Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Shoba Sadler's CHILD OF DUST

Today we'll sit down to chat with Shoba Sadler, author of the contemporary title Child of Dust. Shoba will take us behind the scenes of her unique new novel and give us a glimpse into her writing.

Shoba, why did you choose to write this type of novel?
Social status and cultural barriers makes for great conflict. Child of Dust is like a modern-day classic of Romeo and Juliet only instead of opposing families, these lovers, Kim and Bryan have cultural and social barriers to contend with.

Kim, the rich and spoilt socialite who loses her money is taken under the wing of her reluctant chauffeur, Bryan, who has his own struggles to deal with. They find love under the most unexpected circumstances.

Can you tell us why you started with an Asian setting for your first two novels?
I was founder of Agape Christian magazine in Malaysia. I also freelanced for the leading English, secular newspaper in Malaysia, The Star. My feature stories forThe Star were several page write-ups with gorgeous photos. Many of my stories were selected by the features editor to be cover stories as well.

As I interviewed people all over the world for Agape, I saw God moving powerfully in Asia and yet there were so few stories coming from there especially in the Christian romance genre.

In Asia, Christianity is seen very much as a Western culture. Yet so many Asians have had powerful encounters with Jesus Christ. Then there is the struggle to validate their faith in the midst of culture, tradition, loss of identity, social stigma and so on.

There alone you have so much material for backdrop, tension, drama, conflict and final resolution.

An example of what I mean can be seen in my short story Finding Enlightenmentthat was awarded second place at faithwriters.com. It can be read here:http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article-level3-previous.php?id=54362

Talk a little about your unique setting.
When I read novels I am drawn to the backdrop and setting. A great description of the setting subtly woven into the story is what makes the difference between being a narrator who takes a person on a journey through his "telling" and a facilitator who steps out of the way altogether to allow the reader to explore the journey on his own. The writer should aim to be the facilitator and not the narrator.

There is nothing like a great setting to make the reader feel like they are there with the characters. It is like the difference between watching a 2D and 3D movie.

Unfortunately, many formulaic romance novels that are churned out in quick production-line succession fails to capture this allure of setting because it takes research and time. It is also not easy to write setting discreetly in the background and that is the only way to write it. Otherwise it will seem like reading lecture notes instead of a story.

I read one review of a multi-cultural romance set in an Asian country where the reviewer said she felt like she was reading a tour company's brochure and that is the wrong emotion to invoke.

So another reason I wrote Child of Dust was to give romance readers a chance to explore unique settings and backdrops not normally experienced by a reader in the current trend of romance novels available out there.

We'd love to hear a little about the historical background for your novel. Will you talk about that?
The main character, Bryan, Kim's chauffeur has been deeply affected by the Vietnam war in the sense that he is the illegitimate child of an American GI and a Vietnamese woman. This historical background sets a different dimension to the story and adds intrigue and authenticity.

Who would you say is the audience for this novel?

Child of Dust is an appealing read for anyone. As I have also written for the secular press, I am able to write in a manner that appeals to all walks of life both Christian and non-Christian. I have had non-Christians tell me they were so engrossed in the story that they didn't not notice the message of the gospel woven into the story. Yet that message is undoubtedly there.

I am an inspirational writer and everyone loves a good inspirational story just as they love watching a Hallmark movie.

What readers have to say about the novel:
"Make sure when getting ready to read Child of Dust that you don't have anything else planned for the day, you won't be able to put this book down. I could go on and on about this book. Highly and strongly recommend it. Is it possible to give a book 10 stars?" --- Debra Dunson, reviewer at The Edgier Christian Fiction Fan

"I found the writing of this story to be close to excellent.... I found this book to be one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. It was interesting, the story kept moving along, and I learned a lot as I read this story. I found myself intrigued with the constant difficulties faced by the protagonists – and their stories were presented so much more like real life stories than any other book I have read in a long, long time." --- Marina, Community Writer, California

"This novel has a consistent rhythm, adding surprise after surprise, twisting our emotions at each new difficulty Kim faces. I couldn't put this book down, waiting to see if any or all the ends would be tired up. I would actually like to see the novel transcend into a movie. An amazing read." --- Brices Mice Christian Book Reviews

About Child of Dust:
Beautiful but spoilt Vietnamese socialite, Cao Kim Lye, learns of her parents shocking death from the dashing Amerasian family chauffeur, Bryan Nguyen.

Kim steps out of a world of crystal and chandelier to enter the dust and chaos of working-class Hanoi. She finds herself living under the roof of a shop cum living quarters with Bryan and his adoptive family.

Ever conscious of the privileged class, Kim struggles against the emotional ties she forms towards Bryan, the reluctant saviour, who considers her an unnecessary hitch to his already complicated life.

He still bears the scars of abandonment by his mother and his American GI father when U.S. troops pulled out of Vietnam.

Eventually Bryan and Kim's powerful attraction to each other begins to break down the wall between them.

About the author:
Shoba Sadler has been a journalist for 20 years and founder of Agape magazine in Malaysia. She is a versatile inspirational author that likes to write in multiple genres. She has pioneered a new genre in Christian multi-cultural writing with her novel Child of Dust and her many award-winning short stories can be read here http://shobasadler.com/?page_id=250

Her passion for writing is matched only by her passion for cooking with farm fresh produce. She lives a healthy lifestyle on a farm with her husband, Kevin, a talented musician, who also loves to surf and ski. They grow their own vegetables and fruits and share their home with a multitude of animals and wildlife. They are passionate about buying directly from local farmers who practice organic farming.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Time Search NEW from Danele Rotharmel

About the Book - Time Search
The Time Counselor Chronicles #3

A nameless evil lurks in the shadows…

In the wake of a recent wave of violence, TEMCO employees are left reeling. While some of the staff are put into hiding, others are left behind to discover the true identity of the mysterious nemesis who is determined to destroy them all. While Crystal, Marc, and Zeke search for clues to unravel the mystery of his real name, their enemy is lurking in the shadows searching for TEMCO’s missing leaders. It’s a race against the clock! And as the hours and seconds tick away, it’s anyone’s guess whose search will be completed first. It’s a classic battle of good versus evil, and the stakes couldn’t be higher!

Print - Coming
Ebook $4.99

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Barnes and Noble - coming
Buy on Smashwords - coming

My Review
Come back on January 31, February 14 and March 14 to meet three of the most intriguing characters from the series!

This third book in the Time Counselor Chronicles is outstanding. Events set in motion already from the first book swing like Poe’s “Pit and the Pendulum” across Time Search. A case of counseling ripples gone badly wrong take the time counselors by unfortunate surprise. One foe from the past vows revenge as he patiently and coldheartedly works his way through time to set himself up in prime positive to exact his brand of punishment on those who separated him from his girlfriend. We’re not given much more to go on, and the author takes us on a thrill ride as her villain stalks the TEMCO agents, taunts federal agents, and leaves death and the nearly dead in his wake.

The thread of forgiveness, faith, love and hope runs through all of the stories, and is shown with precious clarity in several of the storylines. One huge question for thought is, if you know something bad will happen to someone and you have the power to prevent it but at great cost to others, what would you do? Likewise, if you knew someone could have prevented an outrageous attack but didn’t, what would it take for you to forgive? I love those great juicy chunks of food for thought.

At first I was going to write that readers can pick up a Time Counselor book in any order, but the cliffhanger at the end of Time Search made me change my mind. This is also the first book that I felt at home in, and where the characters felt familiar. Therefore I do recommend reading the books in order to learn about the setting. You cannot be a stickler for complexities of time travel or any “rules” of physics, however—suspend your disbelief to have a jolly good time. The cast is large and complex, but distinct. Pair a quirk with a name and you’ll do fine.

Told in multiple viewpoints and often in very short segments, readers who like contemporary stories of thrill, crimes, romance, forgiveness and faith in a series like Steven James’s Bower Files, but with more biblical reference and funky characters, will like these books.

About Danele Rotharmel

Danele RotharmelDanele Rotharmel grew up with a love of the literary word, and by age five, she knew she wanted to be a writer. However, her life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a low-level carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace in her home was slowly poisoning her. This poisoning triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and partial amnesia.

During this time, the hardest thing she faced was a crisis of faith. She had to quit her job and stop going to church. She couldn’t write, couldn’t drive, and could barely remember who she was. To say she was upset with the Lord was an understatement. She began reexamining her faith in light of her illness, and eventually, she came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is interested and involved, and God is trustworthy regardless of tragedy.

When her illness became even more severe, she was put into quarantine and could only talk to friends and extended family through the glass of a window. This quarantine lasted for seven years. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.

Danele currently lives in Colorado where she continues to write. Although her journey back to health was long and difficult, it provided her with the opportunity to grow closer to God and to write her books. For that, she is forever thankful.

You can learn more about Danele by visiting her blog at https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Once Again by Deborah Heal

Once Again by Deborah Heal

Rewinding Time series, book 1

Deborah Heal

Paperback: $9.99
Ebook: 2.99

Others in the series:

About the Book:
Professor Merrideth Randall has a tool that other historians can only dream of—computer software that virtually rewinds time!

It comes in handy for historical research and for her sideline genealogy business. When her colleague physics professor Brett Garrison asks for help with his family tree she can’t resist, even though he’s far too attractive for her peace of mind. And amazingly, he seems to be pursuing her, despite the fact that everyone knows dating a co-worker is career suicide.

Using her software, Merrideth gets a first-hand look at Brett’s ancestors, the courageous pioneers of the Illinois Country who withstood Indian attacks, hardship, and loneliness to settle there in the 1780s. One of the settlers is James Garretson, who risked his life to take the Gospel to the very tribe that wreaked havoc on his family. Merrideth is amazed that he could forgive a crime so huge.

She would love to tell Brett that he is descended from heroes, and that he inherited his black hair and green eyes from James Garretson. But she is determined to safeguard her program, and discretion is not Brett’s strong suit. She also has secrets about herself that she’d just as soon he didn’t find out either.

One virtue Brett does have is patience, and he’s quite willing to wait for Merrideth to figure things out.

Lisa's Review:
Little Merri Randall is all grown up in this new series from inspirational time master Deborah Heal. She’s followed her dream of becoming a young PhD history professor at a southern Illinois college. It’s been years since her childhood encounters with a dangerous and mysterious software program called Beautiful Houses. When she accidentally? rediscovers the program not only still exists and is just as active as ever, curiosity overcomes her good sense and she is once again drawn back to explore time.

Merredith uses the program to help her in both her work and private side business, researching family history. She has grown up reluctant to share herself with others, a definite lack of trust in others and even to a certain extent her own abilities and gifts. When the physics professor sets his sights on her, Merri has a lot to overcome, especially her teaching mentor, to believe anyone might be personally interested in her.

Told from Merredith’s viewpoint throughout, this story and series is a history lover’s dream. Because the character is a professor, her lectures that include blocks of rote history are a natural part of the story, as are the fascinating dialog sharing dates and people. Merri’s trips through time provide a virtual visit to experience life in the late eighteenth century literally through those people’s heads.

Just a fascinating series with excellent research. While science is not discounted, the details of the software’s ability to provide virtual time travel experience for the user doesn’t hinder the reader. The books are part of a series, and while a reader can pick up any story and read it with enough information from the past books to make sense of the particular story arc, you’ll want to read the whole series. I know I will. Recommended for those who love plucky wounded females with a side of romance while reading their history.

Note: Time and Again, the first book in the History Mystery trilogy sert before this series, is available free from Amazon Kindle

Friday, January 6, 2017

Cute&Quick Holiday Reads

Mixed-up Christmas by Dixie Jo Jarchow

Mixed-Up Christmas
Dixie Jo Jarchow

Holiday cowboy romantic novella

Ebook 2.99
Buy on Amazon

About the book:
When rodeo superstar Mix Malone announces he’s retiring from the bull riding circuit, his family is furious. Mix is tired, hurt, and disillusioned, but broken bones and concussions are not good enough excuses for quitting, according to his family whose fortune is built on Mix’s success. They’ll do anything to keep him riding.

Blossom Deavers has always told her special education students to follow their dreams—but finds herself faltering in her own attempts to run the Outlaw Café. Making it work is a lot tougher than she’d ever imagined. She has no time or energy to waste on good-looking superstars who seem to have it all.

But when Mix Malone staggers into her café and passes out at a table during the blizzard of the century, she is drawn into a family brawl with no holds barred. Blossom discovers that she can’t just abandon him. Her already hectic life is about to get a lot more complicated when she sets herself against his family’s wishes and advises him to quit. 

My review:

Mad bulls and mothers from the pit color this cute gulp of a holiday read. A family secret and all the wonderful smells of a coffee shop in cowboy country lend depth to a story where a busted rider and a worn-out former teacher have to haul themselves up by their bootstraps and punch out their dreams. Delightful scenarios, some twists, miscommunication, and machismo wash over everything. Two are always better than one when tackling life.

All I Want For Christmas: A Sweet Serenade Christmas Novella

All I Want for Christmas
Janalyn Voigt

Holiday romantic inspirational romance novella
Ebook $.99

Buy on Amazon

About the Book:
Hailey may just give up on men entirely. When Corey broke her heart, her best friend Matt helped pick up the pieces. Matt made his interest in her no secret when they first met, but seemed happy to accept a friendship, at least until now. With Corey looking her way again, Matt has started acting funny.

If Matt wasn’t a cubicle worker who moonlights as a Seattle street musician, this could have been easy. Hailey can’t afford a drag on her ambitions. She needs to climb the career ladder to keep her childhood home, all she has left of her parents. 

After Amy ditched him for a man with more money, Matt isn’t about to tell Hailey that the fiddle he carries is a Stradivarius or that he owns a tuxedo. Let her love him for himself or not at all.

My review:

Quick and fun holiday bite of a read to keep your fun romance side going. A tale of mistaken identities, longing-for-more friendships, daily latte and office politics set in Seattle create a sweet story. The story of seeing what you want to see, having a hard time looking past your nose, and fearing failure and the future catch two people square at holiday time. Orphaned Hailey is good at her head job, but her artsy heart work may not pay the bills. If she was to fall in love, it would have to be with someone who won’t take advantage of her. Matt’s been burned a time too many and when he’s not being pursued for who he is, he can let his fun side out…only when confession time comes, he needs a stiff upper lip and the help of Hailey’s friend.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Stone Giver military fiction from Buffy Andrews

The Stone Giver

The Stone Giver
Buffy Andrews

c. September 2016
Ebook $3.99
Print $11.99

Full length book
Mainstream post-military romance

About the Book:
When a stone is thrown...ripples are created... A woman who has lost her way. A man crippled by war. What brings them together also pulls them apart. Zara Peede's growing feelings for her patient, soldier Jack Quinlan, scare the Walter Reed Medical Center nurse. Jack, a double amputee, is as wounded in spirit as he is in body. Jack's pain reflects her own grief for her lost brother, a fellow soldier who died in Afghanistan. Does she truly care for Jack, or are both of them just searching for someone to hold onto through their pain? To find out-and in search of her purpose-Zara flees, leaving Jack with only a note and a gift she doesn't fully understand herself. A stone. When Zara and Jack reconnect at an event in New York, they discover that some ripples last a lifetime. Will theirs?

My review:
From the shocking opening sequence of events to a satisfying conclusion, Andrews’s new romance show her penchant for well-researched and well-resourced stories. Readers are drawn right into the world of pain and recovery, anxiety and grief and rehabilitation as Jack makes the decision to find wholeness. Zara, one of his nurses, decides to shift course when Jack becomes that last patient who makes her work too personal. She only knows her new independence must include making a difference for others. An idea takes hold for a non-profit business that rewards encouragement and positive actions of others. Zara learns that a life of building on the success and joys of others spread out a wave of hope. When Jack and Zara cross paths again, they are able to take time without pressure and stress and pain to explore a relationship. 

Told in multiple viewpoints, this mainstream story tackles real questions of double amputees. The characters and dialog are lifelike, and overcoming problems handled in an empathy-inducing manner. Sexual scenarios and some swearing, along with bar scenes, are a natural part of the story. Readers will experience all the sweat, blood, and nightmares of the recovery process.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Wedding Express with Jody Day

Product Details

Sequel to The Washout Express
Inspirational romantic novella

Scott West is about to marry the woman of his dreams, but when delayed grief and a life-or-death event jeopardizes their relationship, Scott is forced to ask himself what kind of man he really is. Can he own up to the truth and risk losing the love of his life? And if he does come clean, will it be enough for Bailey? Discover the power of hope, forgiveness, and love in Wedding Express.

November 2016
Harbourlight Books
Buy on Amazon 

My review:
Scott takes a turn to tell his side of his romance with Bailey. He may have only met her a few months ago, but he’s had a washout engagement years past and knows this time Bailey is the right woman. Whether or not it’s the right time is the big question. When his former fiancé reenters his life in a frighteningly dependent way, both Scott and Bailey play truth or consequences for life.

This story takes up right after Washout Express. Set in a quaint Texas community, readers who love miracles and spectacular weddings will have fun with this story. It’s not necessary to read the first story to fall in love with these characters and their story in the Wedding Express. Told from multiple viewpoints, the reader is carried along by the whirlwind events of loss, a medical emergency, and surprise knots of every kind. It’s short and sweet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday time read with Jody Day

Washout Express

Washout Express
Jody Day

About the Book
Bailey Brown has just lost her job, her birthright, and her fiancé. Loaded with enough insecurities to fill a suitcase, she prays for God to show her the way and then hits the road feeling like the ultimate loser.

Exit 477: Washout Express.

The roadside sign taunts Bailey. Is God confirming she's expressly washed-up? Or does He have something better for her waiting at the end of the exit ramp?

Ebook 2.99

Inspirational Romance
Short book
Harbourlight Books
June 2013


My Review: 
Looking for a cutie quick holiday read? Jody Day’s Washout Express will fit the bill!

You just know when the story opens with a devastating and cruel breakup, the sweeter the real romance that follows. And that’s exactly what you get.

I love less than twig perfect runway model heroines and six-pack ab heroes. If you like real people doing real, but sweetly heroic things like running into a fire to save mementos and proposing a lot, and realizing that bolstering each other in faith is truly the most important part of any relationship, Washout Express is for you.

Told in dramatic first person, Day’s Bailey Brown will grab your sympathy from page one. The author winds a mystery letter through the story, tantalizing the reader with its contents. Bailey meets the overworked young man, Scott, the owner of the truck wash business on Exit 477 in Texas, who holds the keys to her true purpose. I loved Bailey’s mom, Gwen, and especially Scott’s dad, Peeps. In fact, I enjoyed the story so much I bought the sequel, Wedding Express.