Tuesday, April 30, 2013



Title: One Night With a Rock Star
Author: Chana Keefer
Publisher: Old Barn Press (April 30, 2013)
Pages: 327
Wow, I’m not sure where to begin. ONE NIGHT WITH A ROCK STAR by CHANA KEEFER is now on my list of all time favorite books. What an honor and privilege to have read this captivating story.
The prolog had me a little confused, as they often do. I then moved on to the story where I was immediately swept away. There’s something to be said about first person, and MS. KEEFER did an amazing job. The one thing I don’t like about first person is the lack of the hero’s perspective. What MS. KEEFER did in regards to this dilemma was nothing short of amazing. Her writing is brilliant, with many great lines, a real page-turner.
ONE NIGHT WITH A ROCK STAR is county meets rock at its best, with a touch of Cinderella, in a unique and refreshing way. I loved the vast differences of the main characters lives and how Sky was drawn to the innocents of Esther’s world.
The plot is wonderful, with characters that come to life, and will have you falling in love with then. What female hasn’t dreamt of meeting a rock star, and having a relationship with them?
In reading THE END, I was okay with it. It was a good ending. Not great, just good. Good only because it left me feeling as if there should be something more. As I turned from what I thought to be the last page, I was treated to a, P.S. Kind of a mini epilog. Suddenly I needed to go back and reread the prolog. When I did, it brought tears to my eye as the realization hit me.
But if that wasn’t enough, I started to read the excerpt to the sequel. My first thought, what could the author possibly do with a continuation. As I read each page, automatically absorbed into the next story, it happened. I actually gasped. I don’t think I’ve ever experience a glimpse into a sequel as riveting as the one to ONE NIGHT WITH A ROCK STAR.
Hurry up and get here, 2015.
I must find out what happens!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Have you ever watched a movie that changed your life?
Two come to mind when I think of that question.

The first is THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Up until then I hadn’t realized I was a visual person. To see what Jesus went through, broke me. Yeah, I had heard the story many times in my life, but to see it! It redefined what Jesus did for me.
The second thing I got out of the movie, was what Jesus’ mother, Mary, went through. Seeing her watch her innocent son tortured, made me realized there was NOTHING I’d go through that would come even close to what the mother of Jesus had to endure.
The second movie is actually a made for TV series, THE BIBLE. I have heard many times how Jesus used the broken, making them amazing disciples for God, creating history. Once again the written and spoken stories didn’t do justice to the TV series THE BIBLE.
My words in the past have been rather empty as I told inmates through the prison and jail ministry, that Jesus used the worst of the worst to do great things. That He had turned their lives around completely. Paul on THE BIBLE shunned Jesus, taunted Him and His disciples, hunted them down in an attempt to ruin them. Jesus took away Paul’s sight, causing him to hit rock bottom. Broke him. Jesus then gave Paul back his sight, and it was then that Paul could see - really see.  And once he did, he was a new man. A new man in Christ, that went on to do extraordinary things.
The visual was what did it for me, and for that, I will be forever grateful to both films.
There are three things in life that I feel to be very powerful in reaching others.
And the written word
What a blessing God had given us.


Friday, April 12, 2013


After receiving a rejection from an agent, that I thought would love my story, I was more than a little surprised when I was told my manuscript had several blaring issues. This story was only my second novel, written several years ago when I knew nothing about writing, and all by my lonesome.
Now here’s the really sad part. I paid a content editor to go over it, and they deemed it a good story. It went through a critique group, where a handful of people were following and raved about it. If that wasn’t enough, I asked a published author to read it all the way through and give me their honest thoughts. They said it was a good story, and only had a couple of suggestions and did some minor corrections. I even entered it in a contest, and received some positive feedback.
This experience has made me wonder if I am to believe anyone. I had loved the critique group, and thought it very helpful. I had paid a content editor good money to go over my manuscript. I trusted an author to give me honest feedback.
I know that writing is subjective, but the editor that rejected my story, I really admire their writing. And honestly, they’re right. As much as I loved my story concept, I knew deep down there were issues with it. All the pumping up of my ego with the critique group, and gentle critiques of my story from those in the business, lead me to believe I was ready, when in fact I was far from it. At least with this story.
If I had been told the harsh truth in the beginning, I may have never typed another word. But now I’m left with wondering if this is really for me?  Can I get to where I need to be? Where I want to be?
There has to be a better way. A way to be honest, without killing ones spirit.
For now I’m giving it to God, as I should. He will be the one that decides if I continue on this journey or not. I’m no quitter, and thankful for every step of the way in this process, because I know all to well how God works. He has a perfect plan for each of us that will happen in His, not our, perfect time.
As it is the way I’ve come to recognize of my own self, I will pout and be depressed for a few days. But if God so deems it to be, I will then get back on the horse – or should I say the computer – and write.  


Tuesday, April 9, 2013



Title: Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook
Author: Donald Maass
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (June 14, 2004)
Pages: 240
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK, by DONALD MAASS, hands down, is one of the best books I’ve read on the craft of writing. Easy to read, with great examples and worksheets.

It’s not only a book that will help you develop your writing skills, but shows you how to write a bestseller, as well as get your proposal past the rejection pile.

A glimpse into what to expect in this amazing book:

·       Building plot layers
·       Creating inner conflict
·       Strengthening voice and point of view
·       Discovering and heightening larger-than-life character qualities
·       Strengthening theme
·       And much more!

I loved the detailed references to several bestselling authors’ novels. By the end of the workbook, I had a good list going of books to read and study.
Whether you are a new writer, or one that has been struggling for years, WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK, by DONALD MAASS is the book for you. Make it your next to purchase. You won’t regret it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

ACFW April 2013 New Releases

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

Diamond in the Rough by Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson -- Grant Diamond is a professional gambler on the run from his past. When he comes across a wagon wreck, the chance to escape his pursuers is too good a gamble to pass up, and he assumes the identity of the dead wagon driver. His plan takes an unexpected turn when local heiress Lily Rose mistakes him for the missionary she had asked to come work with the Wiyot Indians. Seeing Eureka as a promising place to lay low, Grant plays along.  (Historical Romance from Whitaker House).
A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach -- Workaholic mother, Mara Keegan, has a heart attack and must trust her business to the one man who tried to destroy it. (Contemporary Romance from Abingdon Press).
Avenger by Heather Burch -- Nikki knew Damon Vessler would not let his prized creation go easily---she simply never imagined the lengths he'd go to get her back into his clutches, and turn Nikki's heart toward darkness. A Seeker at her heels, trained on her blood, Nikki flees with Raven alongside her for protection, while Mace and the other Halflings fight the battle that has erupted on earth. (Young Adult from Zondervan).
Son of Truth by Morgan L. Busse -- The war in the north is over, but the war for all the Lands has just begun. As the Shadonae solidify their hold on the city of Thyra, Rowen Mar, the last Eldaran and savior of the White City, awakens to find herself hunted by those she has saved. Meanwhile, the assassin Caleb Tala finds himself in the presence of the Word. The time of reckoning has come and he must pay the price for all the lives he has taken. But in his moment of judgment, Caleb is given a second chance to change his life. (Speculative Fiction from Marcher Lord Press).
Rock Harbor Search and Rescue by Robin Caroll and Colleen Coble-- In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a middle grade fiction novel based on Colleen Coble's bestselling Rock Harbor series for adults, kids will enjoy the mixture of pets, adventure, suspense, and a mystery. (Children/Middle Grade from Thomas Nelson).
With Eyes of Love by Linda S. Glaz -- Two families collide in a flood, but that collision doesn't define who they are, he real change happens when Pearl Harbor is bombed.  (Historical Romance from Heartsong Presents).
Josiah's Treasure by Nancy Herriman -- A feisty young female artist with a secret past battles to establish her own gallery in 1880's San Francisco. (Historical Romance from Worthy Publishing).
Surrendered Love by Laura V. Hilton -- Will a rebellious teen draw two old friends back together? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House).
Sundays in Fredericksburg by Eileen Key, Lynette Sowell, Connie Stevens and Marjorie Vawter -- Come to Fredericksburg, Texas, where four generations of couples encounter romance in Sunday Houses. Having become a schoolteacher to avoid marriage, Amelia Bachman finds her resolve crumbling before a smitten carpenter. Determined not to fall in love, Mildred Zimmermann carefully nurses an army medic crippled in love and war. Somewhat of a homebody, Trudy Meier isn't sure she has the courage to love a roving reporter. Gwendolyn's beautiful wildflower field is threatened by a geologist's search for knowledge. Will these four women risk their hearts for the love a stranger? (Contemporary Romance Novella from Barbour Publishing ).
The Heart Stone by Sherry Kyle -- When the biological father of Jessica MacAllister's son decides to break their custody agreement, Jessica and her son visit her Uncle George for advice and refuge… Following a year of grief, Evelyn Sweeney is finally ready to move on. Pondering her new path in life, her mind drifts to her first love, George MacAllister… When the lives of these two women cross, they discover that one heart-shaped ring binds their stories together.  (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Abingdon Press).
All in Good Time (The Gilded Legacy) by Maureen Lang -- Can one impatient woman with a dream to provide a refuge for women in need melt the heart of an impervious, stingy banker? (Historical Romance from Tyndale House).
Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman A spunky heiress without a fortune falls in love with a handsome pauper looking to marry well. (Historical Romance from Revell (Baker)).
Stress Test by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. -- They may not have enough evidence to convict him, but they have enough to ruin his life--if the kidnappers don't end it first. (Medical Suspense from Thomas Nelson).
Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin  by Pamela S. Meyers -- Will she lose her heart to the man who stole her job? (Historical Romance from Summerside Press (Guideposts)).
Mending the Doctor's Heart by Tina Radcliffe -- A new job in Paradise, Colorado, seems like the perfect fresh start for Dr. Ben Rogers. Only problem is, Dr. Sara Elliott has been counting on getting the same job. Once they negotiate a shared trial run, Ben expects working with Sara to be less than pleasant. Instead, he finds himself drawn to her. She's dedicated and compassionate, exactly the type of woman he used to want-when family was an option. But Sara's life is just as emotionally complicated as his own. (Romance from Love Inspired).
Madeline's Protector by Vanessa Riley -- A chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything. (Historical Romance from White Rose (Penguin)).
A Lady's Choice (American Tapestries Series) by Sandra Robbins -- Sarah Whittaker travels to Washington, DC, where she joins forces with suffragists but finds herself imprisoned and near death in the Occoquan Workhouse. (Historical Romance from Summerside Press (Guideposts).
When the Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti -- Three eras. Three women desperate for hope. Three reasons to believe it won't come in time. (General Contemporary from Abingdon Press).
The Women of Valley View: Terri by Sharon Srock -- A daycare owner hungry for a family of her own falls for a man with all the family he needs. (General Contemporary from Harbourlight Books (Pelican)).
Georgia Sweethearts by Missy Tippens -- A wary realist fulfilling the requirements of her aunt's will is forced to share space with a charming dreamer. (Contemporary  Romance from Love Inspired).
Captives (The Safe Lands) by Jill Williamson -- One choice could destroy them all. When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he'd find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed by enforcers, and many---including his fiancee, Jem--taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Land, a walled city that seems anything but safe. (Speculative Fiction from Zondervan).
The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman -- Brooke has only loved one man. Owen's heart is filled with bitterness. Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love? (Contemporary Romance from Thomas Nelson).
The Winnowing Season (Amish Vines and Orchards, Book 2) by Cindy Woodsmall -- The tornado that devastated Kings' Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community-and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?  (Contemporary Romance from Waterbrook Multnomah).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Title: The Cowboy Lawman
Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Love Inspired (March 19, 2013)
Pages: 224

Here are three known facts:

1)    I absolutely LOVE BRENDA MINTON books.

2)    I’m immediately drawn to anything with a cowboy … and typically love it.

3)    I’m immediately drawn to anything with a lawman.

If you put a cowboy hat and boots on a lawman, in a story written by BRENDA MINTON … well now I’m in Heaven.

I can’t think of a single story by MS. MINTON that I’ve read that I haven’t fallen in love with the hero. That alone says a lot about her ability to weave an amazing story. THE COWBOY LAWMAN was no exception, but a rule to MS. MINTON’S storytelling.

I love the Cooper family, and every character that sets their eyes on a Cooper member. I loved Slade McKennon’s character and his story. I often fall for the hero, but it takes an amazing writer to get me to REALLY like the heroine as well, and MS. MINTON accomplished that, too in this amazing read.
Slade McKennon feels it’s his duty to keep Mia Cooper safe. Only problem is, Mia doesn’t need a man to keep her safe. Especially not the handsome lawman she’s known most of her life, and was married to her best friend. She does just fine on her own.

THE COWBOY LAWMAN will have you swooning over Slade McKennon. It’s filled with interesting, three-dimensional characters with a touch of mystery and suspense. Your heart will race and your body tingle as you read the most amazing lines MS. MINTON delivers.
As always, BRENDA MINTON has roped me in and taken me away with her storytelling. Once started, you cannot seem to part with it until you have finished the very last word, and even then, you are left wanting more.

I have just one question … When’s the next one due out!!!!!

I feel a “Breeze” coming. Read the book and you’ll get it.