Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Carol Brown and her newest book for children

Thank you, Lisa, for hosting me! I always enjoy talking about Sassy Pants and delighting children with another story in the series!

Buy Sassypants in paperback format from Amazon, $11.99, or order from your favorite bookstore.
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996495356

Can you tell us about your new book? Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures 

Sassy Pants Learns...about strange creatures is a continuation of the story of Sassy Pants learning to overcome difficulties she, in large part, created. In this story she tackles fear and worry—fear of her father’s reaction, and fear of those animals different from the ones she is used to. Her worry and fear make the situation much more scary than it really is. When she faces the situation instead of running away or hiding, she finds friends and learns to call for help when it is needed. By calling for help, and help comes, she has a new picture, a bigger, more complete picture of her father that’s not scary at all.

What is the message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

There are actually two. The first is that if we can keep from being offended by differences (like looks or smell) we may find a good friend. On the other hand, some strangers are truly dangerous. We need to learn the difference and know who to call for help.

The second is that fear and worry exaggerate our problems. The good news is that we can overcome fear and worry.

What inspired you to write this book?  My husband urged me to write a sequel to the first book in the Sassy Pants series. He argued that she was so naughty in the first book that I should give her the opportunity to redeem herself. But I didn’t have another story in me. I even asked God’s help in convincing him that there were no more stories, and that was when God downloaded the rest of the series! So...here we are!

For those who aren't familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I began writing in 1996 about highly sensitive people and how sensitivity affects you as in individual. My purpose was to give voice and vocabulary for people’s experience of life. It was a lot of work and I was relieved when done! I told God that I didn’t want to write any more hard books. I guess He was good with that because that is when He downloaded the stories in the Sassy Pants series!

Whether I am writing for adults or children, my focus is to leave the reader not only with a nugget of knowledge, but that they are in some way wiser, stronger in character and more able to make wise decisions. I believe humor helps us learn more easily so you will find I use it liberally!

How long have you been writing?
I began writing in 1996, as a way to save my sanity during recovery from M.S., but I have been telling stories f.o.r.e.v.e.r! (Probably more like 65 years of story telling.)

How many books have you written? I’ve written 3 for adults and about 10 for children...3 of which are published.

A brief bio “I began telling stories when I had enough brothers to make an audience!” (four brothers and one sister) My husband and I reside in Grand Rapids, MI. with my elderly mother. We have two daughters on the west coast, five grandchildren and one great grandchild. I was raised in a farming community in Iowa. I enjoy reading, nature and music, playing the piano, knitting, crocheting, painting and telling stories! As a retired educator, “I dedicate myself to knitting sweaters and spinning yarns!

Visit Carol's website
Facebook Page
Tweet with Carol

Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures is the third book in the series.
Check her Amazon page for purchase details.

·         Choices have consequences. (She bumps into this fact in other books in the series.)
·         Different kinds of “sorry”
·         The importance of listening...or not
·         Respecting feelings, fences and boundaries
·         Bullying
·         Some learn the easy way...and some learn the hard way. It’s your choice.

·         Words and actions can both hurt
·         Why we apologize and ask forgiveness
·         What amends is and why it is important
·         How to make amends

·         About honor – what it is and how to do it

Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Review - All's Fair in Love and Arson by Sharon McGregor

All’s Fair in Love and Arson 
Sharon McGregor

Prism Book Group
c. Nov 2015

inspirational holiday romance

.99 ebook
ISBN 9781943104255

Buy on Amazon http://amzn.to/1GNIZ4K

From the publisher: 
Bella is back at her childhood home. When her mother took a fall in the Nuisance Grounds (garbage dump) and broke her leg, Bella came back to help her and run her shop, Izzie's. Soon Bella discovers she's also been handed Izzie's role in the town's Christmas theatre production, a musical version of a well-known mystery that threatens to become more bizarre each day. A serial arsonist is frightening the townspeople, a family feud threatens young romance, and intrigue and rumors are the order of the day. On top of everything, Bella's high school sweetheart Jake, who dumped her for a cheerleader, is now Chief of Police. Poor Bella! Christmas in St. Christopher's is not what it used to be.

My review:
Bella comes home to her small town of St. Christopher to help her mother at the shop while Izzie heals from a broken leg. It’s been twelve years and old wounds have festered. But St. Christopher has some secrets—some good, some not-so-good. One of them is the new chief of police—Jake—Bella’s high school honey she thought cheated on her all those years ago. She can’t decide if that’s a good or not-so-good secret. Another is the amount of nostalgia for a sense of home Bella left behind and never really felt anywhere else.

Izzie has a few secrets of her own—including a romance and a task for Bella to force her into the public through a local theater production role. A definitely not-so-good secret is there’s an arsonist afoot, and no one knows his or her next target. This is not the St. Christopher Bella left behind. In some ways, it’s better.

McGregor’s small town family stories pack a lot into a sweet, easy, quick read that tends to linger with a sense of nostalgia after the last page. Told in a folksy, third person manner from Bella’s point of view, the reader is transported to December in St. Christopher, where the nativity set in the hardware store window reminds Bella and Jake what life is truly all about. A gentle, multi-generational love story with a bit of mystery and lots of fun. For those who enjoy a quick and clean read with forgiveness to go around twice.

About the Author:

Sharon McGregor is a west coast transplant from the Canadian prairies. Her imagination and story weaving got its start when she was an only child living on a farm. She's moved on from cowgirl dreams to romance and mystery, but hasn't lost her love for horses.
When not writing or reading, she's busy with the two shops she shares with her daughter- an ice cream and candy store and a bath boutique.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review: Patriot's Pride by Penelope Marzec


Patriot’s Pride
Penelope Marzec

Prism Book Group
July 2015

ISBN  978-1514364994

About the Book:
With knowledge, he believed he could find answers.

She had only faith.

Derrick, a surgeon, is haunted by his brother’s death. When his prayers went unanswered, he turned his faith to science. He believes studying with an esteemed surgeon in England will return meaning to his life.

Margaret’s fiancĂ© died at the hands of a doctor who bled him to death. On board the Prosperity, she meets the arrogant Doctor Fortune who considers her no less than a milkmaid. She considers him a butcher. Though she must journey to England to hear the reading of the will of her grandfather, the Earl of Broadcraft, she finds herself constantly confronting Derrick on his methods of healing. Yet, there is something about his soulful eyes that attracts her.

When a British ship presses the Prosperity’s sailors into service, Margaret and Derrick must work together if they are to reach England. But can they ever learn to trust each other enough to allow love into their hearts?

My Review:
Peril and Romance on the High Sea

The second book in the Patriots saga is a thrill ride. Marzec’s story of a citizen of the new United States of America traveling to enemy territory, England, to learn of her inheritance, is an exciting story. From the start of the perilous sea voyage, to the death of an emotionally disturbed passenger, to a marauding British ship and highwaymen and murder, poor Margaret hardly stands a chance to get to her late grandfather’s manor to hear the reading of the will, much less claim anything of value. When she reaches the manor to see it virtually empty and the solicitor dead, facing the hostile local constable is a laugh. Help comes from a surprise source—the mournful, proud young surgeon who matched skill and wits, and occasionally temper, on the voyage from America. Derrick has crossed the ocean to study with a famed doctor, but once he learns Margaret is in trouble, rushes to her aid.
During the turn of events, Margaret realizes that the pride she accuses Derrick of flaunting is only an echo of her own behavior. Both must come to terms with matters of faith, lifestyle, and prejudices which threaten any chance of future happiness.

Told through the eyes of both Margaret and Derrick, Patriot’s Pride is well-told historical adventure looking at rebel colonists from the eyes of the British, a humbling experience all around. Well done historic details makes this adventure a great read. Recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction with aa little humor amidst matching wits, peril, and romance.

About the Author:

Penelope Marzec started reading romances at a young age even though her mother told her they would ruin her mind, which they did. She became hopelessly hooked on happy endings. She is a member of the New Jersey Romance Writers, the Liberty States Fiction Writers, and EPIC. Winning the EPPIE award twice for inspirational fiction, she has also been a finalist in the same contest. Her paranormal, Irons In The Fire, was a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review - the Last Princess of Meigen by Rachel James


The Last Princess of Meigen
Rachel James

Prism Book Group
c. May 2015

ISBN 978-1512263534

Buy on Amazon

About the Book:
She must choose between love and duty...

A captivating tale of love and duty as the last princess of Meigen searches for her true purpose amidst conflict and betrayal.

It is 626AD, and the ancient Kingdom of Meigen is left vulnerable to neighboring Saxons. To unite the kingdoms and bring peace, Princess Alena must enter into a royal marital alliance. But when the handsome physician, Sherwin, befalls her, matters become complicated. Torn between obligations to her young son and country, she faces a difficult decision. Will Alena obey the king’s orders, or choose to follow her heart? 

My Review:
The second in a series of medieval tales, Rachel James’s stories have continued to unfold with enough detail and richness to take the reader back fifteen hundred years. Knights, kings, betrayal, spies, a baby religion and courtly romance adds up to a fine tale that will enchant those who enjoy some shiny armor with their everyday castle living.

With the loss of her husband, commoner Alena, married into the royal family and mother of the prince, is ill-treated by her father-in-law. When danger in the form of an invasion looms, she is tasked with marrying again to forge an alliance with a nearby kingdom, as well as find and delivery any kind of valuable information…if she wants to see her son again. The couriers are none other than heroes from the first book in the series, the now-married Ryce, and his friend Sherwin, former physician held to blame for the King Niall’s loss of wife in childbirth.

Poor Sherwin finds his soulmate, a woman not only on a mission that involves marriage to another, but also one who does not share his faith.

Old friends pop up once the group reaches Niall’s kingdom of Angularem. There, Alena realizes her true purpose in life, if only she wasn’t in such a dubious unwanted position as a member of royalty. At the price of her son’s life and future, Alena and Sherwin must act in truth and dignity.
Told from multiple viewpoints, James’s story is for those who enjoy inspirational fiction with an ageless message of faith and truth.

About the Author:

Rachel A. James grew fascinated with the medieval time period as a child. Dubbed a bookworm from a young age, Rachel found herself surrounded by places steeped in history and adventure. She enjoyed trips with her family to visit nearby derelict castles and Roman ruins, and that coupled with a zealous imagination and love for stories, sparked her interest in knights, fortresses and ancient kingdoms.

Born and bred in England, Rachel now writes adventure driven historical romance, she is also a pastor's wife and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others in their own spiritual journey. She's also insanely addicted to romantic tales... combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she's smitten! Find her at www.rachelajames.com for more information.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nike Chillemi's Deadly Designs

Deadly Designs is available on Amazon in ebook format

$3.99 Buy on Amazon

About the Book:
Private investigator Veronica "Ronnie" Ingels teams up with Deputy Dawson Hughes to find a geeky radio broadcaster's missing wife and young daughter. They fear the woman and child were taken by Islamic terrorists as revenge against the husband's pro-Israel, conspiracy theory broadcasts. The investigation takes Ronnie and Hughes from a manicured Connecticut estate, to interviews with an elitist A-List society crowd, and run-ins with cranky local police detectives. Then they plunge deep into the seamy, drug-riddled underbelly of the fashion world, with the specter of international terrorism hovering.

Hughes has recently been promoted to lieutenant in the Taylor County, Texas Sheriff's Department. He's on leave on a special assignment with Authorized Operations (AO), a clandestine, quasi-government agency operating out of a sea-side mansion in Hither Hills, NY. The only thing is, many powerful politicians, and government big-wigs claim Authorized Operations doesn't exist.

Ronnie is furious at both Hughes and the broadcaster for waiting thirty-six hours to start the search. She knows the longer it takes, the less chance there is of finding the child alive. The problem is, radio talk-show host Ed Harper has been hoping-against-hope that his pot-smoking, model wife is on one of her 'esoteric experiences' and has simply taken the child while she romps for a few days. He doesn't want to seriously consider the other, more hazardous possibility… that his radio broadcasts have angered some very dangerous people.

Nike, what do you love about this book?
I loved building tension, and creating plot twists in this one…and there were quite a number of conundrums. I thoroughly enjoyed dishing out turmoil, not to mention mayhem to Ronnie and Dawson. Keeping them on their toes was such fun for me.

Introduce us to the character you had the most trouble with.
I had the most trouble with Ronnie. I had to reveal something deep and dark from her past. To do this I had to lead up to it in a natural way and then set up a circumstance whereby it would be plausible for it to come out.

What do you hope readers will tell other readers when they’ve finished the book?
I hope readers will tell other others it was an exciting detective story. I'd also like for readers to mention that although there were a few dark moments in the novel, there was also wry humor, and overall it was uplifting.

About the Author:
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola,
fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chair, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. HARMFUL INTENT released under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press, won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense/Historic Suspense category. Her new release is DEADLY DESIGNS. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network.  

Friday, October 23, 2015

Intriguing new Chrisitian allegory by Jwyan C Johnson

Faith and the Parable of the Blindfold: a Fun Biblical Adventure to Find, Keep, and Test Your Faith through Symbolism (Christian Parables Book 1)

From the author:
Tip-toe with Tom as he sneaks past Lady Luck. He holds a map, ready to discover someone else, somewhere else on a higher yet deeper level called Faith. It is here where one remarkable blindfold unlocks Tom's other "senses." Find out why "patience" and "patients" sound the same only at his "old place." Will Tom leave Lady Luck for Faith? And will anyone else? Take the Test-Your-Faith Challenge and journey along inside a biblically attractive mystery with morals, symbolism, discussion questions, a hyperlinked bible index, and even a bonus family skit version!

My review:

Johnson's skit on showing faith in a contemporary allegorical format is a great idea for youth and Sunday school groups. It's quick, rich with symbols, and provides lots of backup with complementary Scripture. Presented in two formats, a text and skit, readers and group facilitators will be able to share how faith can be challenged, its true power, and its origin. A chart of Scripture, discussion guide, and break down of the symbols is included.

Buy on Amazon: Faith & the Parable of the Blindfold
Jwyan C. Johnson

Second in a series
Wordplay 2: Biblical Tales of a Lawyer's Lullabye
see on Amazon

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mystery book for young people by Dana Rongione

Another Great Mystery Novel by Christian author and speaker, Dana Rongione

My Fears Relieved:  A Delaware Detectives Mystery
Book Three

About the book:  
It all began with a pocket knife which led to a mysterious inscription which led to a wolf. But there are no wolves in Delaware...or are there? It's up to the Delaware Detectives to find out.
·       In book one, Abby and Jamie, along with their friends Scott and Phyllis, followed a trail of tantalizing clues to uncover a hidden fortune.
·       In book two, the curious siblings embarked on a nearly-impossible mission to find a missing man.
·       Book three thrusts the detective team into a new mystery they are determined to solve no matter where the clues may lead. But are the kids prepared to discover what's really lurking in the woods of Beaver Valley?

While this book is appropriate for readers of all ages, gender and educational status, it was designed with the homeschool student in mind. To that end, the book contains a Glossary of Terms that can be used in the subject of Spelling and Vocabulary. The author has also included a Science Center, a History Hideout and a special Art Academy—all of which provide valuable insight and activities based on information from within the story itself. Could this be the perfect addition to your homeschool curriculum?

For the entire month of October, your can pick up a Kindle copy of My Fears Relieved
for only 99 cents.  Haven't read the rest of the series?  No problem. 
They're all on sale this month only!  Click here for more information.

About the author:
Dana Rongione is a Christian author and speaker living in Greenville, SC with her husband, Jason, and her two spoiled dogs, Tippy and Mitchell.

For a living, she writes quality Christian books for audiences of all ages and speaks to women on a variety of inspirational and encouraging topics. For fun, Dana devours more books than she does chocolate (though not by much).  She also enjoys hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with her family.

To find out more about Dana and her ministry, visit her website at www.DanaRongione.com.