Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Review: Middle Grade Hawaiian Island Detective Club, book 3

Ukuleles Undercover (Hawaiian Island Detective Club, book 3)  Cheryl Martin

Middle Grade Readers
Comfort Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1938388286
Paperback, $8.99 

When threats and warnings intermingle with the melodic sounds of ukuleles at the local music school, Leilani and The Hawaiian Island Detective Club members set off to solve another case! Who could be behind the threats? Could it be Leilani's mean math teacher, Mr. Edwards, who also happens to be her mom's new boyfriend? Or, perhaps it's Chad Rivers, Mrs. Lee's former boyfriend. Can Leilani learn to balance the case with her own new-found love? Could there be a third culprit in their midst? One thing is for sure: when it comes to the Hawaiian Island Detective Club, some things aren't what they seem! 

My review:

What a delight to catch up with the Hawaiian Island Detective Club. They’ve had a busy summer, and now that Leilani’s cast is off her arm, she’s surfing again—with the cute new boy in the neighborhood who is in her grade at school.
This time pesky little brother Kimo is responsible for the new mystery, when he reports that someone is leaving nasty notes at his after-school music lessons. Leilani’s more of an outdoor girl, and the thought of playing a musical instrument, even if it was a joyful memory of her late father’s ukulele playing, makes her cringe. Worse than staying inside three times a week to be embarrassed at music is the fact that her math teacher, strict Mr. Edwards, might be romantically linked to her mom!
Join the charming group of eighth graders as they delve into their latest adventure to help Kimo’s music teacher, klutziness, hives, and dreamboat eyes included. Kids will love the humor and feel at home with these characters; grown-ups will remember all the angst and sweetness of being on the verge of teenaged.
Cheryl Martin is a graduate of the University of Oregon. After pursuing a successful Parks and Recreation career, Ms. Martin now focuses on her passion - writing mystery novels. The Hawaiian Island Detective Club combines her love of all things Hawaiian and her fascination with intrigue. A wife and mother of three grown children, memories of raising her spirited kids inspire many of her characters' quirks, relationships, and mishaps.

Cheryl Martin and the Hawaiian Island Detective Club--busy again!

About the Book, Ukuleles Undercover, book 3 of the Hawaiian Island Detective Club series:

Someone’s leaving threatening notes on music stands, in cases, on stacks of music and in the bathrooms. Kimo takes ukulele lessons and is very concerned about his teacher, Mrs. Lee, the kids and the music school, so he asks Leilani to join the class to investigate the mystery. She’s not happy since she’s a surfer girl, not a musician. Maile and Sam join her in class which makes the whole thing bearable.

Cheryl, what inspired you to write mysteries for kids and this series?

I was first inspired to write as a child, reading Nancy Drew. I knew at that young age that I would one day write a mystery!

Striving to do what God has placed in front of me motivates me to keep pressing forward. Sharing wholesome mysteries filled with fun, humor, mishaps and unexpected moments for kids to enjoy also motivates me to continue this amazing journey.

I have always loved Hawaii ever since I lived there while attending The University of Hawaii. I combined that with my interest in writing for ages 8-12 years and The Hawaiian Island Detective Club was born!

The three books in this series are entitled Pineapples in Peril, Menehunes Missing, and Ukuleles Undercover.

What do you do for fun and relaxation when you’re not writing?

I love to grow veggies, blueberries and raspberries on my deck. I also love to sing, and am part of my church’s drama team—challenging, yet rewarding. I sometimes work-out with my son and do push-ups with the Oregon Duck (the U of O mascot) whenever Oregon scores—and, yes, they’re men’s push-ups! I’m practicing for another great fall of football and push-ups!

Tell us a little about your family:

I have a great husband, three amazing kids and two adorable Persian cats, Nala and Thor.

My oldest son, Ian, has his own home and works for Nautilus. My daughter, Ashley, is married to a wonderful man, Dave. She works for Portland State University and he is a lawyer for a Portland, Oregon firm. They just made me a first-time “Tutu” with the birth of their son, Ewan. My youngest son, Shane, wants to be an artist for a Graphic Novel company. In between working at a movie theater, he’s busy working on projects—not unlike being an author!

Connect with Cheryl:

My blog all about Hawaii

You can also connect with me on my facebook author page 
If “tweeters” would like to comment on The Hawaiian Island Detective Club, they can add any of the following hashtags: #Detective #Hawaii #Hawaiian #Ukuleles #Undercover #Kids #Parents #Moms #Homeschool #HIDC

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jerusha Agen talks No love, No pain in her debut novel

Meet Jerusha Agen, who talks about her debut book This Dance,
book one of Dance Sisters Redeemed

PRINT $14.99 ISBN-13: 978-1-938092-44-2
DIGITAL $4.99 ISBN-13: 978-1-938092-45-9

PURCHASE on Amazon

About the Book:

No love, no pain. No God, no games.

A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye's rise to the top of the dancing world as an upcoming tango star, and in the process destroyed her reason for living. She survived the pain and built a new life resembling nothing like the one she left behind, determined never to hurt again.

Nye's emotional walls hold up perfectly until she meets a handsome lawyer and an elderly landowner. They seem harmless, but one awakens feelings she doesn't want and the other makes her face the God she can't forgive. Will these two men help Nye dance again?

Jerusha, what do you love about this book?

I have always loved dancing and studied ballet for several years when I was young, so the idea of writing about a former dancer is in part what first made me fall in love with this story. The central character, Nye Sanders, is an artist and, as an artist myself, I can understand and relate to her artistic personality. I also love the topics that God enabled me to deal with in this book. I hope that Nye's experience with great loss and her struggle with God because of that loss will be of help to others.

Tell us something you learned during the research that fascinated you.

Nye's new career as the manager of a private equity firm required me to learn about a field with which I was previously unfamiliar. It never ceases to amaze me how many careers and different "worlds" I know nothing about! Part of the joy of writing is getting to explore those worlds and become an "expert" while I'm working on the story.

What do you hope readers will tell other potential readers about your book?

I hope they will say that this book is more than just entertaining. I pray that people who read This Dance will be able to honestly say it touched them, changed them, and, most of all, brought them closer to Christ.

About the Author:

Jerusha Agen is a lifelong lover of story--a passion that has led her to a B.A. in English and a highly varied career. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her fiction and nonfiction have been published in various journals, magazines, and newsletters.

In addition, she is a screenwriter, and several of her original scripts have been produced as films. Jerusha is also a film critic, with reviews featured at the website,

Jerusha relishes snowy Midwest winters spent with her large, furry dogs and one little, furry cat.

Visit Jerusha’s website at Follow Jerusha on Twitter @SDGwords and Facebook (Jerusha Agen – SDG Words).

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Product Details

By Chris Eirschele
c. 2013
36-page book with eight chapters, photographs

“The innate ability to grow plants is a gift from my parents; this is their story; what I did with it is mine.”

Garden Truths is a charming story of family, legacy, gifts, secrets and joy, through it all, growing things. Eirschele’s memoir will touch readers who have fond memories of their parents.

Eirschele’s dad loved to grow flowers from bulbs and perennials, and especially loved to share them. Some of the authors’ family and friends shared their memories of the precious gift.

Throughout the book, Eirschele has photographs of her own plants, plants that illustrate the chapters. She also takes care to include instructions for the growth, nurture, and storage of the plants she talks about.

From lilies to sweet Williams to her mother’s indoor potted citrus trees (an orangery), exotic plants, and fruit and vegetable hints, Eirschele’s gentle memoir is sure to enchant.

Find out more, the author’s blog.
About the Author:
Chris Eirschele is a freelance garden writer whose current work is found on Chris' inspiration comes from plants grown, gardens explored and garden paths traveled. Her articles have been read in such far ranging publications as Ohio Gardener, Greenhouse Grower and Milwaukee Magazine. Her muse resides at her blog,

She is a past Master Gardener with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee County Extension and as member of the Southeast Wisconsin Master Gardeners and was horticulturally educated at Milwaukee Area Technical College. A native of Wisconsin, Chris now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

She has maintained a membership with the Garden Writers Association since 2006. Chris' past memberships include the Perennial Plant Association and the Daylily Society of SouthEast Wisconsin.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review: On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin

On Distant Shores by Sarah Sundin
Book two in the Wings of the Nightingale series
Baker Publishing Group
c. August, 2013
ISBN: 9780800720827
$14.99 print and $14.99 ebook
Historical Romance

Sarah Sundin is a favorite author, I admit. Her attention to detail is always amazing. Her latest novel which takes place during World War II features a flight nurse, Georgie Taylor, who signed up on a lark with her best friend while she was waiting to get hitched, and pharmacist John Hutchinson, who was drafted before he could enlist in officer’s training school and carries a medium-sized chip on his shoulder for being a medical professional who’s treated like a roadie.

Both the American soldiers face their worst fears under dangerous combat situations. Will they buckle or overcome? When the pair meet, she’s engaged and longing for home, unsure she’s really cut out for wartime service, yet reluctant to simply quit. He’s engaged as well, a practical situation, although he regretted not tying the knot before he shipped out. Georgie and Hutch encourage each other to be more than what they’ve been told they are, to reach for loftier goals, but for the right reasons.

When, through tragedy and adverse situations, they meet again, they are unencumbered by their intendeds and they are free to give in to their feelings for each other. The mechanisms of others, misunderstandings and more tragedy cause them to wonder if their feelings are the sum of their fears.

I could hear the music to South Pacific in the background while I read, though of course this story takes place on the western front: gorgeous European settings, Sicily, Greece, Italy, and so forth. The camaraderie, the fun, the dark places and self-discovery each soldier must face were well-drawn. Although I appreciate the depth of research, sometimes it felt as though Sundin stuck in facts simply because she’d discovered a cool detail. I personally like that because I’m a history nerd, but others may skim over it.

I like characters who have to grow, reach out for help, and learn to trust, no matter the setting. Those who enjoy detailed historical situations, particularly World War Two-era medical corps stories, will find a great story in On Distant Shores.

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Emma Right, Fantasy for Young Adults, Keeper of Reign

Emma, is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want to empower young readers with the message, that if they seek the truth (the Ancient Books in Keeper of Reign) they will find wisdom and answers to life's problems. It doesn't mean the answers are going to come easy, but persistence will pay off. So seek wisdom and it will help each person to live triumphantly; in essence, to reign in life.

Watch the trailer:

Here are three short excerpts from Keeper of Reign:
Excerpt 1:

Jules said, “We need a plan. Let’s check what’s missing.” He rushed to the hearth and pried the loose brick to the side. He reached his arm deep and thought he felt the soft nap of the pouch but then he jerked his hand back out and sucked on his finger.” Ouch!” 

Ralston said, “We can’t afford to lose your pouch—maybe the only way to buy things if we have to look for Mom or Dad.” 

Jules glared at him. 

Ralston said, “What’s wrong?” 

Jules reached back into the hole, this time less enthusiastically. “Something sharp.” When he pulled it out he stared at the shard of glass in his hand. “Hold this, Rals.” 

Ralston held the sharp edge gingerly. “Is it yours?” 

“Would I put something sharp like that to cut myself up?” Jules then brought out his pouch, and sighed. He gave its contents a quick peek and slipped the soft pouch into his cloak pocket. 

“It’s a good thing the burglars missed that,” Ralston said. “Should we toss this?” He passed the shard to Jules who turned it over. 

“Some words here.” He read, “‘—ook within.’ What’s that mean?”

Excerpt 2

A blood-curdling scream pierced through the cold evening air and all five children jerked and stared at each other. The scream appeared to have come from the dark forest. Was someone in trouble? Or was it just some- one trying to scare them?

“Wh-–at was that?” Bitha grabbed Tippy’s hand and tugged at her, but the little girl, her face indignant, squirmed and pulled away.

“No–o!” A series of ear splitting protests came from Tippy and she shook her head vigorously. Her eyes, the rims red, locked with Jules. “I want the gem! It’s mine!”

Arms on her hips, Tst Tst said, in a sinister whisper, “If we don’t leave now, Gehzurolle will kill us!”

Tippy slumped her shoulders, let out a sob and opened her mouth as if wanting to protest but at the last minute she only stepped aside. “All wight!”

“We’ll give the stone another try. Ralston, you wedge it with that stick and I’ll pull.” Jules glanced at the sky and thought he saw a dark blob in the blue far away. Must get away quickly. The meadow is too bare for a good hiding spot.

Nausea swelled up from the pit of his stomach and a shiver crept up his back. The last time he had such a feeling was right before his grandpa left on that trip. “Rals, hurry! Pull!”


Excerpt 3:

In the yonder forest, perched on a cypress, Whisperer watched the group with what could qualify as disappointment on his crooked face with his crooked lips. His efforts had failed. This sort of fowl tactics worked umpteen times before when his master ordered him on some mission.

Now he considered other prongs of attacks. The ifs and what-ifs, the whisperings, he could float in the wind. Whisperings that wafted down and instilled fear to all who heard him. This was one assignment he could not afford to blunder. Too much was at stake.

He debated over his options, his heavily lidded eyes darting from tree to tree. For a second he determined to strike the bumbling boy again, but he decided against this. He would wait for Beta and re-evaluate the problem with the latest update.

Whisperer pursed his crooked lips, his breath a gray tube of smoke that swirled toward its goal: the clouds. First softly, then more intensely, he blew. But his gaze never wavered from the struggling, lanky lad with his sister on his back.

Beta had better find that Book, or he would find a suitable punishment for the servant.


About the Author:

Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and His Word deeply, and when she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.

Emma worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

Visit Emma Right at her home site and sign for her blog feed and newsletter and blog for tips and ideas about books, homeschooling, bible devotions, and author helps from self-publishing to book marketing. For the latest events. Follow Google Plus  and Twitter. She'd love to hear from her readers.

Buy the book:
 Amazon Link


Connect with Emma:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Book Review: Swept Up by the Sea

Review of Swept Up By the Sea, a romantic fairy tale
By Tracy and Laura Hickman
(c) 2013 ShadowMountain 

ISBN 9781609076610
9.95 E-book

A cunning and delightful mash-up of Pirates of Penzance, Princess Bride, and little Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and On Stranger Tides makes Swept Up By the Sea creates an ingenious  laugh-a-second suspension from reality break.

Labeled a fairy-tale romance, the Hickmans have created a cozy world where minotaurs and dwarves, nyads and dryads, djins, humans and pirates all live together by the sea.

Apparently engaged to Vestia, the girl next door, the naïve and silly Percival Taylor sets out on an adventure before he gets hitched, based on the advice of a suspect fortune teller. He soon becomes the romantic hero he thinks he is to the governor’s insipid daughter Tuppence and begins a rather involved quest to woo her, all the while being chased by Vestia, and used for their own mysterious purposes by the town shipwright and a professor.

Naturally there’s a pirate ship involved, a nyad who always wants just one more thing and the troublesome issue of finding their way back into a genie’s bottle, and—oh yes, fending off the ghost ship. Hearts are offered and won, lost things come home, gumption restored, and virtue is saved.

Adventure, romance, danger on the high seas…with touching moments as well as many humorous ones will keep readers who enjoy the causal and impossible fairy tale setting with a satisfying layer of reality turning pages as fast as they can—like I did.

Well done!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

DM Webb talks Mississippi Nights

Meet D.M. Webb, Recovering Wanna-be Astronaut
D.M Webb is the pen name for Daphne M. Self. She and her husband live in Mississippi with their two sons and various pets: from a no-legger to the four-legged variety. Every since she was young, she wrote stories and poems with only one goal in mind: to be an astronaut. Sadly the fear of heights kept Daphne from reaching her dream, but the love of books and science fiction movies more than made up for that failing. Eventually life stole into the mixture and added a new outlook on her journey. She took all those experiences, all those emotions, and all those dreams and created bigger stories, until one day: she became a published author.

Usually during the time she should be writing on her stories, a reader can find her on social media or painting on her canvases or chasing fuzzy critters that create havoc in her house. To Daphne life is like a cupcake: it can be perfectly baked and frosted or it can be lopsided and frosting oozing off in clumps, but the cake still taste just as sweet. It's only a matter of perspective.
D.M. Webb is also an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a proud supporter of American Family Association.

Mississippi Nights

Can the love between two brothers eventually win against pain and guilt?
When Firefigther David Boyett's fiancee perishes in a car fire, he blames his brother, Sgt. Jeremy Boyette, for her death.

Three years later, David returns home with a dark and devastating secret. With the help of family, a woman's love, and a small child's devotion, can David overcome insurmountable odds as he and Jeremy face the bitterness that enslaves him?
Together the brothers must decide if the bond of brotherhood is stronger than resentment and hate.
ISBN: 978-1-935507-91-8

Buy the Book:


Daphne, what do you love about your characters? About your latest book?

When I wrote Mississippi Nights, I loved how the character David took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions: anger, love, guilt, and longing. He was such a paradox of emotions as he searched for his way back to faith. His brother, Jeremy, the cool-headed one, but just as stubborn as his brother, spoke to my more analytical side.
My next novel will be based in Alabama. My characters are just as vibrant as the Boyette brothers; although, Scott is more OCD. He is a fun character to get to know. Honest, fiercely loyal, and with such integrity. Of course, it's his sense of right/wrong that gets him into deeper trouble. Just as with David in Mississippi Nights, Scott is fighting his way through faith. He's more stubborn about it, though. His friend Angela on the other hand is vocal about her faith, and spunky in all other facets. She's a firecracker and fun to learn more about.
My latest book is a devotional of sorts. Three years of a spiritual journey condensed into thirty days. It's in design production at this time, but I'm looking forward to it. It will be my first nonfiction and I'm learning that some things that fly in fiction are not the way it is done in nonfiction. In other words, "lots of edits."

Here's the blurb for it (still in editing stage):
Do you desire to no longer be alone?
Do you yearn for understanding and hope?
Do you wish for a closer walk with Jesus?
When a relationship ends, whether through divorce or death, it leaves us with heartache
and sadness. Fear of loneliness overwhelms our soul. Anger at God consumes us. We are
suddenly thrust into unknown territory, lost and bewildered.

Psalm 147:3
He healeth the broken in heart,
and bindeth up their wounds.

30 Days: A Devotional Memoir brings you deeply moving stories to strengthen your walk
and bring you closer to Christ. Author D.M. Webb shares her three year spiritual journey
with a collection of thirty devotions designed to reach out and uplift those who have
endured the turbulent emotions that come with divorce, widowhood, and single parenting.
Reach out, place your hand in His, and begin your journey today.

Sounds like something I need too. Please share something unique about yourself that readers won’t learn from your web presence.

If anyone is on my Facebook page, then they will learn a lot about me. My faith--I am vocal about it. I mince no words when it comes to standing for Christ. Part of my personality, the quirky and geeky side, flows over to my author page, but I try my best to be professional on that part of Facebook. Pinterest is another useful website that allows people a peek inside the real me: quirky, colorful, full-spectrum of emotions, "yadda, yadda, yadda." I've never really thought about myself as unique to the point that I have a need to describe it. I'm just me: nerdy and geeky, a Star Trek/Star Wars/Dr. Who fan, sci-fi nut, Seinfeld sitcom watcher, CSI follower, avid reader (everything under the sun, but not 50 Shades), animal collector, artist, writer, baseball lover, star gazer, etc. I love water, but fear the ocean. I love mountains, but fear the heights. I can't sing unless it's to torture someone. I'm bold, but cautious. I'm spunky, but respectful. I'm a paradox courtesy of being a right-brain/left-brain thinker.

Hail, fellow Trekkie. How do you hope readers will perceive your work, and what do you hope they’ll say when they encourage someone else to read your book?

I really hope that when people read my books, they not only read the words, but also between the lines. I like to use symbolism and motifs when I write. I have a cyclic logic to my writing. I start at one point and come back to a parallel point--in essence, full circle. That's just the analytical side of the book. I hope that readers are encouraged, uplifted; maybe even at times, realize that hope is always there. Everyone sins, everyone falls. In my books, the readers see that and just as the characters are able to regain or strengthen their faith and able to stand back up, I hope the reader can, too.  It took a while to figure out that "brand name" or "tag line" that authors like to use, but during a TV interview a year ago, it came to me: I use real words and real life to show real faith. Everyone struggles. Everyone falters. And everyone can have faith and hope. Hence: Real Life, Real Words, Real Faith.

I like to use things that actually happen to people: alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction, atheism, loss of faith, contemplation of suicide, running from the past, etc...

I want readers to see someone in the book and go "hey, that's me." I want the books to speak to them on some level, whether through sheer enjoyment of a good story or an insatiable need to learn more about God's word. Most of all, I want the book to bring glory to God's name.

Thank you for coming and sharing today, Daphne.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nike Chilemmi Talks about the most Difficult Characters

Lisa: Nike, welcome to Living Our Faith Out Loud. Tell us what you love about the last two books you wrote, and introduce us to the hardest character to portray.

Nike: The last novel I wrote was DARKEST HOUR and the one before that was PERILOUS
SHADOWS. What I love about them is that I took a risk with both of them. They are a departure from the first two novels in the series which were classic historical whodunits with feisty heroines and stalwart heroes. DARKEST HOUR's heroine is a much more demure lady, a widow and mother of a small boy. Lucinda Byrne is the sole support of her son and her aging grandparents. Unlike my previous heroines, she doesn't jump headlong into situations, but rather faces them with grace and composure. She's highly competent and relies on that to get through. In my previous novels the heroes have been true-blue. However in DARKEST HOUR, medical examiner, Hank Jansen, initially presents himself as a bit of a masher which is quite different from the first two stories. While PERILOUS SHADOWS does indeed have a heroine who charges directly into the fray, it's a psychological mystery rather than a straight whodunit. Many of the characters, even secondary ones, carefully guard their deep, dark secrets. Discovering who the killer is depends upon understanding the psyches of the various characters as much as following the clues. 

The hardest character to portray was Kiera Devane, the heroine in PERILOUS SHADOWS, who carries a great deal of inner pain. She won't let anyone in, and still I have to show who she is. She's tough as nails on the outside and yet I have to make her likeable.

Lisa: Nike, what two things have you learned about the publishing world now after these novels that you would like to pass on to other newbie writers?

Nike: Be true to yourself. Don't let anyone convince you to change your voice. That said, the newbie writer still has to learn the craft of writing fiction. I suggest taking a few of the many free writing classes that are offered. American Christian Fiction Writers offers a wide variety of courses. I just took one on Motivation, Conflict, and Goals that was wonderful. I don’t think writers should stop learning from others and honing their craft just because they've published. The other thing that's crucial is to read the top authors in your genre. Writers at all stages in this game can learn so much from reading the work of excellent fiction writers. 

Lisa: Share something about writing the last novel with us that readers won’t find any other place.

Nike: Who would've guessed it, but I love writing grandparent characters. In DARKEST HOUR I wrote about the heroine's arthritic grandmother and fell in love with the dear lady. I had to do a bit of research on arthritis and was admitted to a closed Facebook group specifically for that disease. That was so enlightening, but the group talked about new drugs which were not available in the mid-1940s. So, I had to do some medical research from that time period.
Lisa: I love those older folks, too. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Nike. Best wishes with all of your work.

About Nike Chilemmi:

Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (penciled 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.

She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 and 2012 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. BURNING HEARTS, the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, finaled in the Grace Awards 2011 in the Romance/Historical Romance category. GOODBYE NOEL, the second book in the series released in December, 2011 won the Grace Award 2011 in the Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller category. PERILOUS SHADOWS, third in the series released July, 2012, and DARKEST HOUR, the fourth in the series released in February, 2013.  She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning).
Visit Nike's website.
Visit Nike's Amazon Author page for links to buy the books.



About the new book: Darkest Hour

A petite widow, medical secretary and sole support of her young son and grandparents, is framed for the murder of her boss. Wealthy village residents conspire with the DA to indict her and stop further investigation. The medical examiner thinks the shooter was a tall individual. When his report is shoved aside, he starts his own side-investigation trying to clear her and in the process he falls in love with her.
Lucinda Byrne lost her husband and parents at sea. When she discovers the body of her boss, his A-List society fiancée, backed up by her powerful family and a corrupt DA, accuses Lucinda of murder.  She struggles on shielding her five-year-old son, her feisty grandfather and arthritic grandmother from the ugliness of her situation. She mistrusts the dapper ME, thinking he's a ladies' man, but soon realizes he may be the only one in her corner.
Hank Jansen, the county ME who's had his share of pain and loss, doesn't know if this little widow was in on the murder, but he knows by the trajectory of the bullet she's too short to have pulled the trigger. His professional opinion ignored, he begins his own investigation and at least one cop accuses him of an ethics violation. He certainly can't deny he's fallen head over heals for the accused, and also is crazy about her son. A huge problem is there's a leak inside the investigation and the murderer is always one step ahead of them.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Book Review: Fairies and Fantasy, by Felicia Mires

About the book:
E-book, Amazon link

Publication Date: March 8, 2013

How many worlds are there? As a child, Emira Fairling is fascinated by her parents’ stories of elves, fairies, and all things magical. Though she is forbidden from entering the forest alone, she longs to find a fairy ring. When she makes her way through the woods, she discovers a strange boy from another realm. According to Prince Riordan, all is not right in the land of Rin. He gives her his most prized possession, the king’s ring, and asks her to keep it for him.

How is Emira to know she and Riordan just arranged their marriage or that they will be separated for ten years?

Once Emira is grown, the portal beckons. What she finds on the other side is a lot more than she imagined. Riordan’s been entranced by a siren, a sphinx demands an answer to a riddle, and monsters from the pit of Orcus have been unleashed by the dark lord.

The dragons once again take up riders from the elves, Aldrian, in particular, who sets her heart aflutter, but all the lands of Elohan seem destined for war. So much for romance.

Emira would do something about it, but she’s been placed under a curse. Surely, one of her suitors will come to her aid.

To set things right will require a whole new level of faith, love, and a little bit of magic…

Book 1 in the Lands of Elohan series. This Christian fantasy is an adventure of approximately 291 print pages.

My review:
I probably will read this again, and will find Mires' other books for sure...

The story and characters were so much fun. A lovely twist with secrets revealed at the perfect moment, lots of action, humor and angst. Well-done portrayal of the fantasy world.

A young woman grows up feeling like she's out of place, and when she learns that she truly was raised "out of place" the pieces of her life start to fall into place. Except she's accidentally engaged to a boy she only met once when she was a little girl, and her escort to the wedding is a hunk of a hunk of a hunk...what's a princess to do?

We can't get away from typecasting and type-theme, but the way the stories unfold with surprises about the characters is what keeps Fairies and Fantasies from becoming a cliché.

Those who enjoy romantic fantasy with ties to our world will have a hard time putting this book down.

***The author asked for a review, and gave me the link to a date when I could download the book free from Amazon.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Dennis Snyder talks Texas...2017

The Yellow Rose of Texas: The Secession of the Lone Star State


About the Book
Concerning Life Publishing 
ISBN-13: 978-0988922501 
ISBN-10: 0988922509
See what happens as regular people are stripped of their freedoms.

A novel of extreme relevance
. . .
     A political thriller set in the near future. . .2017
         A novel that hits close to home. . .Today
             A "what if" thriller in the struggle for sovereignty.
                  Civil War looms on the horizon. . .

Follow the ensuing struggle for sovereignty through the exploits of a small band of refuges, led by a retired Marine, as they travel from South Carolina to Texas in their attempt to join Colonel James Bowie. Bowie leads the Texas Militia as they prepare for an invasion of their borders.

The Yellow Rose of Texas: The Secession of the Lone Star State, takes a fictional look at the secession of Texas from the United States of America. President Nicholas Watson takes office January 2017, with a 22 trillion national debt and the promise to eliminate any mention of religion from the government including disallowing religious holidays. Taxes have increased, entitlement programs have flourished and gun control has attempted to disarmed the U.S. Citizenship. The military force has been cut by forty-five percent leaving the U.S. vulnerable. In the eyes of the conservatives the new President is finishing the plunge of the United States to the bottom of World dominance.

Texas, on the other hand, is debt free and the economy is booming. They now have complete control of the Mexico/Texas border and have all but eliminated the drug cartel operations in the border towns. Governor Halford Bent, has helped Texas to become self-sufficient and has now decided it is time to break away from the control of a Federal Government destined to failure. The Texas Militia, led by Colonel James Bowie, has secured the border.

Martial Law is instituted by President Watson and he launches an all out effort to stop the secession. The Scaled down United States Marines are called upon to ready themselves for a military take over of Texas. Detention camps are set up to hold Texans and sympathizers caught outside the Texas borders. The fear of another Civil War looms on the horizon as we find father against son and brother against brother in the struggle for Sovereignty.

Civil War looms on the horizon with father against son and brother against brother in the struggle for Sovereignty. President Nicholas Watson takes office January 2017, with a 22 trillion dollar national debt and the promise to eliminate any mention of religion from the government. The U.S.A. continues it's plunge to the bottom of world dominance. The right to secede petitions continue to gain popularity with thousands in every State. Texas takes things to the next level and begins the process of secession from the Union.

Martial Law is instituted by President Watson and he launches an all out effort to stop the secession. The Scaled down United States Marines are called upon to ready themselves for a military take over of Texas. Detention camps are set up to hold Texans and sympathizers caught outside the Texas borders.

Follow the ensuing struggle for sovereignty through the exploits of a small band of refuges, led by a retired Marine, as they travel from South Carolina to Texas. Read as Colonel James Bowie, leads the Texas Militia as they prepare for an invasion of their borders.
About the Author
Dennis Snyder, Author of the Lake Haven Murders series and the Looking at Life Through the Bible Series, has been writing non-fiction for over twenty years. His move into the fiction genre has been well received. He and his wife are the proud parents of two adult children and the grandparents of a beautiful grand daughter.

Dennis is a pastor of a local church in Michigan. 
When Dennis is not preaching he enjoys riding his Harley, golfing and spending time with his wife.

Dennis, introduce us to the story concept. Where did it come from and share one thing that surprised you in your research

             I was enjoying a breakfast meal with six or so men from our church and we were discussing my newly released book “Personal Vengeance” when one of the men made a comment, “Your next book should be about Texas seceding from the Union.” My response was, “What do I know about that?”
            When I returned home I got to thinking about the comment and started to do a little bit of research and the next thing you know I was hooked. Six months later the book was finished. Of course my imagination plays a big part in the story line, it is fiction after all.
            As I did the research o secession I was impressed with the fact that Texas could actually secede and make a real go of it. The have the energy grid, the sea port and the infrastructure to pull it off. I hope they never have to secede but we are seeing more and more people fed up with out current administration and where it is taken our country. Of course, the Scriptures are clear we are to respect and pray for our president and others in authority over us. We had better be doing that first and foremost.

What do you love about this book?

            I enjoyed writing the book and I feel its greatest point deals with the freedoms we have as US Citizens and the dangers that lurk in our political administrations to squash those freedoms. So, If some eyes are opened to this fact then I have done my job.

What do you hope readers will tell others about this book after they’ve finished reading it?

            I think these two reviewers sum it up:

“If you are concerned about the direction this administration is taking our country I would strongly encourage you to read this book. We found The Yellow Rose of Texas a novel of extreme relevance in today's political charged environment. “

             “Though a work of fiction, the reality of the story is very true to life. It is fast paced and full of action and adventure. I found it easy to follow the storyline as it twist and turned throughout the book. It was very hard to put down and when it ended I was left wanting the next book to see where the story goes.
Buy the book
on amazon
Updated and revised with a new cover design, and a new editor.A Reader Says:
"I was wrapped up in the story line and almost expected to see updates on the news channels regarding the situation in Texas. I especially enjoyed experiencing the realistic lives and struggles of the characters."