Thursday, December 12, 2013

When Mountains Move, a novel of tragedy and triumph

"If you haven't yet read Julie Cantrell's best-selling debut novel, Into the Free, you should probably get after that. If you're wondering why, check out [this] review or [this] interview with this stunning new literary talent. Done? OK. If you haven't gone over to your favorite retailer and "clicked to purchase" Into the Free yet, I'll give you a sec."We good? OK, now go ahead and let When Mountains Move drop into your shopping cart; you won't be disappointed!" --USA Today

About the book:
It is the spring of 1943. With a wedding and a cross-country move, Millie’s world is about to change forever.

If only her past could change with it.

Soon after the break of day, Bump will become Millie’s husband. And then, if all goes as planned, they will leave the rain-soaked fields of Mississippi and head for the wilds of the Colorado Rockies. As Millie tries to forget a dark secret, she hasn’t yet realized how drastically those past experiences will impact the coming days.

For most of Millie’s life, being free felt about as unlikely as the mountains moving. But she’s about to discover that sometimes in life, we are given second chances, and that the only thing bigger than her past … is her future.


About the author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Cantrell has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. She is the author of two children’s books as well as Into the Free, which received Christy Awards for Best Debut Novel and Book of the Year 2013 as well as the Mississippi Library Association’s Fiction Award. Cantrell and her family live in Mississippi where they operate Valley House Farm. Her second novel, When Mountains Move, released September 2013.
--Julie Cantrell, you know you are the best! Such a talented writer and dear soul!
--Julie!! Keep writing books that touch our hearts!
--Love Julie Cantrell's work.
--When Mountains Move is fabulous! Kept me turning pages into the late night. Interesting, complex characters!
--I voted for When Mountains Move because of the line "the only thing bigger than her past is her future." What happened in the past? I need to know! lol

Find more hot, new titles at Clash of the

Monday, December 2, 2013

Youth Fiction With a Timely Message

To my mind, there's nothing more important than touching the minds and spirits of young adults.
Consider the world they encounter each day--the cultural elements that battle for the hearts--and souls.
This week's CLASH OF THE TITLES post deals with just that.

For all those who need to unplug from our high tech world, Clash of the Titles presents a novel about reconnecting with those dearest to us, about turning off the cellphone and living in reality. Although written from the perspective of a new teen, Edna in the Desert applies to all ages.

About Edna in the Desert:
Edna is a precocious trouble-maker wreaking havoc at her Beverly Hills school. Her therapist advocates medication, but her parents come up with an alternative cure: Edna will spend the summer in the desert with her grandparents. Their remote cabin is cut off from cell phone service, Internet and television. Edna's determined to rebel until she meets an older local boy and falls in love for the first time. How can she get to know him from the edge of nowhere?

What readers have to say:
*  "Maddy Lederman is a 21 st Century Judy Blume"
* "The author displays literary maturity in her subtle, nuanced and patient treatment of Edna's movement from self-centered to other-centered.I recommend this book to all - not just the YA group & I hope to read other books from this author."
* "Loved this book, brought up so many things I think about in terms of kids, technology and our materialistic society."

About the author: 
Maddy Lederman's writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Sun
Runner, a magazine about California deserts. Maddy has an MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College. After school she discovered what it's like to wait around at auditions all day, and so she did not pursue an acting career. Edna In The Desert is Maddy's first novel.

Q&A with Maddy:
What has drawn you to writing for the YA market?
I wanted to write a warm, amusing story about how a modern teenager would react to being totally unplugged. Some of my friends’ kids don’t even look up from their phones to say hello, and I wonder where this is taking our culture. My character, Edna, is thirteen, so the YA market was naturally drawn to my book, but I wasn’t drawn to a particular market. I’ve found that adults enjoy Edna In the Desert as much as teens.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve done many quirky things, a lot of them in the desert! I took a “sound bath” at The Integratron. I hiked up a mountain in 110 degrees on a first date and eventually married the guy. My job in film and TV creates endless quirky opportunities, for example, covering Adam West, TV’s Batman, in creamed corn. We met years later in Palm Springs and laughed about it.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
On Facebook and my website,

Visit Clash of the Titles for the latest in Christian fiction!

*taken from Amazon reviews

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stone of Destiny - COTT Champ!

A hearty congratulations to Mary Ball, author of Stone of Destiny!

And a special thank-you to these authors for entering their great new releases:

Bonnie Doran, author of Dark Biology
Laura V. Hilton, author of Awakened Love
Maddy Lederman, author of Edna in the Desert
Julie Cantrell, author of When Mountains Move

About Stone of Destiny:

Taylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete--until her grandmother asks her to oversee the renovations of the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.
Her first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange. Unexpected feelings surface that she doesn't understand. Thoughts that should remain unspoken are voiced. Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself and forcing her to question everything she believes. Is this a fairytale, or simply her soul reaching out for a different world--a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?

What Voters Had to Say:

Mary L. Ball, I am looking forward to reading Stone of Destiny! The story sounds amazing.

Mary, your title sounds interesting. I like the idea of following the trail of an heirloom.
Stone of Destiny is one I look forward to reading.

Mary does such great work. What a mind ! I have been looking forward to her new book ever since I first heard about the storyline.

Mary Ball's Stone of Destiny excerpt takes a Christian believer out of the box.

Mary Ball is an excellent author. I am looking forward to her next book.

Stone of Destiny is good reading. You'll love it.

To to a wonderful beautiful lady Mary L. Ball keep on writing you are the best and your books are wonderful

About the author, Mary Ball:

She is a member of ACFW and lives in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. When she’s not writing, Mary enjoys supporting her husband’s ministry,singing, fishing, and reading a good novel.
For more about Mary visit her at
Find her on Twitter at <
and facebook,

Reviews for Stone of Destiny

Stone of Destiny by Mary L. Ball is a wonderful story of romance and one finding their way back to God through faith and trust. Taylor Harrison is the youngest CEO at the Mugful Beverage Company and she feels that her life is complete. With great trepidation she agrees to oversee the renovation of her grandmother's family home. Fifty years earlier, a sapphire ring was lost in the house and Granny Kay wants Taylor to search for the ring as the renovations are being made. After finding the ring, Taylor begins to have strange dreams and she is even making phone calls in her sleep at night.

Brent Roberts is the nephew of Granny Kay's best friend and he has been hired to do the renovations to the house. When he and Taylor meet, she is definitely not impressed even though she thinks he is the most handsome man she has ever seen. Brent is very much in tune with what God wants him to do with his life. His faith and the way he shares his knowledge of God cause Taylor to start questioning some of her beliefs. She soon realizes that she can only find happiness through a true faith in God.

The development of the plot, the characters, the dialogue, and the description of all the scenes were done in an excellent manner. The characters were so real that at times I wanted to shake Taylor and would not have minded if Brent gave me a hug. Granny Kay is the kind of grandma that everyone would love to have and her love for Taylor was a very important part of the story. All the action taking place in the book was so well done that in my mind I was struggling right along with Taylor as she worked to make her decisions and I was pulling for Brent to win Taylor's heart. I really appreciate the way that the author handled the romance in the story and how Taylor regained her faith in God and finally trusted Him with her life. Searching for the missing ring added a little suspense to the story.

Would she find the ring or would it be lost forever?

I highly recommend this book. If you like a wonderful story with lots of romance, a little bit of suspense, and a story in which faith in God plays a big part, then this is the book for you.

Mary Ball has written a book that people must read. I have watched a lot of Nicholas Sparks movies and this book ranks up to the top of a Nicholas Sparks love story.


This is the second book by Mary Ball that I have read. The first one was a mystery/suspense that had me guessing all the way to the end. This one had me intrigued and wondering all the way to the end what path Taylor was going to choose. This story starts out with a bang, literally, and I was wondering how I was going to put this book down to sleep that night. I love decorating and watching HGTV so I was especially interested in Mary's description of how this old house was being renovated by our very special hero. This book also takes place over a period of time so it is not an insta-love, but one that grows. Though sometimes I did get aggravated with Taylor for some of the choices she was making that would have resulted in a very lonely life.

Brent, our hero, was very patient, knew what he wanted, and pursued Taylor by not be overbearing or controlling. The dreams Taylor would have added an air of mystery to the whole plot and kept me turning the pages just to find out with Taylor why she was having them and what they meant. This book was provided to me by the author and the opinions are my own.

Buy Links:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Meet Karla Akins ~ The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots

This week I'm spotlighting a 'new-to-the-family' author at Pelican Book Group, Karla Akins. You're sure to love her, and her writing. Her book The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots has just released so I wanted to shine the spotlight on this gifted author! Leave a comment along with your contact info and you're entered to win a digital copy, so read on, and share the love!! Winner announced on Monday!!!


Karla Akins is a pastor's wife who rides her own motorcycle. She is the mother of four boys and one step-daughter, and grandmother of five. She lives in North Manchester with her husband who is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, her twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer's and three rambunctious dogs. Karla and her husband have been in ministry together for 30 years. You can contact Karla for speaking engagements via her website at


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My earliest memory is writing on my chalkboard with either hand. I was ambidextrous and didn’t choose a hand until 1st grade when I chose my left for writing. (I still use my right for other things.) But my fifth grade teacher discovered some poems I wrote and to keep me from being so naughty (I was a notorious talker and liked to “help” teach) encouraged me to make booklets of them. She supplied me with construction paper to make covers. I was self-publishing before anyone knew what self-publishing was!

What books have most influenced you?
The Bible of course. But the fiction books that had the greatest influence were Christy by Catherine Marshall, and Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott. My mother read Tom Sawyer to me when I was very, very young and I loved that story, too. But I think Christy influenced me to do what I do today. I don’t think I’d have considered marrying a minister had I not read that book. Little Women spoke to the writer in me. I love that story and the character of Jo. The book, Little Men by Alcott meant a lot to me as the mother of four boys and one daughter. And I love stories set in the south, so Tom Sawyer is one of my all-time favorites. There are tons of books I’m fond of, though, not just these.

What book(s) are you reading now?
Colleen Coble’s Rosemary Cottage, Brad Thor’s Hidden Order, Dan Brown’s Inferno, Tom Threadgill’s not-yet-published, Hollow Target and a few nonfiction for research. I’m always reading more than one book at once. It’s weird that I love reading political thrillers but I have no interest, really, in writing them. Maybe someday, but I think you have to be immensely clever to pull them off well.

What are your current projects?
I’m finishing up my full-length historical, River Moon Don’t Cry about a Melungeon girl whose father gambles her off to a sex-trafficking, gambling steamboat. (Very different from Biker Boots. But don’t worry, there’s still some humor in it.) Also Marco Polo for my Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know series and a couple of others. I think it helps me to have more than one project going. I panic less if I get a little stuck on one of them. I’m also a full-time college student pursuing my degrees in Special Education.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Everything! I’m fairly new to writing novels so I’m constantly learning how to do it well. I’d like to get better at choreographing fight scenes. Even though I raised four boys, I’m just not that familiar with the mechanics of how guys fight. So I have to read a lot on that.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’d like readers to come away with the message that we’re all valuable, we all have a purpose, and no matter our background and others’ backgrounds, Jesus died for all. As Christians we should embrace those who are different. Different doesn’t mean wrong, it just means different.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that God is in control, and that His purpose prevails. This is my very first full-length novel, so I also learned how to discipline myself, how to take criticism (from my crit partners who are lovely) and how to persevere.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Mainly the challenges were that I knew very little about the mechanics of novel writing, so I had a lot to learn. I had a good story idea, but didn’t know how to pull it off in a way that was marketable. I never could have sold it had I not had a critique group or attended writer’s conferences. As far as logistical, so much happened in my family during that time so I had to learn to keep writing through pain and chaos.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope they’ll enjoy the book and have a great ride while reading it. I’d love to hear from them! I love communicating with my readers. I’m fascinated by their thoughts and opinions. And I hope that they will be encouraged as Christians in this human race.


Pastor’s wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls.

Kirstie loves roaring down a road less traveled by most women over forty, but she’s not just riding her bike for the fun of it. Kirstie has a ministry. However, certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses Kirstie’s ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers, those secrets could be exposed…and some will stop at nothing to hide the truth.

Join Kirstie and her motorcycle “gang”—two church matrons and a mouthy, gum-smacking non-church member—as they discover that road-toughened bikers are quite capable of ministering to others, and faith is fortified in the most unexpected ways.

Purchase Link: Pelican Book Group ~ Purchase Link: Amazon.Com ~ Purchase Link: Barnes & Noble

Good luck in the drawing, gang! Now, go forth and enjoy the ride!

Until next time ~ Blessings!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Experience THE RISING ~ Lynn Chandler Willis

Today I'm excited to introduce you to Lynn Chandler-Willis. Lynn's debut release, THE RISING, is this week's featured release from Pelican Book Group, and what an outstanding concept! Before I dive in to specifics, I want you to get to know Lynn. She's a welcome addition to the PBG family, and I'm delighted to have her join us at the blog!!


Lynn Chandler-Willis has worked in the corporate world (hated it!), the television news business (fun job) and the newspaper industry (not a fan of the word "apparently" and phrase "according to"). She keeps coming back to fiction because she likes making stuff up and you just can't do that in the newspaper or television news business.
She was born, raised, and continues to live in the heart of North Carolina within walking distance to her kids and their spouses and her nine grandchildren. She shares her home, and heart, with Sam the cocker spaniel.
She is the author of the best-selling true crime book, Unholy Covenant. The Rising is her debut novel.
OK, Lynn, straight away, I have to tell you, we're sisters of a sort. I worked for a number of years at the ABC-TV affiliate in Flint, MI as an associate producer and writer. Loved the energy and humming vibe of being in a newsroom - hated the weird hours when trying to raise a family, so I changed career paths. 
Tell me about what led you to write THE RISING. It's an amazing concept (blurb and excerpt follows!).
The idea for The Rising came to me, in all places, at the grocery store. And I mean it hit me like the proverbial brick. I stopped pushing the cart and just stood there in the middle of the aisle playing the “what if” game.
What if...a non-believer comes face-to-face with a miracle. Can they still deny God? When there is no other explanation, can they still question God's existence? And taking it one step further, how can you question a miracle when its shared by an innocent child? They know no better.
I started working the idea from that point, knowing I wanted a main character to be broken and vulnerable, but too stubborn to admit it.
Amazing inspiration, Lynn. I love those moments of God-speak!
A little boy, beaten and left to die in an alley.  A cop with a personal life out of control. When their worlds collide, God intervenes.
Detective Ellie Saunders's homicide investigation takes a dramatic turn when a young victim "wakes up" in the morgue. The child has no memory prior to his "rising" except walking with his father along a shiny road.
Ellie likes dealing with facts. She'd rather leave all the God-talk to her father, a retired minister, and to her partner, Jesse, a former vice cop with an annoying habit of inserting himself into her life. But will the facts she follows puts Ellie's life in mortal danger? And will she finally allow God into her heart forever?
“Jack told me you were at lunch. Caper’s is one of my favorites, so I thought I’d take a chance.” He winked at her then sidled closer. “Anyway, I was thinking about your dead kid—“
“He’s not dead.”
A waitress slammed a sandwich down in front of Ellie, and Jesse helped himself to a homemade chip.
“OK, so he’s not dead. You have sent his picture to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children?”
She huffed. “Did Jack send you?”
“No, Jack didn’t send me. I was just thinking if the center didn’t get a hit, I’ve got a few connections with the FBI, and they’ve got some really cool equipment.”
Ellie pulled a piece of bacon from her sandwich and chewed on one end. “Thanks, but no thanks. I really don’t want the Feds involved.”
Jesse snatched another chip and shook his head. “No black suit with shades is going to swoop in and take your case, Detective Saunders.” He grinned and helped himself to another chip. “I thought we could get them to run his picture through the facial recognition scann Maybe we’ll get a hit.”
What was with all the we stuff? The case was complicated enough. The last thing she needed was Jesse involved. She didn’t need a constant reminder of her downward spiral.
Like I said, friends, amazing concept and fantastic writing. Grab your copy of The Rising right here:

Pelican Book Group  ~  ~  Barnes & Noble

Happy reading, and blessings!



Monday, June 24, 2013

Meet Donna B. Snow & A Piece of Heaven Giveaway!

Donna B. Snow is a fellow author at Pelican Book Group who truly shines a light within our family of scribes. She's a delight, so is it any wonder her latest release, A Piece of Heaven, has captured my heart? Let's get to know this gifted author!

I was born and raised in New England and although I've seen much of the country, this is the area I will always call home. I love the change of seasons and the beauty each one brings. There is no place quite like it.

I've been married over 20 years and we have one teenage daughter who will be going to college next year. I am an active member in my church,  a member of the choir (along with my daughter), and I write not just stories, but  music as well. Perhaps some of that will be published someday, too.

I love, love, love New England, Donna - what a blessing to be able to call that area of the country your home base!

Now, let's take a peek at A Piece of Heaven! Donna has graciously agreed to award a PDF copy of this wonderful romance to a lucky commenter, so share the love and tell us about your "piece of heaven!" Where do you go to find God, inspiration, rejuvenation?


Trina Wembly dreamt of owning a Christian coffee house for years –a Godly place where people could enjoy a good meal, and entertainment that wasn’t offensive. A Piece of Heaven is that dream.

Jared Larou, the construction foreman who helps design and build the coffee house, is a wounded soul with a soft heart. 

Once the coffee house opens, Trina and her partner, Laura, work day and night. From coffee in the morning, to gourmet dinners in the evenings, it’s a heavy load. Plus Trina performs most nights as the entertainer at the coffee house.

Trina longs to be more than just friends with Jared, she just hopes that’s what God wants for her too.


Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.—Proverbs 3:5

Trina Wembly stared at the name painted on the frosted glass, Dared Construction & Design. This was it, the start of her dream. She took a deep breath and pulled the door open. She hoped everything she’d heard about them was true.
She tugged at her gypsy skirt, smoothed a hand along the soft cotton, and then wrapped the other hand around her leather shoulder bag. Heart pounding, she stepped inside.
Classy, but understated. The reception area was a contrast of styles: elegant, not ostentatious; a bit eclectic, but well blended. She eased her grip as she absorbed the warm atmosphere the company had created. 
Framed prints hung on the walls, one by M.C. Escher. She recognized her favorite—Convex and Concave. Others she didn’t recognize with certainty, but would have guessed—Monet and Van Gogh, to name a couple. Intermixed with them were pictures of construction sites, some works in progress, some after completion. All Dared sites. All wonderful pieces of architecture that added to the environment they were in.
From cottage style, to country, to contemporary with a Mediterranean flair—color and texture and style surrounded her. Oh yeah, they could help her create the atmosphere she wanted in A Piece of Heaven, turn her dream into something real. Still, would they be able to get her vision from her simple drawings?

Marianne's Review:

For me, and for so many who love the uplift and hope to be found in well-written Christian romance, there’s nothing quite like a prodigal story to stir the fires of faith. In the pages of A Piece of Heaven, I found just such a treat. With a wonderful mix of heart and emotion, Donna B. Snow’s novella showed me the beautiful mix of two people who were meant to be together—if they can move forward from a painful past.
When Jared Larou meets the spirited, dream-chasing Trina Wembly, he’s battling heavy duty demons. Jared is a former believer, helping Trina design and construct a coffee shop where she will also headline as a singer. He’s drawn to the charming entertainer who provides acoustic-style Christian music for her customers each night. Trina is just what Jared needs—compassionate and caring, thoughtful and tender—but is he ready for a relationship with her? Is he ready to even attempt reconciliation with God?
Snow uses strong emotion and lovely setting details to draw you in and keep you turning the pages until you find out. A Piece of Heaven is a wonderful story about the way God chases us, and blesses us with love and fresh hope, even when we don’t think we deserve it.


Donna's Blog:

Happy reading everyone and get to commenting so you can WIN!! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Giveaway & Celebrating the Release of By Appointment Only

It's a Sunday after-church tradition. Following Mass, my husband and I head straight to National Coney Island for breakfast. It's a family-style diner. There's dish clatter, a flood of conversation, kids laughing (and crying!) and folks wiping sleep from their eyes as they hunker in with a cup of coffee, some pancakes, or some bacon and eggs.

It's comfort, and comfort food, that's as familiar to us as a sunrise, and we've even gotten to know a number of the waitresses. When my husband had hip replacement, a few of them even made it a point to stop by and chat, wondering how his recovery progressed. I love this place, and it became the inspiration for my Sal's Place Series.
After all, can't you  imagine Jennifer strolling the aisles, taking orders and serving customers with a smile? Sal Cocossa hard at work cooking behind the flat top grill? Luke and Callie West having dinner together? Ryan Douglas stopping in for a quick cup of coffee while patrolling the streets of Detroit?
Today, Sal's Place has a new entry - By Appointment Only! I want you to get to know Matt Bellinger and Heather Cavanaugh - so, to celebrate, I'm giving away an autographed, print copy of Search & Rescue (Book 1) and Beautiful Music (Book 2). All you have to do is leave a comment, talking about your favorite spot to savor down-home comfort food and casual atmosphere. I can't wait to hear from you! Don't worry about reading the series in order, or being lost if you haven't read them all - these are stand-alone romances full of faith, hope, and love.
Giveaway winners will be announced next Saturday right here at the blog, so be sure to check back!
Political dynamo Matt Bellinger understands he has an unyielding responsibility to work hard for the betterment of his community and the world around him. Life, he believes, should be built strictly on effort and tangibles, not an elusive faith.
But that belief is challenged when a bill to spearhead volunteerism leads him to canvassing efforts at Detroit's legendary diner, Sal's Place, and a meeting with Heather Cavanaugh. His polar opposite, the street-smart beauty challenges his heart and perceptions. She's the head stylist at Optiva, a trendy, upscale hair salon in downtown Detroit, as well as a tireless volunteer giving back to the city she loves in honor of the God she serves.
Love blooms, gradually shifting Matt's perceptions. But when a life-threatening illness in his family challenges that fledgling faith, will he be able to hold fast to his newfound beliefs? Will he discover that faith makes all things possible and love makes all things beautiful?
Matt made it to the hospital in plenty of time to give Mandy’s untethered arm a gentle squeeze and dot her forehead with a kiss. He loved the way her eyes lit up at the sight of his gift—a big, pink teddy bear with get-well-soon balloons tied to its paws. Once the pre-operative sedative kicked in, Mandy became sluggish, so Matt followed his family out of the room. Only Rick and Stephanie stayed behind.
In the waiting room, the O’Connors and a few couples from Rick and Stephanie’s church that Matt had never met before convened to wait for word from the OR. As a group, they joined hands and murmured a prayer. Matt watched, compelled by the scene, and he thought instantly of Heather, of how readily and easily she had prayed at dinner, just like these people prayed now. She was comfortable with her faith and her beliefs, as well as the pattern of her life.
Matt felt a stab of yearning that had nothing to do with the love he held for Heather. Rather, the ache that swelled through his chest as the prayer session ended stemmed from the fact that he could feel the peace that flowed. He saw it in their eyes and in the more relaxed way they moved.
But he couldn’t taste it for himself. He was an outsider, hungry yet rootless, staring through plate glass at a feast meant to fill and quench.
How, he wondered, could he ever break through?
“Hey there, handsome.”
From behind, that quiet, subdued summons reached his ears…then entered his heart.
Matt spun, face-to-face with Heather who stepped straight into his arms and held on tight.
The love that washed through him was so powerful, words failed.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sharon Srock Introduces us to...Terri...with a Print Book Giveaway!

The Women of Valley View are back, so I'm welcoming author Sharon Srock to the blog once again. I'm eager to check out this new release and discover what's new with Sharon - this gracious author has even offered up a print copy of Terri to a lucky commenter, so leave us some love and your e-mail address so we can reach out to you if you win! 

Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter.

Sharon’s debut novel, The Women of Valley View: Callie released in October 2012. The second in the series, The Women of Valley View: Terri freshly released just this month.

Connect With Sharon Here:


Sharon, do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve always been a reader. I NEVER had any desire to write, but God had other plans for me. So, the interest comes directly from Him. I’m waiting to see where He takes it.

What books have most influenced you?

I’ve had a library card for as long as I can remember. As a child I was more interested in the next book than the next…anything. I don’t think I can narrow fifty years of books to a specific set, type, or author. As a child I read just about anything I could get my hands on. I had my Trixie Beldon years, that graduated to Ms. Holts Gothic romances in mid high, Straight romances as a young wife and mother, I had several years of Horror novels, a decade or so of Science fiction/fantasy, heavy on Star Trek titles, Now, mainly court room drama and romantic suspense when I have time to read.

What book are you reading now?

Homefires by Emily Sue Harvey

What are your current projects?

Pam, the third book in the Women of Valley View series is at my publisher for consideration. I am furiously writing the fourth book, Samantha.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I try to write it right the first time, instead of just getting the story on paper first and fixing it later. It slows me down since I try to re-read the whole thing everyday before I add new lines and pages. After I have 50 pages or so, the writing seems to progress much faster since I don’t have time to reread.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The importance of dreams, and the importance of NOT putting those dreams in front of what God has for us. If God has given you a dream for your life, He’ll get you there if you give Him control. Just because the route He takes is different than yours doesn’t mean the destination isn’t the same.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

OH, yeah. I’m Terri in most of the book. I saw so many parallels in her confusion over where God was taking her and where she wanted to be with my life in the early writing and my questions about this  being God’s will for me. Most of Terri’s prayer’s are mine as I wrote.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

You know, writing Callie’s story was a challenge for me in so many ways. Pam’s story was an emotional challenge because I’ve had a lot of the feeling she’ll deal with in the third story. Aside from the introspection mentioned above, Terri’s story was pretty easy to write.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

To repeat the most important point-- If God has given you a dream for your life, He’ll get you there if you give Him control. Just because the route He takes is different than yours doesn’t mean the destination isn’t the same.

And now, let's meet Terri! (And, as a personal aside, I just have to say, I love the hero's name - Steve Evans - since that's my DH's name as well!!)

Despite a bustling day care center and a new foster child, Terri Hayes hungers for a family of her own. Then a plumbing mishap leaves her homeless and questioning God’s plan. Steve Evans’s gracious offer of his basement apartment as a temporary solution is an answered prayer.
Steve is a successful writer and a good father, but Terri is horrified when Steve’s book research leads him to a harsh confrontation with the parents of her foster child.  She needs to distance herself from Steve, but her efforts fall short as his two scheming daughters plot to make Terri their new stepmother.
Will harsh words and sneaky plans drive Kelsey’s family further apart and put a wedge between Terri and Steve? Or does God have another plan in store?

Barnes and Noble:
Pelican book group:

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Megan Deitchler, step right up and enjoy the fun! You won the drawing for a personally autographed, print copy of Hearts Communion as well as a $15 gift certificate to Pelican Book Group  ( )  I hope you enjoy the book and the shopping spree!!

If you didn't win this time, don't feel bad. Beautiful Music releases in just a few weeks - on March 8th - and I'll sponsor a similar reader-lovin' contest then!! So, stay tuned, and thanks as always for your support and encouragement!

God Bless ~


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sal's Place / Search & Rescue

Welcome to Sal's Place!

Step up to the counter, take a seat and I'll have the waitress pour some coffee while we chat about Search and Rescue.

I've always been fond of family-owned, mom-and-pop style eateries. Setting a series of inspy romances in a time-honored diner located by the Detroit Riverfront speaks of all things cozy and loving. The idea appealed to the foodie in me, and the result is a four-book series from Pelican Book Group called, you guessed it, Sal's Place.

Search and Rescue has just debuted, and I'm dying to give you all the details so you can join the journey ~ I hope you love reading these stories as much as I loved creating them!

So, make yourself at home! Enjoy the blurb and excerpt. Leave me a comment, with e-mail contact info - and you'll be entered to win a $15 gift certificate to Pelican Book Group as well as a personally autographed, print edition of Hearts Communion, Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year in Romance! Winner announced, appropriately enough, on February 14th - Valentine's Day!!!


Holding on for a hero...

Jennifer Foster isn’t one for fairytales. As a source of emotional support for her troubled mother she doesn’t have time.Grounded in the practicality of living day-by-day, the tenderhearted waitress loves to swap food and affection with the regulars at Detroit's legendary diner, Sal’s Place.

When a robbery at the diner sends her life spinning into the capable arms of a Detroit Police officer, Ryan Douglas steps to the forefront of her life, whether she's ready to accept his loving care or not. But Ryan contends with his own set of family difficulties and circumstances that just might overwhelm their fledgling relationship.

Will the blending of their lives, and the love they feel, bring about heartbreak, or will God’s ultimate plan be allowed to play out, and bring them both to a point of acceptance, and love’s embrace?


“Hey, Sal, Mrs. Peterson’s sending back her order of spaghetti.” Jennifer Foster put a touch of spin on the rejected plate when she slid it across the metal dividing shelf between the kitchen and service areas. “She says she wants her noodles al dente.”

Sal Cocossa scowled. He planted his fists on hips covered by a speckled white apron. “Seriously.”

“She called it a pile of mush, but go easy. She’s having a bad day. Mr. Peterson’s back in the hospital.”

Sal’s expression immediately eased. “Is it his heart again?”

Jennifer nodded.

“So, you talked to her?”

"For the past couple minutes. Poor thing. She’s pretty much a wreck about it.”

“Fifty years of marriage tend to act on a person that way.” Sal gave a nod and returned his attention to the stove, sliding and jiggling a sauté pan full of caramelizing green pepper and onion, a generous heap of crumbled, homemade sausage, and diced garlic cloves. “I’ll take care of the replacement.

"Thanks, Jenny-Lynn. You’re good people.”

Jennifer adored sixty-year-old Salvatore Cocossa, III and let him know it in the way she fluttered her lashes and smiled into his eyes. “Thanks, boss. Let’s give her al dente…and hope she doesn’t dente her teeth when she crunches into it.”

The quip inspired a spontaneous burst of Sal’s rich, chesty laughter. The reaction warmed Jennifer through.

A moment later, Sal called out the new spaghetti order then scooped up a whisk and lifted a metal bowl, scrambling up some eggs, back to work in the kitchen—master of the legendary diner, Sal’s Place.

Sal’s Place was an old fashioned, family-owned diner located on the Detroit riverfront. The restaurant had claimed its spot on the roadmap of Motown ever since the roaring twenties. Back then, Sal’s great-grandfather had opened and operated the restaurant. In those days, the juggernaut that was the industrial age had lifted Detroit to greatness and times weren’t just good—they were spectacular.

Jennifer’s glance touched upon black and white photos that chronicled the history of the diner. After ten years at Sal’s Place, she knew them by rote. The visual timeline crossed the walls like a history quilt. Her subsequent glance through the windows of the eatery told a much sadder story. Decayed buildings were barely lit against a fast descending early-autumn evening. Intermittent headlights from infrequent cars flashed against dingy bricks; some of the masonry was decorated by graffiti. To say this proud, tough city had fallen upon hard times would be gross understatement.

Battling a swell of sadness, Jennifer pulled away from the blight and returned her focus to the warm, bright atmosphere of the diner. She thought about Mrs. Peterson and sadness turned into compassion. The food at Sal’s Place was top rate; Jennifer knew there was nothing wrong with Sonya Peterson’s order, but she also realized the overburdened, elderly woman had suffered much lately. Sonya needed understanding—and a healthy dose of good fortune. Jennifer knew the feeling, so she championed the idea of cutting this warmhearted regular a bit of slack for ornery behavior.

Awaiting the new plate of food, Jennifer took in the crowd. She checked the lineup of full tables on this Saturday night. There were plenty. Then she automatically tracked back to the front door, where a line of customers were queued to be seated. The place was jumping.

She took note of two uniformed men standing at the head of the line. Glimmering silver chest badges identified them both as members of the 3rd Precinct of the Detroit PD. They were vaguely familiar—semi-regulars. Being a hometown girl, Jennifer knew there was no more gritty form of serve and protect imaginable. Crime prevention—in downtown Detroit? Her problems amounted to nothing by comparison to what these men must witness each day. Her pulse quickened in automatic reflex. Talk about nobility in the face of daunting odds.

Besides, what was it about a handsome man in a uniform?

One in particular captured her focus and held it fast. He was the taller one, who sported the stripes of a Sergeant, short raven hair and a strong, solid build. He looked her straight in the eyes then quirked his lips in a deliberate form of acknowledgement. The reaction left Jennifer to wonder if he hadn’t somehow heard the exchange with Sal.

Her brows furrowed and the striking, mahogany-eyed man gave her a nod. Something in the undercurrents of that innocent moment left Jennifer acutely aware of herself. She flushed head to toe beneath his lingering regard and promptly looked elsewhere. Snagging a coffee pot—decaf due to the time of day—she prepared to make the rounds and return for Sonya’s plate once Sal called her table ticket. It’d be best, she figured, to move on to more worthwhile pursuits than ogling.

Still, while she moved through the restaurant, Jennifer watched Celia, their long-time hostess direct the two officers toward a booth. Sure enough, they ended up at one of Jennifer’s stations. Expectation danced along her nerve endings. Determinedly she doused that reaction and clutched the handle of the steaming glass carafe. Heat stemmed from nothing more than a temporary flame of infatuation, she thought, a headiness derived from the impact of a crisp, royal blue uniform. Or, maybe it was all that tough muscle juxtaposed against those warm eyes and that soft, knowing smile…

The officers sat. When the object of Jennifer’s admiration happened to look her way, she caught her breath and spun away fast, grateful she didn’t believe in mental telepathy. Strangely enough, though, being watched by the man left her feeling as though she had landed dead-center of VIP radar…if only for a moment or two.

Well, she thought ruefully, so much for not ogling.

Intrigued?? I sure hope so! Here's where you can find Search & Rescue:

Pelican Book Group ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Christian Book-DotCom

And in case you're wondering, Beautiful Music, Book 2 of Sal's Place, hits the shelves on March 8, 2013 - watch for it!

Blessings, friends, and thanks for letting me share my joy!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Clare Revell Brings Us Wednesday's Child

I love repeat visitors to the blog - and Clare Revell is always a delight. Today I'm shining a spotlight on her latest release, WEDNESDAY'S CHILD. Meet her now, then check out my review!


Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, sewing or keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make, she's working part time in the breakfast club at one of the local schools.

She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.

She can be found at:


A Romantic Suspense for Every Day of the Week Wednesday's Child grieves for his soul...

Liam Page, school teacher and ex-missionary, is a man with a secret agenda. Revenge. But when he says it with flowers, and accidentally drenches a woman who just happens to be the school's landscape architect, he may have found a light in his darkness.

After an abusive relationship, Jacqui Dorne prefers work to men. It's safer. But Liam Page with his boyish charm and wounded soul, manages to change her preferences. Has God led her to Liam to help him heal?

When their growing relationship is marred by the reappearance of Jacqui's ex-boyfriend, they find themselves suddenly embroiled in a series of dangerous events which leads them to Africa and has them fighting for both love and life.

Any book that begins with the scripture Jeremiah 29:11-13 is going to grab my attention straight away. This formative verse is so applicable to the wonderful story Revell creates in Wednesday’s Child.

I’m enjoying her spin on a time-honored nursery rhyme and the ways in which she weaves each day’s verse into a spine-tingling suspense novel. (I have to admit: I’ve gotten sneak peeks at all of Clare’s covers for this series, and Wednesday’s Child is my favorite. What an amazing, straight on depiction of the hero! But I digress…)

Liam Page is wounded. The burdens he carries tug your heart. I love the ordained way in which he meets our more than worthy heroine, Jacqui Dorne. Their paths, we discover, were meant to intersect—not just on a professional but on a personal level as well.

Some of my favorite stories deal with the issue of why God allows bad things to happen to seemingly innocent people. Add to that theme the threat of a menacing villain and you have the recipe for a great page-turner. Revell writes with a clean style and a keen sense of romance and suspense. Balancing the two can be tricky, but in her hands and heart the combination works and engages the reader to the last page.

Revell delivers on all counts in this offering, and I look forward to Thursday’s Child – coming soon from Pelican Book Group!


Amazon Purchase Link
Pelican Book Group Purchase Link

DISCLAIMER: A copy of this book was provided to me free of charge by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.