Saturday, December 31, 2011

AN UNLIKELY WIFE INDEED



Title: The Unlikely Wife
Author: Debra Ullrick
Publisher: Love Inspired (January 3, 2012)
Pages: 288

The cover and title, as well as the blurb on the back cover of THE UNLIKELY WIFE by DEBRA ULLRICK, intrigued me. I’m a sucker for historicals, and love the mail-order bride concept. This was my first read by this author, and I was pleasantly surprised. Right away I was swept away by the well thought-out characters and the predicament they were placed in.

When Michael Bowen’s wife by proxy arrives by train, he’s more than a little set off. To say the least, she’s nothing like the woman Selina Farleigh Bowen’s letters suggested she was.

Wearing a pair of men’s trousers, Selina is instantly looked upon as an outcast…including from the man she married, sight unseen. It becomes increasingly obvious he’s in love with another woman…the woman who wrote Selina’s letter to Michael, her best friend, Aimee.

A stubborn woman who’s comfortable in her own skin, Selina refused to change for no man. That is until worry over losing the man she loves threatens to consume her. Will Michael ever learn to love a woman that didn’t fit his image of the perfect wife, and learn the true meaning of love?

In reading THE UNLIKELY WIFE, I was introduced to Haydon and Raniee Bowman. Both characters stories spiked my interest. I’ll be placing an order in the future for THE UNEXPECTED BRIDE, to unravel their tale.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ESCAPE FROM THE BADLANDS





Title: Escape From The Badlands
Author: Dana Mentink
Publisher: Love Inspired (January 3, 2012)
Pages: 224

ESECAPE FROM THE BADLANDS was my first read by author, DANA MENTINK. The first fifty pages had me turning them quickly. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. Shane Mason’s rescue of Kelly Cloudman, had me sitting on the edge of my seat.

Kelly Cloudman needed a job, so when she's asked to be a medic for South Dakota’s Desert Quest extreme race, she says yes. When her vehicle is trapped and threatens to be overtaken by water, she never would have guessed in a million years who her rescuer would be.

Shane Mason is on a mission. A mission to prove his brothers innocents before it’s too late, and enters the race of his life. The last thing he expected was to come face to face with the woman he walked out on.

ESECAPE FROM THE BADLANDS is packed with suspense that will keep you wondering which of the key players are guilty and why. A wonderful inspirational suspense you won’t want to miss.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THOSE COOPER MEN


Title: The Cowboy’s Holiday Blessing
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired (November 15, 2011)
Pages: 224 pages

What can I say, I’m a huge fan of BRENDA MINTON. Every book I’ve read by her has been amazing, and THE COWBOY’S HOLIDAY BLESSING was no exception. I’ve read about the men from the Cooper family in previous books and hoped there’d be more. When I heard the next book was about Jackson Cooper, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

When a teenage girl shows up on Madeline Patton’s doorstep by mistake, Madeline’s compelled to help her. Only problem is, that means coming face to face with the handsome Jackson Cooper.

Jackson Cooper isn’t too happy when his mousey neighbor shows up on his doorstep with a teenage girl claiming to be his daughter. As agitated as he is, he can’t resist the temptation to make the school teacher blush.

Jackson Cooper may have changed his rebel ways, but marriage and kids aren’t in the plan. Even if he allowed himself to want those things, they weren’t possible.

Madeline Patton only wants to teach and go home to her quiet place…alone. After all she doesn’t need a man in her life, much less wants one.

Jackson, Madeline and thirteen-year-old Jade, discover God’s amazing grace and a family they never imagined possible.

I loved the whole bad boy meets shy, mousey girl. Brenda Minton did a fantastic job with all the characters. Jackson was your classic good looking, ladies man, yet sweet and kind. Madeline is reserved, hiding under her baggy clothes and dark rim glasses, yet focused and knows what she wants.

Jackson’s situation with his daughter was unique and well played out. I loved the transformation of Madeline, and her story. In THE COWBOY’S HOLIDAY BLESSING, the characters will stay with you a long time as you wait anxiously for the next Cooper Creek story.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

DO YOU LIKE A FUN MYSTERY?



Title: THYME FOR LOVE
Author: PAMELA S MEYERS
Publisher: OakTara (November 14, 2011)
Pages: 216

THYME FOR LOVE by PAMELA S MEYERS is a fun, light mystery. Having never read this type of novel, I was initially confused by the casual, witty mystery. What later came to mind was Sherlock Holmes and the game Clue. Not more than a few pages later, MS. MEYERS mentioned that very thing. That's when it all clicked. Thoughts of who done it, in which room, with what, ran through my mind. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed THYME FOR LOVE, not being the genre I typically read. A true testament to how well it's written.

April Love is in need of a job, and her Aunt Kitty has just the job for her. But what she fails to tell April is her ex fiancée, Marc Thorne, works there. Now she is faced with the decision to quit a job she desperately wants or face the man who hurt her years ago.

Marc Thorne is just as surprised as his ex fiancée, April when she walks into the Rescate. It doesn't take long for old feeling to stir. But Marc has a secret he fears will douse any hopes he has of renewing their love. Convincing April they were meant to be together isn't the only obstacle he faces. When he's accused of murder, will she believe he's guilty?

The mouth watering descriptions of the food April prepares, sent my stomach rumbling. MS. MEYERS delivered countless cute lines as well as kept me guessing as to "who did it". THYME FOR LOVE was hard to put down as I attempted to figure out who the killer was.

My favorite type of novel is those involving a cowboy and a ranch, so of course Karl had me sitting on the edge of my seat, hoping he wasn't the killer. I can't wait to read the next two books in this series...And I'm hoping to see a cowboy or two.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

IF ONLY...

What’s really sad…it’s only money. A piece of paper. Something we make. If we weren’t so selfish and materialistic, no one would have to go hungry, be homeless, uneducated or without proper medical care.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

ACFW DECEMBER NEW RELEASES 2011

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



An Amish Wedding by Beth Wiseman -- Romance from Thomas Nelson; Pricilla's upcoming wedding is stirring up trouble - and romance - in Paradise.



Christmas Pearl by Robin L. Bayne -- Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican). Joe Gardner never expected to see Elizabeth again, not after the part she'd played in ruining his life. Refusing to believe she now shares his faith, Joe tosses aside her efforts to apologize. But when they are forced to work together in the midst of the Christmas season, Joe has to face the truth about Elizabeth, and himself.



Daddy’s Little Matchmakers by Kathleen Y'Barbo -- Romance from Love Inspired -- Wanted: Wife And Mother. Veterinarian Eric Wilson is confounded by the classified ad his three young daughters have placed. The handsome widower is not in the market for a bride!



Death in Dahlonega by Deborah Malone -- A Mystery from Lamp Post Inc.. A vacation with a friend should never include murder and mayhem.



Gold, Frankincense, and Murder by Barbara Early -- Romance/Mystery from White Rose Publishing (Pelican); A missing coworker. A brawny sidekick. Sometimes the holidays can be murder.



His Holiday Family by Margaret Daley, -- Romance from Love Inspired. In the aftermath of a hurricane, will Kathleen Hart and Gideon O'Brien, two scarred people, find hope and love?



Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna M. White -- Romance from Summerside Press. In 1784 peace has been declared, but war still rages in the heart of Lark Benton.



Polar Bear Plunge by Linda Glaz -- Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican). Aleni Callan can’t accept that God allowed her husband to die in Afghanistan while war hero, Brice Taylor, returns from Iraq to cheers and fame and feelings that he somehow failed. Neither can accept that one man lived and one man died.



Replication by Jill Williamson -- Young Adult from Zondervan; A girl discovers her biologist father is covering up multiple secrets—all of which are named Jason.



Savanna’s Gift by Camille Eide -- Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican); When Savanna gets a second chance at the love of her life, will her dream that once divided them get in the way?



Small-Town Sweethearts by Jean C. Gordon-- Romance from Love Inspired; With the help of God and the love of Drew Stacey, a down-sized Wall Street analyst turned church camp manager, NYC assistant art director and former town misfit Emily, ne Jinx, Hazard finds the thing she wants most in the place she least wants to be — Paradox Lake.



Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt -- Romance from Thomas Nelson; When a failed logging company threatens their town's survival, four friends devise a plan to turn Smitten, Vermont, into the country's premier romantic getaway.



The Christmas Witness by Susan Sleeman-- Thriller Suspense from Love Inspired; Can a former FBI agent let go of the devastating loss of his wife to cancer in order to save a critically ill child and her mother from a ruthless criminal?



Tracks in the Snow by Sandra H. Esch-- General Fiction from Lamp Post Inc.; Jo Bremley feared losing her husband to World War II, but when a snowstorm rips apart her storybook world, how can she heal her broken heart, and move on?


Thursday, December 8, 2011

THE WINNER IS…



The winner of the drawing for THYME FOR LOVE is…Lynda Schab!

Congratulation! You’ll be receiving your autograph copy of PAMELA S MEYERS, THYME FOR LOVE, soon.

Blessing, and have a wonderful Holiday.

Kym

Thursday, December 1, 2011

WELCOME AUTHOR PAMELA S MEYERS

I’d like to welcome author Pamela S Meyers to my blog. Her debut novel THYME FOR LOVE, was released November 14th, 2011.



A native of Lake Geneva, Wisc., Pamela Meyers currently lives in Arlington Heights, Ill. She served on the Operating Board for ACFW 2005-2009, and is president of her local ACFW chapter. Her debut novel Thyme for Love releases November 14, 2011, and her historical that is set in her hometown, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, will release in June 2012. She has published articles in Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Computing, Victory in Grace, and Ancestry. She is also a contributor in the compilation book, His Forever.



April Love has always dreamed of being a chef.
But she didn’t expect a former fiancé
or murder to be part of the recipe for her new job.

When April Love signs on to be an in-house chef at an old lakeshore mansion in Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, she comes face to face with her long-lost love, the drop-dead gorgeous Marc Thorne. It doesn’t take long for their old magnetism to recharge, but how can she trust the guy who left her nearly at the altar eight years earlier? Her gut tells her something happened to Marc in between—something he’s reluctant to reveal.

When April’s boss is murdered, Marc is accused of the crime. Unless April can find out who really killed Ramón Galvez, her chances for love will end up at the county jail. But someone else is just as determined she not solve the mystery…and will go to any length to stop her.

Q: Give us a little preview of Thyme for Love.

A: April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. When her Aunt Kitty hears of a in-house chef position for a non-profit organization housed in a lakeshore mansion next door, April returns to Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, where she’d spent many summers growing up, to apply for the job. When she discovers her former fiancé Marc Thorne working there, she wonders if this position was really God’s intention for her. After all, Marc all but left her standing at the altar to chase his own dreams in California. It doesn’t take long to realize Marc is hiding secrets and despite returning feelings for the man, April determines she will not make the same mistake as she did eight years earlier. But when their boss is found dead and Marc is framed for his murder, April has no choice but to turn sleuth to keep Marc from being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.

Q: What made you want to write this book?

A: I’ve always loved romance and mysteries, and decided to write a story that married the two elements together. I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and have always been fascinated by the many 20th Century mansions that dot the lake’s shoreline. I toyed with the idea of setting the story in one of those homes, but decided to create a smaller lake and village just to the east of Lake Geneva to gain more freedom with some of the details of the story and its characters. I loved having the area located close enough to Lake Geneva that April and Marc could go there for a meal at one of the actual restaurants there. I also gave them backgrounds that involve working on Geneva Lake as many college students do during the summer months.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

A: In one way or another I’ve always written almost since I could hold a pencil. When I was eight years old I asked for a diary for Christmas and I wrote in it at different times of my childhood. I still have that little book and it contains bits and pieces of my life from age eight until sometime in high school. Even into my adult years I’d journal from time to time, but never thought of turning that “need” to put words to paper into a career until years later. While completing my bachelor’s through an accelerated adult program, one of my professors suggested I could make a living writing. I published several magazine articles, but as the hankering to write stories grew stronger, I began taking fiction writing classes. At a local writer’s conference a multipublished author suggested I could turn one of my short stories into a novel. That was all I needed to hear. I soon joined American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) while the organization was in its infancy and through their writing courses and conferences I continued to grow in the craft.

Q: Have you written other novels besides Thyme for Love?

A.Oh yes. My first novel which I would classify as a women’s fiction languishes in my computer at the moment. Authors very seldom publish their first written work as that often turns out to be a practice project. The storyline still resonates with me and I’d love to one day pull it out and rework it. There are a couple other stories that will probably never see the light of day. I’m very excited to have a novel set in my hometown of Lake Geneva, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, coming out in June 2012 from Summerside Press. It’s a 1933 historical romance, and I had a blast researching for the story.

Q. Do you have any plans for a sequel to Thyme for Love?

A. I’m so glad you asked. Thyme for Love is part of a three-book series called “On the Road to Love.” Books 2 and 3 involved April and Marc, and both are set in Canoga Lake. In Book 2, Love Will Find a Way, April moves into an old Victorian home with plans to turn it into a restaurant and catering business. It isn’t long before a discovery made while they are renovating the home threatens to hijack plans for the grand opening. In Book three, Love’s Reward, April and Marc’s wedding plans are in full swing, until it becomes apparent there is someone who doesn’t want them to marry.

Q. How do you get your story ideas?

A. There’s an old adage to write what you know. I might add to that, to always keep your eyes and ears open for a possible story line. That first novel I wrote was sparked by something someone said to me when she showed me a picture of my great-grandfather’s grave. My Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin story grew out of wanting to know the history behind the beautiful lakeshore recreational building that has become an icon of the area. Just today a newspaper article sparked an idea I’d like to develop into a proposal.

Q. What is your daily writing routine?

A. My best writing time is morning, but I’ve had to make myself work outside the box at times when that kind of schedule doesn’t work. Since I am a morning person, I find it best to set my alarm as if I’m going to work. I get up at 5:30 and spend at least an hour in my Quiet Time with God. Then I try to walk daily for exercise before settling down in my home office to write. I recently converted unused space in my dining are into an office and that has helped tremendously with getting the sense of “going to work.” This helps me stay on task. Too many years actually working Monday through Friday probably contributes to that. On days I have an obligation away from home in the morning, I have had to force myself to be creative in the afternoon and early evening. I think as I start working on deadlines more and more that’s going to be essential.

Q. What advice do you have for new authors?

A. Persevere, persevere, and persevere. I started out aspiring to be published in novel writing more than ten years ago. I had the raw ability and desire to write, but that skill had to be trained and honed, much like a young colt has to be trained. I have learned that writers need to develop what we jokingly refer to as rhino skin and also we need a positive teachable attitude. Join critique groups, take writing courses, attend writing conferences where great teaching occurs and you’ll have opportunities to meet with industry professionals and pitch to editors and agents. ACFW has a great yearly conference ever September that is for fiction writers only. I cannot tout ACFW enough. It is a must organization to join for anyone who writes fiction from a Christian point of view.

Q. When you aren’t writing, what fills your days?

A. I volunteer at my church in the multicultural ministry, helping Japanese women learn to speak English and lead a women’s small group Bible study. I’m also chapter president of my local ACFW chapter which meets monthly. Also, I enjoy reading (surprise, surprise) and movies. Love to cook and find new ways of making things. You’ll find an adaptation of a recipe someone gave me called Chicken George at the back of Thyme for Love. I loved having April prepare it in the novel, and look forward to experimenting with more recipes for the sequels.


You can visit Pamela at,
http://www.pamelasmeyers.com/

You also purchase her book through Amazon.

For a chance to win an autograph copy of THYME FOR LOVE:

1) Leave a comment with your email address. If you don't like leaving your email address, check back on the 8th to see if you won.
2) Become a follower on this blog.
3) Leave a comment on my Youtube video.
4) Leave a comment on my other Youtube video.

For each one your name will be entered into the drawing. So up your odds and have fun.

I can only ship in the US. Drawing will be done on December 8th. Please check back to see if you've won if you didn't leave your email address. If I don't have your email address and haven't heard from you by the 15th, I'll draw another name.