in the dreams of twelve brides who are a bit surprised by how the men of their dreams come into their lives. Journey to the Old West, stay on the prairie, and visit quaint small towns. . .without leaving the comfort of your own front porch with the third release in this collection. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

  Romantic Suspense:




  Smokescreen by Jodie Bailey -- When her life is on the line, Ashley Colson is rescued by the last person she ever expected to see again. Military officer Ethan Kincaid might have disappointed her once in the past, but now he's the only person who can keep her safe. They're under the gun to decode top secret files that can save the life of a friend who is in enemy hands. But the killers will pull out all the stops to get their hands on the files...and Ashley. With time running out, can they put aside their past and find the answers that could give them a future? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

  Mystery/Suspense/Thriller:




  Midnight on the Mississippi by Mary Ellis -- As a newly minted PI and a New Orleans stockbroker encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail and death threats, danger swirls around them like the mysterious black water of the bayou. (Mystery/Crime from Harvest House Publishers)

  The Bones will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks -- A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensics expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter. (Suspense/Thriller from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])




Speculative Fiction:




  Take and Give by Amanda G. Stevens -- To escape the oppressive Constabulary and gain freedom in a newly formed country, four people must embark on a road trip fraught with danger and distrust. (Speculative Fiction from David C. Cook)





Young Adult:




  A Perilous Assignment by JC Morrows -- The Order of the Moonstone is not just another shadowy underground resistance operation. They have a much more sinister purpose. Kayden is about to find out just how sinister. Go back to the very beginning with us... see how Kayden was chosen for her most important and most dangerous assignment yet. (Young Adult, Independently Published)