Friday, April 29, 2016

Talking Love with Paula Mowery and Crux of Honor

We’re told in Scripture that God is love. He definitely proved His kind of love is an unconditional and undeserved type through sending His Son to die for our sins.

Some love isn’t hard to conjure. God just helps us to enhance it. For example, I am still head-over-heels in love with my husband of twenty-six years. But through God’s Word and leading, I’ve learned to love my husband more like God planned for a wife to love her husband.

When my little girl was born, I was in love, even though it took a lot to get her here. But God has shown me how to love my daughter through example and discipline.

I struggled with infertility issues before finally conceiving my only daughter. My bitterness heightened each time I would hear about a young woman or girl who conceived out of wedlock and by accident. I cried out to God that this wasn’t fair. I wanted a baby and would care for that child and love that child, giving her a mother and a father.

Some years later I was approached by the director of our church association’s Pregnancy Crisis Center to become their devotional leader. I struggled with my answer for a bit but knew God was pushing me to do this.

As I shared about the love of God and then listened to these girls tell their stories, I had to repent of my former bitterness. God taught me to love and care for these girls and their babies. They each had a story with hopes and dreams of their own.

Everyone deserves to know about the unconditional love God offers. This is what I hope readers see in the story, The Crux of Honor.

Since God is love, when we allow Him to teach us His kind of love, we can’t help but be richer and enrich others.

Check out Paula’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…

The Crux of Honor
“Love does not dishonor…” 1 Corinthians: 13:4

Chelsea Wilson’s life is a constant reminder of what living dishonorably looks like. At every turn she continues to prove her mother’s shunning must be deserved. 

Dr. Kevin Alley returns to the old home place to establish his medical practice. After running into Chelsea, he knows his love for her is still strong. 

Chelsea is ousted from her small rented room when her mother bursts in, proclaiming Chelsea’s pregnancy. 

Kevin takes Chelsea in, giving her space to live on the upper level of his house. 

When Chelsea’s baby displays life-threatening symptoms, Chelsea must face her mother. Secrets unfold about Chelsea’s parents. Can Chelsea and Kevin uncover the secrets linked to Amish heritage in time to save the baby? Can the two find love together despite their history? 

My review:
Mowery’s addition to the Love Is series is a complicated, multi-layered story focused on the theme of dishonor…and ultimately, true honor. Fear and shame unchecked is the cause of the day. It’s hard to figure out who’s the real bad guy and good guy. Chelsea is a victim, certainly, who made poor choices and reaps the reward of a surprise child. Mother comes off as a true villain, damaging her daughter emotionally out of absolute terror Chelsea will make the same mistakes she did. But no one knows the depth of those mistakes until it’s almost too late.

Chelsea’s father hides while another man steps in to care for his adult daughter. Kevin has always loved Chelsea and slowly unravels the tangles of miscommunication that drove them apart. Ready to see through all of Chelsea’s misery and guide her out of it, Kevin also slowly woos her and is prepared to walk with her and her child as a true family. But Kevin must also risk patient confidentiality when he needs to get to the bottom of the baby’s medical condition.

Told from multiple viewpoints, Mowery does a wonderful job portraying all the angst of Chelsea and her sea of emotions during this incredibly emotional and physically painful passage into motherhood. Be prepared to experience mixed feelings about everyone as their true motivations are gradually peeled back. A poignant story in short form, those who enjoy a rollercoaster read will enjoy Crux of Honor.

Stand alone ebook Buy Crux of Honor on Amazon
Bundled for Print with two other Love Is books coming soon.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Awesome suspense Risky Research with Kim McMahill

Currently on sale for 99 cents on Amazon - check for price before purchase

A Dose of Danger
Kim McMahill
Prism Book Group, May 2015
$3.99 eBook/$13.99 Print
ISBN:  978-1-943104-08-6

When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they become targets of a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart? 

My review:

Entrepreneurialism and greed is killing Americans from the inside out, and dedicated FBI Agents Devyn Nash and Nick Melonis are on the hunt in this new series from best-selling author Kim McMahill.

Using her home territory of the US West, readers go along on what becomes more than a manhunt, but a mysterious corporation with far-reaching tentacles infiltrating the food we eat from the farm animals up. In A Dose of Danger, McMahill explores what we hope is a fictional scenario in which the testing process of controlled substances used for human diet medications come under suspicion. The story opens with corporate researcher Grace Talbot on her way home to the family farm which she’s been informed has suffered a suspicious fire that killed long-time family farmhand Butch and severely injured her uncle, the man who raised her from childhood. Grace has an ulterior motive for rushing to the scene, however, as the reader soon learns of her own mistrust in the system she works for. She is met at the ranch by Deputy Logan Carlson, and the two of them struggle against the elements and desperate thugs to stay alive and salvage the research that holds the truth about project Grace is working on.

Well into the story we meet the FBI Agents Nash and Melonis who have been working the cases of mysterious deaths in various aspects of the food industry. When Grace’s colleagues start dropping like flies or running for their lives, Nash and Melonis wonder if this situation is another piece of the puzzle they are working on, and get involved. Grace must decide how much to trust Logan as the too-good-to-be-true deputy works out his own past issues in order to help keep her alive.

This is a stand-alone story, however, the FBI Agents carry on their work in the next book in which they attempt to get closer to the mysterious corporation trying to affect our eating habits. The suspense kept me coming back to read in every spare moment, and I bonded with the characters and their dilemmas. I expected a shoot out to be typical and was prepared to skim through it but ended up reading every word. Those who enjoy romantic suspense with several twists, large casts telling the story from several viewpoints, and with more than one side story going on will eat up this series.

Currently on sale for 99 cents on Amazon! - check price before purchase.

A Taste of Tragedy
Kim McMahill
Prism Book Group, April 2016
$3.99 eBook/$13.99 Print
ISBN:  978-1-943104-45-1

Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed...until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the cross-hairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving...

My review:
The second book in best-selling author Kim McMahill’s Risky Research series brings FBI Agents Devyn Nash and Nick Melonis a little closer to their hunt for a mysterious corporation trying to manipulate American food and eating habits through the use of dangerous uncontrolled substances. In this story, a southwestern corporation making pre-packaged frozen foods for sale is under suspicion when a new division manager, Morgan Hunter, comes on the scene. Only the job is not what is appears to be and as Morgan searches for elusive information too carefully guarded by a micro-managing corporate head and the creepy assistant assigned to her, she stirs up a whole lot of danger. Unsure how to proceed when she finds a mysterious message, she calls on her former husband for help. Learning her predecessor died triggers the attention of the FBI who move in to tie this case to their own hunt for corporate greed stopping at nothing for their own nefarious purpose.

While this story can stand alone, readers will want to have read or read A Dose of Danger, the first book in the series, to be better acquainted with the FBI case and some of the characters introduced then. There is a large cast to get to know, and while they are so well drawn it’s easy to keep them apart, there is some back story that makes it a smoother transition to this new part of the series. Told in multiple character viewpoints, the pace keeps readers turning pages. For those who like clean-reading romantic suspense with lots of twists and angles to explore and ruthless characters, A Taste of Tragedy will satisfy. I look forward to reading more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Kathy Rouser talks modern day Woman at the Well Allegory with Rumors and Promises

About the Book:
Sophie Biddle, an heiress on the run with a child in tow, considers herself abandoned by her family and God. Wary, self-reliant Sophie is caught off guard when meeting a kind, but meddling and handsome minister at the local mercantile.

In 1900, Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in Stone Creek, Michigan, believing he has failed God and his former flock. He works harder than ever to forget his mistake, hoping to prove himself a most pleasing servant to his new congregation and once again to God.

While Sophie seeks acceptance for the child and a measure of respect for herself, the rumors swirl about her sordid past. Should Ian show concern for Sophie plight, he could risk everything - including his position as pastor of Stone Creek.

Now the pair must choose to trust God and forgive those who slander and gossip, or run. Will the scandals of their pasts bind them together forever, or drive both deeper into despair?

Buy the book on 
$4.99 eBook; $14.95 Print
April 18, 2016
Heritage Beacon Fiction
Buy on LPC Books

A brief interview with the Author:

Kathy, what do you love about Rumors and Promises?  
I originally wrote this story more than 12 years ago, so the characters have become like old friends to me. With my characters and the evolution of several drafts and versions of Rumors and Promises, I’ve learned so much about writing. Of course there’s always more to learn.
            Sophie Biddle’s story in Rumors and Promises really began as an attempt to convey a story similar to the account of the woman at the well in chapter four of the Gospel of John. At the time editors weren’t interested in biblical fiction. But I was also constrained by the guidelines of Christian publishing. How could I have my protagonist be a woman of bad reputation while preserving her purity? The character of Sophia Bidershem, an heiress concealing her identity with a slightly different name and trying to pass off her toddler daughter as her sister, was born. The out-of-wedlock-pregnancy had not come about by her volition, but she loves her child anyway, and does what she must to take care of her.
            Then I thought about who had the most to lose in becoming involved in the life of these runaway girls, just as the disciples became shocked Jesus would associate with the Samaritan woman. Pastor Ian McCormick would have much to lose if his reputation was besmirched by friendship with a “fallen woman.” Of course that’s where the similarities end. Jesus is sinless while Ian is a flawed man trying to start over with a new congregation because of past failings.
            What begins as ministry to a poor girl and her little sister turns into a deeper relationship than either of Sophie or Ian bargained for. Doubts about little Caira being her sister cause tongues to wag in Stone Creek and they are eventually faced with a dilemma about whether or not to confess the truth. Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman compassionately, but He also helped her face the truth of her sin, so that He could become living water to her.
            Rumors and Promises is a story close to my heart in that it shows a mother’s love and sacrifice. I also hope it exemplifies the power of God to make blessings out of the difficult things in life along with His ability to heal and renew.
            Sophie sacrificed for Caira at the cost of her reputation, in a time when a woman’s reputation meant everything. Sophie knew it wasn’t her child’s fault she’d been sexually assaulted and loved her daughter despite the circumstances in which she was conceived.   Ian has a lesson to learn about whether or not to put his own reputation above the welfare of others. They both have an opportunity to make choices that will move them forward rather than keep them bound to the past. And know they must ask God for help to accomplish this transformation. We are all faced with these kinds of choices, even today. Our situations may be completely different, but we can stay chained to the past or move forward with the Lord’s help.
            My novel’s original title was “Before the Promised Land” and my theme verse is: I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Exodus 20:2, KJV)
            If it’s sin you’re bound to, then He has the power to free you. If you have deep hurts or grief, Jesus wants you to trust Him for the future and bring healing into your life. Even when we are forever changed by circumstances, He can use them for good. I’m counting on that!
            I have loved the whole process of developing the story and deepening the characters with each draft. It’s been a blessing.

Lisa: I'm so glad you had the patience to keep plugging along and not give up, Kathy. I'm excited for you and this work.

Two things you learned from researching/publishing this story:
Since Pastor Ian McCormick wants to start a mission in the small town of Stone Creek for pregnant unwed girls and “fallen” women, I looked up what similar missions there had been in the Detroit area around 1900. To my surprise I found that Crittenton Hospital had its roots in such a mission. The Florence Crittenton missions had been started by Charles Crittenton all around the country to help unwed mothers and prostitutes. After his daughter passed away when she was only four, Mr. Crittenton came to faith in Christ and wanted to do a good work in memory of his daughter. Crittenton Hospital still flourishes today as a large modern medical facility on the east side of the city.
            I also learned how difficult it can be to find specific historical details. I looked for whether gaslights and telephones were common in small towns. Would it be likely that they had wood burning or coal stoves? Information varied and I did my best to make a realistic decision. I also didn’t want anything to appear in my book before it would have appeared in the historical timeline.

Lisa: I knew all that research we did with our novellas in Brave New Century came from your love of history and bringing it to life.         

Who is your least favorite character?
Originally I would have said my primary antagonist, Gertrude Wringer, but since she is important to the story, I will say Cecilia Neuberger is my least favorite. She is the spoiled daughter of the kind storekeeper and is bent on making Sophie feel left out, but in a sickly-sweet way. I describe Cecilia as all “ribbons and corkscrew curls.” She pretends to act friendly, making sure Sophie knows she’s not good enough to be part of the town’s social activities. She’s plain stuck up and mean spirited!

What have you been reading?
The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith and Restored, by Tanya Eavenson, to name a couple. Seems I’m always reading more than one book, but eventually focus on finishing one of them at a time.

What’s next for you?
I am writing the stand-alone sequel to Rumors and Promises with the working title, A Good Medicine. Here’s the tag line: A widow and a pharmacist find remedies for what ails them most where they least expect it.
            It also takes place in Stone Creek, involving a widow and a widower, who each have children. Maggie Galloway is a strong woman trying to decide how to steer her future. Thomas Harper, the new apothecary in town, is struggling with his brood of four children and starting his business in the town.
            There’s a lot of humor, healing, and hope in this story as Maggie, Thomas, and their families clash and, yet, manage to find common ground.
            I’m also editing my biblical novel manuscript, which is about both of Moses’ mothers. It’s a totally different world than Michigan in 1900. I definitely have plenty of writing projects and ideas to keep me busy.
            Thank you so much, Lisa, for having me as a guest on your blog. It’s been fun.

Lisa: It's been a pleasure. I'm intrigued by your next work. Thanks for sharing.

About the Author:
Kathleen Rouser has loved making up stories since she was a little girl. Her debut novella, "The Pocket Watch," is part of Brave New Century, a Christian historical romance anthology, published in 2013 by Prism Book Group (Inspired Romance). Her short story, "Special Assignment" was part of the Amazon bestseller, Christmas Treasures. Kathleen has also been published in Homeschool Digest, An Encouraging Word, and Happy Sis magazines. She contributes regularly to Novel PASTimes, a blog devoted to promoting mainly Christian historical fiction and to the Heroes, Heroines, and History blog. She is a long time member in good standing of ACFW and a former board member of its Great Lakes Chapter.

Connect with Kathy:
Website and other online links, including Amazon:
Twitter: @KathleenRouser

Friday, April 15, 2016

Barely Above Water with Gail Pallotta

Barely Above Water by Gail Pallotta
Prism Book Group
April 15, 2016

ISBN  978-1532727009
Buy on Amazon:

About the Book:
An illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. Suzie relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, and turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida. She takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer swim team. She’s determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but can he overcome his fear of losing a loved one and regain Suzie’s trust?

My Review:
Readers will learn plenty from this multi-layered story of one woman's quest to regain her health and life. Although I'd like to think the medical community has come to accept Suzie's illness (you'll have to read to learn what it is, as Suzie doesn't even know for a long time), it's still shocking how frustrated everyone involved can be when answers aren't immediate and clear.

Barely Above Water is the story of a couple learning to deal with and move on from past and present wounds. Some issues, like the loss of loved ones, we have to learn from, appreciate and walk on in life, some, like Suzie’s excruciating, complicated medical condition, we have to take hold of, do what we can to work with it or heal it, and continue to live. Suzie's mystery disease affects her work, her lifestyle, her diet, and self-image, besides the relationship with her great new boss who may be Mr. Right, if he doesn't run when he learns Suzie's secret. It's only natural, but Matt has issues of his own and everything becomes personal when he has to decide whether or not his new summer county rec department's swim team has his future love life in hand.

Readers will get an inside view of alternative medical treatments and a bonus end section explaining them as they journey with Suzie and Matt to discover a fresh purpose for their lives. Recommended for readers of romance and medical issues. I loved the warm, sunny setting in Florida, the characters to grow along with, and the suspense as Suzie gradually learns about her medical condition.

About the Author:

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta's a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She's been a Sunday school teacher, a swim-team coordinator and an after-school literary instructor. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010.

Readers can find her on the internet on the staff of Clash of the Titles,, at her blog,, on her Web Site, on Authors and More on facebook at and twitter, Gail Pallotta @Hopefulwords

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sneak Peak at Salsa and Speedbumps by Susan M. Baganz

One moment of sin leads to a path of pain . . . and unexpected love.

Welcome to Stephanie and Roberto's story! They have serious chemistry, but how many hurdles can they overcome? Both fun and deeply moving, this book will engage you from the start. Here's what readers have to say:

Fantastic read. Riveting from cover to cover. Susan has great storytelling skills that speak volumes. Although the book itself is fiction it did bring to the forefront the reality and seriousness of human trafficking.
Althea Zamzow (Amazon Review)

This book skillfully handles many issues in today’s society: date rape, addiction to pain killers, kidnapping, human trafficking, and the mafia. The well-written story keeps the reader on the edge of their seat and the book is hard to put down. How much more can Robbie and Stephanie take before they’re broken apart by life’s circumstances?
Victoria Pitts Caine (Amazon Review)

Listen in on a conversation from the book:

“Christmas is just around the corner.”
“Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
“Come on, dad and I didn’t do too bad getting a tree up and decorated.”
“You did a fine job. Much better than I could have managed with my bulging belling getting in the way.”
“I happen to be fond of your bulging belly. Reminds me of Santa Claus.”
“Very funny.” She snuggled up to Robbie’s side. “If you had a wish for Christmas, what would it be?”
“That forty years from now I would be as in love with you as I am today.”
Stephanie smiled. “I like that.”
“Did you have Christmas wish?”
“Mine wasn’t big enough.”
“What was it?”
“Really? You will laugh at me.”
“Really, I want to know.”
“I want a puppy.”
“A puppy.”
“Yes, a puppy.”
“We may need to wait awhile for that one. Dogs are not allowed on our lease.”
“I know, but you asked. Wishes don’t have to be realistic.”
“No, they don’t. But how about I lick your face and pant in your ear. Will that do in the meantime?”
Stephanie grinned and gave her husband a kiss, “Oh, that will do.”

So where did this story come from?

Susan, can you tell us what inspired you to write Salsa and Speedbumps?

The title was suggested by a friend after I wrote the first draft of Pesto & Potholes. I hadn’t really thought of writing a second novel but figured Renata’s roommate, Stephanie, who seemed to have things all together, might need to have her world shaken up a bit. I also knew someone who had been a victim of a date rape but those were words not really used much years ago. She kept the baby, met a great guy, became a Christian and married after the child was born. He adopted the little girl. And Roberto . . . well, I had to get some salsa in there somewhere so having a Hispanic character seemed a good way to do that along with busting some stereotypes about that culture in the process. Roberto’s back issues . . . well, I’ve struggled some with that but have known people with far worse pain like what he experiences . . . so he struggles with an issue many people have but don’t talk about, intense pain while recovering from an addiction to narcotics. The story became far more intense than I ever anticipated too and the heat between Roberto and Stephanie starts to build pretty early in the story.

The bigger question other than the issues was how does a Christian woman and man stay true to their faith and have integrity when life throws curveball after curveball their way. How do they navigate a relationship in the midst of those trials as well? It was fun to explore.

About the book:

Stephanie’s life hits a speedbump in the wake of her boyfriend’s sin. Splitting up with him, she faces a future of difficult choices shaded in shame. She wants to do what is right but the new man in her life leaves her fantasizing about a future that is now beyond her grasp.

Roberto finds his heart and professional world turned upside down by the beautiful bombshell. He struggles with his own inner demons and past so he’s not about to cast stones. When he is accused of immoral behavior, and temptation haunts him from every side, can he stand true to the calling God has given him?

Joining forces to face the future though comes at a high cost for them both as their individual pasts rise up to destroy them and their relationship. Integrity comes with a high price tag. With a deep faith in God and the help of friends at Orchard Hill Church, can they find happiness and love they long for?

Find the book on Amazon

Meet the author:

Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.

Susan speaks, teaches, and encourages others to follow God in being all He has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology, a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its craziness. She serves behind-the-scenes in various capacities at her church as well as on the board of the local ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writer’s) chapter. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones—snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.

You can learn more by following her blog, her twitter feed @susanbaganz or her fan page,

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Seventh Dimension series with Lorilyn Roberts' The City

Seventh Dimension - The City: A Young Adult Fantasy (Seventh Dimension Series) (Volume 4)

The City by Lorilyn Roberts

Paperback $12.95
ISBN-13: 978-1523887910

About the book:
The Illuminati want Shale’s ancient scrolls and they’ll stop at nothing to find them. Shale and Daniel will stop at nothing to protect them. The battle rages from Jerusalem to Shambhala in search of Daniel’s father. With the apocalypse looming, Shale must choose between mortal love and immortality.

My review:
This fourth entry into the Seventh Dimension series brings the battle against good and evil back to Earth. Although I'm a bit weary of treating public high school science teachers as the bad guy, I trust Roberts's story-telling skills enough to move on from a dramatic opening in class to the reunion of Shale and Daniel as they pick up the search for Daniel's father in contemporary Israel and Asia. Strangely, Shale's biological father is the face of a deeper conspiracy in the hunt for a closely guarded secret behind the physical means to cross the barriers of time--but what this will mean for the rapidly approaching Armageddon and whether mankind can shut out God will become an intergalactic issue, as much as a challenge to our young couple, is anyone’s guess. Or is it a carefully orchestrated event across time? Daniel and Shale not only face the external pressures of a world in transition, but also their own faith in God and each other. Trust has many avenues and faith many faces.

Roberts is a well-rounded story teller and uses her experiences in international travel to add wonderful layers to her credible characters.

Lorilyn Roberts
About the author:
Lorilyn Roberts is an award-winning Christian author who writes for the young and the young at heart. Lorilyn is a single mother by choice. She adopted her two daughters from Nepal and Vietnam. Read her Amazon best-selling memoir, Children of Dreams, endorsed by New York Times best-selling author Jerry Jenkins, and be inspired. Lorilyn has been a speaker at various events and functions, including women's groups, adoption support groups, and writer workshops. She is the founder of the John 3:16 marketing network.