Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Susan Miura, Show Me a Sign

About the Book:
In Show Me a Sign, seventeen-year-old Nathan Boliva is under investigation by the FBI for a kidnapping he didn’t commit. Deaf and beautiful Haylie Summers agreed to go on a date with him, then disappeared the day before. When the Feds discover a text was sent from Nathan’s cell phone, asking Haylie to meet him behind her garage, Nathan becomes a prime suspect.

Tied and blindfolded, Haylie struggles to grasp Nathan’s role in her captivity. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would kidnap her. Then again, if he didn't, who is holding her hostage, and why? 

Desperate to solve the crime and rescue Haylie, Nathan and his best friend, Alec, set out at midnight to gather intel…and end up with far more than they bargained for.

An action-packed plunge into intrigue and danger


ISBN: 978-1-60290-385-2
Can be purchased from:
Will soon be available (November, I believe) online from Amazon, Target, and other major booksellers.

About the Author:
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, longing for a horse and reading books by Marguarite Henry, Walter Farley, and Anna Sewell. A week after receiving my BA in journalism, I was hired at a local newspaper. Seeing my byline in every issue was a dream come true, but there was another goal to attain – moving out west. A year after graduating I headed for the wide-open spaces of New Mexico, where I worked in television for two years until my heart lead me back home to Illinois. Love and marriage followed, along with a career in public relations. Though my professional world involved writing, it didn’t provide a release for the stories in my head. When they wouldn’t stay captive any longer, I began a fiction journey, rough and rocky, but blessed with people who loved, mentored, cheered, taught, critiqued, and believed in me.

For the past 13 years I’ve worked full time as the public relations coordinator for the Schaumburg Library. I review books for The Book Reporter and give travel presentations throughout the Chicago suburbs. I’m the mother of two, stepmother of a married daughter, and wife of a police sergeant (who helps me get my crime scenes right). And…I am a member of the ACFW and Willow Creek Community Church.
Visit Susan's website.

Susan, what do you love about this book?

That it’s done and published! But I also love the relationship between my main character and his best friend, which I modeled after my son and his friends. It gave me the opportunity to mesh some humor into the drama. And I really like my other main character, Haylie, who is held captive during most of the book. Haylie is deaf, but I didn’t want the story to revolve around that because being deaf is not what defines her. She is smart, brave, and sticks to her faith even when faced with terrifying circumstances. I guess another aspect that I think/hope teens will like is that the characters are not stereotype sanitized, purified, saintly Christians. They’re real kids with real attitudes, desires, insecurities, dreams and emotions.  

Introduce us to the main character.

Well they get equal billing and have their own chapters, so I’ll have to do both. Nathan is Peruvian-American, which I chose because I always include different ethnicities in my books, and I happen to have Peruvian relatives. He’s got two adopted greyhounds, Ruby and Cougar, which his mom brought home from the animal shelter where she volunteers. Nathan doesn’t share the “ladies’ man” reputation of his English friend, Alec, but he works up the courage to ask Haylie on a date. Much to his surprise, she says yes. Unfortunately, she gets kidnapped before that happens. Haylie is an “A” student whose mother is a scientist for Zetalab, a high-energy physics research facility. Her stepdad is a zoo veterinarian. Both of these occupations play a role in the book.

What do you hope readers will tell other readers about your story?

That it’s on the New York Times Best Seller list…because that would mean it actually is. Seriously, I hope they find it to be a “page-turner,” funny in some spots, suspenseful in others, and that readers will grasp the subtle message that God is with us, even when He’s not making it obvious. Even when those miracles we ache for don’t seem to be coming our way. I also hope at least some readers will see the author’s note about human trafficking and decide to take action, or at least become more knowledgeable about an issue that breaks my heart.  

Susan Says:
Anyone living in the Schaumburg area is invited to my Book Launch Party at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 9th at the Schaumburg Library. There will be cake, lots of prizes, and a self-defense demo. Plus a very short and hopefully funny PowerPoint I’m putting together. Show Me a Sign will be available at a discounted price ($10).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: Carlene Havel's "Here Today Gone Tomorrow"

By Carlene Havel

About the Book

Disappointed, dumped, divorced. Everything Casey Slaughter counted on is gone. While contemporaries start their families, Casey works two jobs to haul herself out of debt. Friends and family recommend a new husband to solve all her problems, but Casey resists their well-intentioned advice. Although she longs for a soul mate, the last thing her flattened self-esteem needs is more rejection—and comparisons to her beautiful, talented older sister do nothing to enhance Casey’s confidence. Unable to have children, she feels she has nothing to offer in marriage. Will bitterness and insecurity destroy her, or can renewed faith in God provide some measure of comfort for this wounded heart? Can Casey ever find love again, or will a string of disasters keep her forever on the run?
  Carleen picCarlene Havel has lived in numerous US states, the Philippines, and Turkey. Like most writers, Carlene has always loved to read, and her taste is eclectic. Her other hobbies include sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery. She especially enjoys Bible study, normally devoting one day each week delving into the scriptures with a small focus group. The Havels make their home in San Antonio, Texas, in the midst of a big, extended family.
Follow Carlene Havel

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Carole Brown's new book, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman

About the Book:
How far would YOU go to avenge a daughter’s cruel death? Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can his prayers and love reach Cara and show her the way to redemption? Will Cara realize God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far?
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a novel of hope shining through the darkness with strong elements of suspense and romance. This novel was a semifinalist in the Genesis contest and is receiving raving reviews.
Sneak Peek:
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman
Carole Brown
Chapter One
Twenty years earlier
The shadow creatures on the wall shook their wings and legs. Heads with horns nodded. Scary, dark faces watched.
The little girl clasped her floppy-eared rabbit against her chest and stared into the dark.
“Mmm …” Mommy’s murmur reached to her through the walls, and the giggles from her mother tiptoed in, shooing the fear away.
Whoosh. She blew out a breath and squeezed her rabbit tighter. “Mommy has a friend with her, Ramsey. She loves me just like I love you and will give me hugs in the morning after the man leaves.”
Ramsey said nothing. She ran her fingers over his face and could feel his black button eyes staring at her, trusting her to protect him.
“And she’ll read to us and I’ll sit on her lap and we’ll snuggle—all of us together.” She nodded and tugged on Ramsey’s left ear then rolled over.
Real live whispers and laughter floated into the room.
Opening her mouth in a wide yawn, she patted Ramsey’s tummy and whispered again, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.”
“Please. That hurts.”
“Mommy?” The little girl frowned but her eyes wouldn’t open. Just like they did when she and mommy put cucumbers slices on their eyes. 
“Stop it—”
             Rubbing at her eyes the little girl sat up. Mommy had never sounded like this before, and neither had any of the men—the men who brought flowers and candy and money.
About the Author:

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?


Connect with her here:


Carole also blogs here:

Geezers Guys and Gals:

Barn Door Book Loft:



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review: Revolutionary War history, Fields of the Fatherless



© October 22, 2013
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Historical novella
ISBN: 978-1938499920
$3.99 eBook; Print $11.66


In 1774, Massachusetts isn’t exactly the safest place to be, what with the Red Coats and all, trying to keep the colonies from declaring Independence from England. Young Betsy Russell is about to learn one of those life lessons that only experience can teach. Just who is the enemy, after all?

When their home community of Mentonomy Village becomes a hot zone battle ground in the spring, Betsy must choose to fight her prejudices and fears or give in to hatred. After her father is murdered, Betsy’s neighbor begs for help caring for wounded soldiers in her home. One of the men is eventually claimed and taken away by family. The other is a lobster back, a British soldier, an enemy, alone and mortally wounded. How could anyone find it in her heart to give aid to those responsible for the death of her father, a cripple old man, unarmed, on the doorstep of his home?

Fields of the Fatherless is a soul-searching read, meant to encourage the reader to look inside our own hearts and examine our prejudices and hold them up to the light of Christian love and charity. Are we better persons for defending our rights no matter the circumstances? For holding our ground, no matter how or why?

Join Betsy and her family as they experience life during this tumultuous time in American history, with all the laws and customs, culture and speech, life and death, packed into this great short read. For those who love history, Fields of the Fatherless will touch your spirit. Especially interesting is the author’s note at the end, detailing the inspiration behind this story.
About the author:
Author Elaine Marie CooperNovelist Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of The Road to Deer Run, The Promise of Deer Run and The Legacy of Deer Run. Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ and the history of the American Revolution, a frequent subject of her historical fiction. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her novels.

Elaine is a contributing writer to Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson, and I Choose You, a romance Anthology. Her freelance work has appeared in both newspapers and magazines, and she blogs regularly at,

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book review: Reluctant Courtship by Laurie Alice Eakes

Reluctant Courtship

By Laurie Alice Eakes
Historical fiction, Regency
ISBN: 9780800734688
Print: $14.99, October
Ebook: $14.99, November; ISBN: 9781441243089


From the publisher:

A woman without a prospect. A man without a homeland. Can love give them a future?

Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family’s country estate, she will hopefully stay out of trouble.

Under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French prisoners escape Meric Poole, Lord Ashmoor, must secure his place in British society. He needs a wife beyond reproach—something the vexingly beautiful Honore certainly is not.

My review:

This third book in the Daughters of Bainbridge House series from Laurie Alice Eakes begins with peril, something the heroine, Honore, is apparently used to. As any aspiring authoress is wont to do, she uses her near-fall and rescue by impossibly handsome, muscular neighbor, Meric, Lord Ashmoor, as a future scene in her Gothic novel.

This story that rounds up the three Bainbridge girls’ romance in Regency England is written in the style of day; delightfully wordy with no apologies for lavish description, costume perils, food woes, and daily nitty-gritty. Readers have to appreciate the style of Jane Austen to catch the drift of the typical vocabulary of the day.

With double romance in the wind for Honore and her companion, thirty (gasp)-year-old Miss Morrow, the adventure winds among grave misconception, hurt feelings, aspirations, and dastardly deeds. Readers of this period will enjoy Eakes’s witticisms and humor. An American nobleman attempting to claim his inheritance in Britain is a fun twist on the usual brooding and occasionally reluctant lives of the aristocracy.

Told from both Honore and Meric’s points of view, readers will enjoy the ins and outs of high society, danger, and romance. Although Reluctant Courtship stands alone, many tantalizing references are made to the other books in the series.

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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tender Triumph, romantic novella, review

Product Details

Ruth Roberts
Romantic novella
c. 2013
Prism Book Group
ISBN: 978-1-94009-20-0

I’m transported back to the book club romance days and thoroughly enjoying a vicarious visit to a realm of the rich and famous I’ll never experience.

The well-to-do have the same issues the rest of us have – only bigger and splashier. When luxury hotel heiress and recently orphaned Natalia Montalvo met and married tycoon Ramon Giambelli, her brother Nico hadn’t been crazy about it. But Natalia finished school and stepped into the family company, running a hotel in Italy. The marriage lasted ten years and left Natalia’s heart shredded.

Enter famous architect and playboy Jared Thornton who’s designing their new hotel, and Natalia realizes she’s not dead; not even dormant. Jared’s about to get the surprise of his life when he falls for Natalia and stops wanting to run around. But could these two make a normal relationship work? Maybe, with a little help from Nico’s wife, Kate, and her special brand of encouragement.

Tender Triumph is a really nice quick romance, told from both his and her sides. There is a little spice as well, just a heads up.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow by Carlene Havel

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Carlene Havel

Prism Book Group

September, 2013 

ISBN: 978-1-940099-13-2
$3.99 ebook; $10.99 pbook
Contemporary Inspiration

Havel’s newest novel takes the reader into the life of Casey Slaughter, a cliché divorcee working hard to put the pieces of her life together after her cheating husband leaves her for the other woman. Casey never had the opportunity to figure who she was, or who she wanted to be because she was so busy putting her husband through law school, and just shy enough not to talk about her suspicions over her cruddy marriage to anyone else. Everyone has problems sometimes, so it never occurred to her that the problems were not normal.

Added to the above a lower than average self-esteem and what could be a health issue, Casey spends two years stepping outside her comfort zone, not wildly, but enough to find a happy medium life. She establishes herself in a hobby she enjoys, and even buys a house. During this time, Casey also takes the time to step down from her pity party and listen to that still small voice, inviting her back to fellowship with God. When she realizes there are always two sides to the story and she wasn’t a perfect marriage partner, either, she is able to move on.

Casey’s new neighbors are both loving and exasperating, as are her co-workers, who enjoy gossip both for fun and for vicarious escapes from their own problems. When a new neighbor moves in, he is ripe for the picking. Casey even listens to some of the gossip and makes up her own mind about Carlos Tucker, who she first meets while he’s decked out for…something…in a pirate costume and full make up. But nothing, of course, is what it seems.

Join Casey and her fun family as they all work out their relationships and identities, as they learn who they can trust when the going gets tough, and that the only thing that won’t be gone tomorrow is the Lord who is in control of it all.

Havel has created a pleasant read, a sweet story that’s a step away from the typical romances. It’s a piece of life that’s all too real, but a nice diversion from your own. Time passes a little quickly in some spots and there are a few leaps in logic which I had no trouble following. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the setting, and even the hurricane, experienced safely from my chair. Readers who are looking for something different from the same-old same-old will enjoy this tale.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Noah Andrews can't wait to get home

Tamera Lynn Kraft shares about her new book, Soldier's Heart!

About the Book:
After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them?
Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.
But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
Soldier’s Heart is available in e-book from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Reader, and Barnes & Noble Nook. It will also be available in paperback in a couple of months.
The Murray Pura's American Civil War series is found here at Amazon.

About the Author:
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.

Tamera Lynn Kraft has crafted a well-researched tale about the residuals of war and the lessons of patience for husbands and wives. Well done!  ~ Mary Ellis, author of A Heart Divided.

In Soldier’s Heart, Tamera Lynn Kraft weaves an uplifting story of the healing power of love and restoration. The historical details add notable authenticity. You won’t want this story to end. ~ Ann Shorey, author of the Sisters at Heart series