Saturday, January 28, 2012

FALLING FOR THE FIREMAN by ALLIE PLEITER



Title: Falling for the Fireman
Author: Allie Pleiter
Publisher: Love Inspired; Large Print edition (January 24, 2012)
Pages: 224

As a wife of a firefighter, FALLING FOR THE FIREMAN by ALLIE PLEITER caught my attention. It wasn’t just the cover or the title, but the author herself. I’m a huge fan of the historicals she’s written.

Jeannie Nelworth knows all too well the devastating consequences of a fire. After a fire took her home, her son started acting out. Lucky for Jeannie, Fire Marshall Chad Owens spots the distress in her son’s eyes and offers to help

If there’s one thing Chad Owens is good at, it’s distancing himself from others. Especially women. After all he’d let his fiancée down in the worst possible way.

Typical of Allie Pleiter’s writing, she made me laugh. I was in awe of the great lines she came up with, something she never fails to deliver in each story she writes. I was amazed at the depth of each character’s unique circumstance as well as fascinated by the facts she touches on.

It’s not too often that I walk away from reading a Love Inspired story feeling enriched by the subject matter. The Chinese lanterns were especially interesting, and such a neat touch to the story. I also commend her for bringing to light the different affects a fire can have in one’s life, not taking the typical route with the characters in regards to their situation.

For such a small book, ALLIE PLEITER packed it full of information and unique situations.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

THE PICTURE SAYS IT ALL


What can I say, I love this picture!

Two things very near and dear to my heart.

A cross symbolizing Christ.

And

A Cowboy.

But just not any Cowboy, but one that is a believer.

Is there anything better than that?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

ROSES ARE...



Title: The Rose of Winslow Street
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2012)
Pages: 342

THE ROSE OF WINSLOW STREET is the first book I’ve read by Elizabeth Camden, but it won’t be the last. In many cases a novel starts out with a bang, just to dwindle within the first fifty pages. Then there are those that don’t start out well and continue in the same pace. With THE ROSE OF WINSLOW STREET, it started out at an ever pace, nothing causing my heart to race. But in a relatively short time the story took off.

I was hooked!

Liberty Sawyer is not what she appears. She is beautiful, well dressed and comes from a fine family. An outsider would never suspect the horrifying secret she guards so fiercely.

Michael Dobrescu has only recently arrived in America. He shocks the town of Colden, Massachusetts by storming in and taking over the Sawyer’s home.

To Libby’s father’s horror, she befriends Michael despite his outrageous claim on their home. Michael is not what he appears and in spite of her father and the people of Colden, Libby can’t seem to get Michael out of her thoughts.

As an aspiring writer there aren’t too many books I come across that I don’t edit as I read. THE ROSE OF WINSLOW STREET is one of those few. Most of us don’t have the luxury to sit for long hours to complete a book in one sitting. Many books have places where we are able to comfortably set it down. THE ROSE OF WINSLOW STREET is not one of them. The only good place to stop is upon completion.

The writing is exquisite. The plot is captivating. The characters are amazing. I loved the uniqueness of both Michael and Libby. I’m not sure if I can ever look at a rose in the same way after reading MS. CAMDEN’S novel. I’ve certainly learned a great deal about roses and perfume.

Michael was such a wonderful mix of strength, masculinity, protectiveness and tenderness. His chosen profession and passion in life is a bipolar difference from his outer appearance.

Libby’s “disability” was refreshing and unique. A true testament to how God made us each distinctively different, yet with a talent or passion to be carried out for the good.

The faith portion was carried out lightly in a way that will please readers no matter where they are in their journey. It’s not preachy, yet one has to admire the characters solid beliefs and morals.

It’s not very often that I immediately purchase another book by the same author I’m reading before I’ve even completed it. But that’s exactly what I’ve done. I can’t wait to receive my copy of THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL. I have no doubt the pages will captivate me in the same way THE ROSE OF WINSLOW STREET has.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DEB and DI'S


I happened to find myself in the tiny town of Rushville, Illinois, and stopped to eat at a family style restaurant, Deb and Di’s. Little did I know it would be a scene right out of one of my very own novels in the making, NAYA AND THE COWBOY!

The atmosphere was amazing, though in my story the café’s interior was different, what was the same was the small hometown feeling from the people working there to the customers both young and old, coming and going. I felt as though I were intruding on a family gathering at ones home, yet welcomed with open arms as an old friend. A strange combination of emotions for sure.

The food was great as well as the service and atmosphere. I only wish I lived close enough to become a frequent visitor. As a writer, I couldn’t have asked for a better muse for my story. It was as though a scene from my novel suddenly materialized.

So if you happen to be near Rushville, Illinois, do yourself a favor and stop in Deb and Di’s for a dining experience straight out of a western or modern day sweet, hometown story.

http://debanddisrestaurant.com/Pages/homepage.htm

Please do not copy and or use picture from this site without obtaining permission from Deb and Di’s directly.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SUMMER OF PROMISE by AMANDA CABOT



Title: Summer of Promise
Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell (January 1, 2012)
Pages: 416

A love of historical romances originally drew me to SUMMER OF PROMISE by AMANDA CABOT. Discovering it took place in Wyoming was the sealed the deal. As I began to read and realized it was set at Fort Laramie, I quickly flipped back to the front cover. Sure enough the building was the exact one I had taken pictures of on a trip to Fort Laramie, Wyoming a few years back.

In reading the authors notes, she too visited Fort Laramie and was quickly inspired to write a story. Having been there I couldn’t agree more. While I was there I recorded information for a book that I was writing based out of Hartville, Wyoming, not far from there. I hope to visit Fort Laramie one day with my family, and I’m sure when I do, SUMMER OF PROMISE will once again come alive.

When Abigail Harding set out to confirm her suspicions about her sister, she never imagined what God had planned for her. An attempted stagecoach robbery. A man who killed for a living. And...

Ethan Bowles has lived a life protecting his heart, so love was not in the picture. That is until he meets the beautiful and impulsive Abigail Harding. Only problem is, she’s promised to a man back home in Vermont. Even if that were not the case, she’d made it perfectly clear that Wyoming was boring and not for her.

AMANDA CABOT writes a wonderful historical romance with an equal portion of suspense, intrigue, and romance. The majority of books I read are Christian fiction, but I don’t welcome being preached too. I believe that stories need to be realistic, and sin, trials and tribulations are a part of life. SUMMOR OF PROMISE met my desire on both accounts.

The faith aspect was mildly woven in with just the right amount. I liked that the secondary characters in the story were allowed to drink and visit “Peg’s”. There are some faith based publishers that doesn’t allow such things, even though it’s the “bad guys” that do so or a character that goes through a faith growth. I loved the ending as well. Readers will be kept guessing, and are in for a not so common ending.

Though there are several characters, each were unique and well thought-out. I really loved the idea of touching on one of the secondary characters throughout the book, to later discover her story will be continued in the next book.

MS CABOT has done an amazing job of creating intrigue and anticipation for her next book in this WESTWARD WINDS series.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

WORDS OF WISDOM FROM AN AGENT

Chip MacGregor

Words of wisdom from an Agent about writing. I couldn't agree more.

http://chipmacgregor.typepad.com/main/2011/12/whats-your-best-writing-advice.html

What words of advice do you have as a writer?
What have you learned about writing?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

AND THEY CALLED IT...PUPPY LOVE


Pick me, pick me. Heck, I'll pick them all.
These are our neighbors three week old puppies.

They are cute as can be.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

KISS CRUSH COLLIDE, AN UNUSUAL TITLE



Title: Kiss Crush Collide
Author: Christina Meredith
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (December 27, 2011)
Pages: 320

What first drew me to KISS CRUSH COLLIDE by CHRISTINA MEREDITH, was in fact the cover. The title, not so great, yet it sounded interesting enough. I’ve been increasingly attracted to young adult books since my teenage daughter got me hooked on one. Each one she’s suggested was wonderfully written. KISS CRUSH COLLIDE was no exception.

Leah Johnson had her life planned out. Not that she did any of the planning. Nope, there was no need for that when she had a mother and two sisters before her that she was expected to follow in their footsteps. Only problem was, Leah wants to live her own life.

With the perfect boyfriend, Shane, why would any girl want to end their relationship? For that matter why would anyone who had it all, a promised spot as Valedictorian, prom queen, homecoming queen and the most popular girl in school, give it all up for a guy she hardly knows.

What I love about KISS CRUSH COLLIDE:

-The fast pace.
-Well developed female characters.
-Beautiful writing.
-The main characters final decision.

What I didn’t like about KISS CRUSH COLLIDE:

-The male characters weren’t developed/no deep point of view.
-The foul language.
-Not a lot of dialog.
-Not enough drama.

I would have loved to see tension between Shane, the “boyfriend” and “Porter”, the “other guy”. I appreciated there was no explicit sex, though I would have preferred a better choice on Leah’s part. I also appreciated the minimal foul language, especially considering the targeted audience.

The writing was wonderful, flowing beautifully, so much so that I finished it in only a few short days. I felt the female characters were well developed, very strong personalities, but the males were vague. I would have liked to of heard more about Porter’s story, having it played out.

I was however pleased with the ending, though it left me wanting more. As if a new story was just about to unfold. I could easily see a second book to develop Leah and Porter’s romance. I would say MEREDITH did an excellent job with her debut novel.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS


My top ten writing NEW YEARS resolution.

1) Write more
2) Edit more
3) Read more books on the craft of writing
4) Write more
5) Edit more
6) Read more books on the craft of writing
7) Write more
8) Edit more
9) Read more books on the craft of writing
10) Write more

So what are your NEW YEARS resolution?