Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Now in paperback Justice with Emily Conrad




About Justice
Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?

Released from Pelican Ventures last March, Justice is now available in print! $16.99
Read my review here


What do you love about Justice?
I love the way the circumstances of the novel challenged my faith. As I wrote, I studied some tough questions about suffering, marriage, justice, and forgiveness. I hope the way this reflects in the characters’ lives and actions is as encouraging to readers as it was to me throughout the drafting process.

Introduce us to your sidekick.
I have two sidekicks—my dogs. Luther is a coonhound mix. When he’s up and moving, he’s a troublemaker, but he also really likes to be comfortable, so he spends a good portion of his day curled up in the papasan chair next to my desk. Our pit mix Sadie, is older and quieter. Sometimes she naps nearby, other times, she looks for a quiet corner farther from Luther’s habit of barking at passersby on the sidewalk outside the window.

Share something you learned from researching.
In Justice, a character is coping with the aftermath of a sexual assault. I learned that the number of women who face this is much higher than I ever suspected. Rainn.org reports that 1 in 6 American women have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetimes. Find that statistic and other resources here: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence

It’s my prayer that Justice deals with this sensitive and important topic well and in a way that offers hope.

What do you hope readers will tell others?
I hope readers will tell others the story hooked them and left them thinking long after they turned the last page.

What are you reading now?
It’s not very glamorous, but I’m reading a book on the mechanics of punctuation, Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors by Kathy Ide. It’s important for writers to know the basics.

What's next for you?
I’m drafting a series of Christian romances where each novel follows a different member of a rock band. These have been so fun to write, and I hope someday they find a publisher!

Bio
Emily Conrad lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence her debut novel is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.



Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Manhattan Grace by Clarice James


Manhattan GraceManhattan Grace
Clarice G. James

Elk Lake Publishing
June 1, 2018
eBook $7.99
Print $12.99


About the Book:
When a door opens for Gracie Camden to leave Cape Cod and move to Manhattan as a nanny for a Juilliard drama instructor, she fully expects God to use her acting talent and launch her to stardom. She’s been here been six months. What’s taking him so long?

Seymour Kaufman relocates to New York City from Iowa due to a shortage of mohels (circumcisers) in the tri-state Messianic congregations. Secretly, he hopes to explore a deeper relationship with Metropolitan Opera star and fellow Moldovan, Polina Zelenka. Seymour is conflicted when he meets her less complicated, widowed cousin.

Meanwhile, fresh from Palm Beach, the Chief plans to cap off his short yet lucrative career as an international jewel thief with a multi-million dollar heist during the Met’s gala in Polina’s honor. His usual modus operandi is to work alone—but this time is different.

While Seymour celebrates every closed door by believing God will open a better one, Gracie whines and wonders why God doesn’t bless her plans. Gracie finally learns success is not about making it big in the Big Apple, but about living God’s perfect plan for your life.

My Review
I just like these characters and this fun story. Gracie has a ways to go to grow up, but don’t we all? I loved her grandmother who kept her grounded with fun sagacity and the always funny “say goodnight, Gracie” schtick that never grows old. I thought Seymour was a hoot, especially since I have family near Postville and really enjoy hearing how people adapt to the craziness of America.

I wondered how on earth these two stories were going to intertwine and, while I occasionally got a little impatient waiting for something to happen, was thoroughly entertained by a jewel thief, ala Cary Grant, prepping for his biggest heist. I figured out several whos, and loved finding out the why, which all came together in a symphonic, justifiable end.

Written from multiple viewpoints, readers follow a young woman on her way to fame and fortune and a middle-aged Jewish immigrant on the hunt for his soulmate. Strangers not for long in the Big Apple, they blunder and assist each other to the good and Godly life.


About the Author
Author Clarice G. James writes smart, fun, relatable contemporary women's fiction. When she's not writing, Clarice is reading, planning another New England Christian Authors Round Table Talk, or involved in a home decorating project. She and her husband, David, live in southern New Hampshire. Together, they have five married children and ten grandchildren.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Arthurian legends to love from Danielle Shipley


The Legend of Allyn-a-Dale, 
The Outlaws of Avalon, Book 3
Danielle Shipley

The Legend of Allyn-a-Dale (Outlaws of Avalon, #3)

Ever On Word
October, 2017
eBook $2.99
Print $12.99

About the book:
Long ago: Hailed as heroes, killed as criminals, an extraordinary band of outlaws met their end in Sherwood Forest – all except the four who were supernaturally saved, and the one who did not exist. …Not yet.

Now: With Avalon Faire’s living legends finally free to move between the realms of magic and modernity, there’s no dream too fantastic to reach – including that kept alive by a secret society, awaiting only the right time, and the right minstrel, to rewrite history.

Just when the future seems brightest, the Merry Men find themselves thrust into the past, facing a second chance at the lives they might have lived … or the death they might not have the luck to cheat twice. For the otherworldly Allyn-a-Dale, it’s all in a day’s destiny. For an already struggling Will Scarlet, it’s a nightmare that may prove black enough to break him. And for the whole of the band, it’s anyone’s guess whether courage, cunning, and camaraderie can win out against their most infamous enemies: The Sheriff of Nottingham, Sir Guy of Gisborne, and – for once in eternity – Time.


My review:
I confess I’ve had this book since it came out. I happened to be moving at the time, so I saved it. I’m also one of those readers who hates for a really good thing to come to an end, so I avoid beginnings. Tragic.

Shipley’s absolutely delightful balladeer’s skills make me want to sit at her feet around the fire pit at the Ren Faire while she strums her stringed whatever and shares her stories. This one, an addition to the accidental heroic cast of Sherwood Forest fame charmed into modern-day fey life, is everything readers of Arthurian fantasy love. Especially if you’re a huge music fan. I’m enthralled by music, but half the giddiness for me is that I know nothing about it, so Shipley’s adorable chapter, or set piece openings to establish the pace of the segment, add to the magic and way-coolness.

Our noble cast by this time have accepted their fates, more or less, and adapted to contemporary life, some better than others. As a late-comer. Allyn a-Dale has a few more ponderences than the others, namely, was the whole time travel thing his fault? And if so, how can he fix it? The story seems like it might come to an abrupt shrug when Merlin assures him he’ll die trying. But of course, that little tidbit of act is only a challenge to a group of modern day misfits who think it’s their business to “correct” the past. Just an aside, if you’ve ever wondered how time travel can reasonably happen, read this. It somehow makes perfect sense. Especially coming from Merlin.

Shipley’s turn of phrase takes a little getting used to, but I promise you’ll be ruined for reading and have to stop a lot and just flop back and think, “wow, love that,” too often the first time through. But that’s okay. Read it again for a grip on the story.

Danielle E. ShipleyAnd then meet me at the Faire. Sigh.

 About the author: Danielle E. Shipley is the author of the Wilderhark Tales novellas, the novel Inspired, and several other expressions of wishful thinking. She has spent most of her life in the Chicago area and increasing amounts of time in Germany. She hopes to ultimately retire to a private immortal forest. But first, there are stories to make.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Historical Romance in Seattle with Christine Lindsay


Sofi's Bridge
Sofi’s Bridge

Christine Lindsay

Pelican Ventures
c. 2015

ISBN 978-1611165203
Historical Romance
Ebook $4.99
Print $15.99

Buy on Amazon 

About the Book
Seattle debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father's death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

My Review
First and second generation Americans with secrets help each other move beyond their stereotypes to protect the ones they love. One succeeds and the other watches another member of the family lose the battle.

Sofi Andersson, born of Swedish immigrant parents, has never suffered until the day her beloved papa didn’t come home, and her younger sister became so traumatized she can no longer function. Her mother Roselle is held up only with destructive advice from her physician and late husband’s business partner, who Sofi has long mistrusted. When threatened with institutionalization, Sofi kidnaps her sister with the reluctant help of their newly hired Irish gardener, Neil Galloway, who is not what he appears.

Sofi knows what she’s doing, running back to her late grandfather’s homestead and the friends and family who knew and loved him. Her father had certainly been a modern turn-of-the twentieth-century man who instilled independence in his daughters, encouraging them in daring to cross gender roles in architecture, math, and engineering skills. But he failed to surround them with the support they needed, and Sofi did right to leave Seattle high society and its rules to hunker down amongst her grandfather’s unconventional partners and family. It doesn’t hurt that this hiding place is also near her bridge-building late father’s last project. Sofi, at twenty-one, has absorbed all the skills necessary to build a railroad bridge, and when she realizes her father’s unscrupulous partner has changed her specs, she’ll move heaven and earth to save his reputation.

Meanwhile, Sofi is distracted by her new partner in crime, the Irish gardener Neil, who out of necessity confesses his true vocation and eventually the reason for his subterfuge. Their relationship grows over the summer, but as events come to a head, realize reputation is always trumped by faith, hope, and love.

About the Author
Christine LindsayIrish born Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction and non-fiction. Readers describe her writing as gritty yet tender, realistic yet larger than life, with historical detail that collides into the heart of psychological and relationship drama.

This author’s non-fiction memoir Finding Sarah Finding Me is the true-life story that started this award-winning career in Christian fiction and non-fiction. This book is a must for anyone whose life has been touched by adoption. Christine is currently writing a new fictional series set on the majestic coast of Ireland and loaded with her use of setting as a character that will sweep the reader away. Subscribe to her newsletter on her website www.christinelindsay.org.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

New Bible study from Larry Vaughn


A Crash Course in the Bible by Larry VaughnA Crash Course in the Bible
By Larry Vaughn
Nonfiction Bible Study

89 pp.
Released May, 2018 from Bible Believers Publishing
$2.99 ebook
$6.99 Print

Buy on Amazon
See this post for other details.

About the book:
God is the author of the Bible as well as the author of life. He reveals his heart and his mind through his words. And when you read his words, you get to know him. A Crash Course in the Bible contains approximately two hundred Bible verses. And these Scriptures will teach you what God wants you to know.

“God so loved the world that he gave . . . .” That’s the essence of God. He’s a giver. That’s who he is and what he does. He loves us so much that he gave us his only begotten Son. And through him, God gives us everything that we need.

He gives us hope and joy and peace. He gives us the desires of our hearts. He gives us eternal life and many other precious gifts. A Crash Course in the Bible describes thirty-eight gifts that God has provided for you. And it tells you how to receive them.

My review:
Larry Vaughn, author the The Bible Believer’s Handbook, has released another little gem in A Crash Course in the Bible. In this tidy little book, Vaughn plucks lessons from everyday life, from children to faith to recompense to salvation and wisdom, and shows how the Word of God teaches God’s ways to humankind.

Opening with an introduction on how times have changed since the Pilgrims first sought America, Vaughn urges us to return to those spiritual roots, and ends with “Twelve things” every believer should know; again, the basics from what faith and redemption are to how to achieve that state of grace and what we should do about it through our newly opened conscience and confidence.

Readers of nonfiction Biblical works will find peace and comfort in these verses, as well as a good way to quantify your faith to share it in a meaningful and understandable way with others.
  
Two questions with Larry:
What do you want readers to know about your latest book, Larry?
I wanted to make the Bible easy to access and easy to understand. And to show how great God is and how generous he is to us.

What do you hope readers will take from this book?
The readers of my book will know what the Bible says. And they will understand what that means to them.

About the author:
Larry Vaughn has been married to his best friend Marie for fifty-one years. They have three daughters, eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. And they live just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Web: http://larryvaughnauthor.blogspot.com and http://Biblebelieverspublishing.com

Friday, August 3, 2018

DiAne Gates and Roped, Booger Daddy, and Giveaway






About the Book:
Thirteen-year-old Crissy Crosby chases a dream to live up to her parents’ rodeo legacy. But the rodeo championship is two months away and problems beyond her ability to solve stack and teeter like a game of Tumbling-Towers. Meanwhile rival Jodie Lea and her father, Ed Fairgate, contrive to swipe the silver buckles from Crissy’s grasp any way they can. Prejudice, anger, and dark secrets simmer in a pot of family feuds destined to boil over in a tragic nightmare at the rodeo. Will Crissy develop courage and faith to overcome the consequences of her temper? Will her dreams of buckles and titles become reality? Or will the character-building adversities of her life quash her dreams forever?

$3.99 Ebook
$12.99 Print
Buy on Amazon

DiAne says:
I always want to know what prompts an author to write a story—
A vision in the night? A flashback? Daydreaming or what?

GIVEAWAY:
DiAne will give an ecopy of Roped in a drawing of those who comment with a story idea! What dream or flashback would you like to see in print?
Drawing will be held at 5 pm Central Standard Time on Tuesday, August  14, 2018.

The Roped Series had played in the back of my mind for years while I hung a million yards of wallpaper. Hanging from a ten-foot ladder, sloshing the glue, and trimming the paper, all the while writing a story in my head. It didn’t hurt my paper-hanging-partner was a rodeo champion and I often went to rodeos with her to shoot pictures.
One such night I was perched atop a chain link fence in a field judge’s seat snapping shot after shot of bronc riding and barrel racing when the announcer’s voice gave me cause to consider… Do I really want to be here?
But his twangy Texas drawl droned, “Hold on to your seat all you little range wranglers, bull riding’s up next!”
I looked at the large mud puddle beneath me…surely no self-respecting bull would venture over here…right?
With the camera lens set just right I peered in the zoom to see Booger Daddy…that’s right Booger Daddy…same bull that Crissy Crosby rides in the first book of the series Roped…B.D. did a quick rump rustle and sent his rider flying. Next thing I realized that snot-nosed-bull glared right at me.
Yep! He pawed three times, turned on the afterburners, and headed right at me, the fence and the mud puddle!
My husband screamed, “Jump and run.”
I couldn’t move. My legs were noodles. My mouth opened to scream, but no sound came out. Seconds seemed like hours, but a pick-up man saw my peril, cut his horse around between the fence, me, and the bull. They all arrived at the mud puddle at the exact moment and an explosion of wet, sticky, black Texas mud splattered my camera lens, and left nasty little me in my white eyelet peasant blouse, skinny jeans, and boots covered.
All in a night’s work for the cowboy and bull. But a horrible nightmare for me as I wobbled down from the stand, and with husband’s help headed for the car to clean and stow my camera for the night.
At that moment I knew one of the spot lights in Roped would introduce Booger Daddy to the world.

From RopedChapter Twenty-eight:
“The name Steer #1801-Booger Daddy, was right beside my name. I gawked at the board and thought of the picture on my night table. No. It couldn’t be.
But I found him in the pen, and the tag in his ear read Booger Daddy, III. O great. If it weren’t for bad luck—
Snot slung from his nose and he raked his horns across the iron pipe prison. The clanking and banging sounded like a jackhammer. Our eyes met. He pawed the ground and lunged at my side of the pen. My heart skedaddled behind me. This silver-gray Brahma, who looked just like his granddaddy, was the biggest, most ornery bull of the bunch. Talk about the luck of the draw.” 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Builders Reluctant Bride by Stacey Weeks

30970179

The Builders Reluctant Bride
Stacey Weeks

White Rose Publishing, an imprint of Pelican Book Group
Released July 2016

ebook $3.99

Buy on Amazon

About the Book
He wants a second chance. She says there's no going back. Ten years ago, a public disgrace sent Jenna Jenkins running from her hometown. Now, the success of her professional future hinges on joining her hometown church restoration project. Her partner and team leader on the job is William Scott—expert renovator, volunteer fireman, and the ex-flame who ruined her life.  William is in crisis, facing the tightening screws of personal and professional failure. When the interior designer on the church renovation project turns out to be Jenna Jenkins, William sees it as a chance to make amends. But Jenna wants nothing to do with him.  How much will William sacrifice to redeem his mistakes and prove his love? Can Jenna protect her heart this time or will William break her for good?

My Review
Reunions aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. A decade should have healed all the hurt, but once Jenna sees William, the former high school love who crushed nearly everything about her in a senior joke gone horribly wrong, it’s like reliving the whole nightmare over again. Compounded by a gruesome marriage in between, Jenna can’t seem to catch a break. Sure, she’s grown up and successful, even finally well-put-together enough to rival the former cheerleading crew who gave her grief in high school, but the victory is hollow considering the changes that have occurred in her hometown during her absence.

A boost to get her interior decorating column in national syndication drives her home to help renovate a church. On television, no less, as the builder is trying out for a reality show. Her job is the inside. And to work with the building contractor who turns out to be none other than the young man from the disastrous high school prom night now turned into a real home town hero. The ten-year cushion may have helped them step back and put their lives into perspective, but accident on accident, misunderstandings, false pride, and a potential health crisis will most likely derail any possible romantic chance they might have had unless they can slow down and really listen to each other.

Beautifully written well-developed characters and story lines drive this lovely story of getting past some really bad choices and learning how to be gracious and forgive. These people have a long way to go by story’s end. They’re not perfect, though they have a conscience and will get there. I appreciate a good tale that doesn’t sugarcoat everything. Told through the two main character’s perspectives, I occasionally felt like I was missing something when I realized time had elapsed between the opposing narrator, but that’s natural and real. Those who enjoy highly inspiration elements in a romance between hard-bitten and twice-shy people will find a lot to love about this contemporary romance set in Michigan.

About the Author
Stacey Weeks is a novelist, writer, and painter of everything. She rotates between fiction and non-fiction work, loving the unique features of each. When not writing, she is usually painting or renovating something in her home. Visit www.staceyweeks.com for more information.

Friday, July 27, 2018

In Too Deep by Stacey Weeks


37490979


In Too Deep
Stacey Weeks

White Rose, an imprint of Pelican Book Group
Released November 2017

ebook $4.99
Buy on Amazon

About the Book
Like an anchor wedged in the lake floor, Grace Stone's heart is submerged in the past. Drowning in guilt over the role she played in her father's and sister's deaths, Grace prays that launching her water survival program at Camp Moshe will properly honor their memory and enable her to move on. But success depends on Grace risking everything on the man hired to rebrand the Christian camp. Kye Campton's usual confidence wavers when his extreme sports campaign lands him in hot water with the cautious instructor and it becomes increasingly evident that Camp Moshe's fight for survival is against more than a declining economy. Will Kye be able to save the camp—and Grace—from a saboteur determined to close the camp at any cost?

My Review
Set in northern Ontario, this Canadian adventure has multiple tugs in the reader’s heartstrings. A week at camp so kids can learn how to spread wings and make new friends should definitely be on every family’s agenda. With Camp Moshe’s model of discounting fees to make it affordable for almost anyone, it should be possible…but even generosity has its limits. When the camp begins a pattern of operating in the red, the board of directors demands a change or they’ll accept one of several offers to buy up their precious lake property for development. In comes Malachi, Kye for short, Compton, boy wonder fix-it man with a reputation for turning around sagging businesses. His idea to upgrade the camp offerings with riskier activities seems to be working with better enrollment and a great staff experienced in rock climbing and trail biking. Except for the water sports director. Grace has some bugaboo about safety and caution, and when things start to unravel at camp, doesn’t hesitate to nag with “I told you so.”

The threats and “accidents” get personal. Both Kye and Grace have their futures resting on a positive program at the camp—Grace with a national program to promote water activity safety, and Kye to keep up his reputation as a genius businessman. Between a dangerous bear, malfunctioning equipment, booby-traps and fire, not to mention astronomical insurance, everyone, especially the kids, will lose if they have to close the camp. Everyone but the mastermind behind the sabotage, that is. The race is on to save camp, and for Kye and Grace to discover what’s truly important in life: their individual goals and their mutual attraction.

Alternating points of view between Kye and Grace tell their story, inner desires, and mutual goals in this charming story. Readers will be transported to their own days of experience at summer camp, or at least get a fun twist on summer romance—meddling moms and all. Lots of fun.

About the Author
Stacey WeeksStacey Weeks is a novelist, writer, and painter of everything. She rotates between fiction and non-fiction work, loving the unique features of each. When not writing, she is usually painting or renovating something in her home. Visit www.staceyweeks.com for more information.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Toby's Troubles by Carole Brown

A new mystery in the Appleton, WV series!

40786134

released July 10, 2018
$2.99 ebook
$11.99 Print
Buy on Amazon
Book 4 in the series

About the book
Everyone loves Toby Gibson. A co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, a unique shop of antiques, collectables and junk, Toby is friendly, generous to a fault, the director of the local plays in Appleton and supports his church's youth functions. But the minute his sister, Caroline and her new husband, take off for their honeymoon, a “ghost” begins to haunt the shop—or maybe it's just an intruder. If so, Toby has no idea for what the thing is looking. To add to his troubles, he suspects Amy, not only is bidding for the property he's wanted forever, but is in love with him. And he's not interested.

Amy Sanderson who owns the only flower shop in Appleton—Bloomin' Life—is drawn into capturing Toby's “ghost” when her own business is damaged by a destructive intruder. Having loved Toby since a teenager, she's more than willing to join forces with him. But she has no interest in being his best friend or a sister to him. And if she has to resort to schemes of outbidding him at his frequent auction attendences to get his attention, then so be it. She can be just as stubborn as the man who's determined to ignore her love.

In between the break-ins, destruction of property, thefts and personal competitions against each other, Amy and Toby work together to find the thief who seems so determined to find a valuable item, he'll stop at nothing.


My Review
Toby Gibson is sure he’s got a ghost in Undiscovered Treasures, the store he owns with his sister, who’s out of town on her honeymoon. He’s alone in the above store apartment, but as sure as he is that he’s got an unwanted visitor, he’s equally sure Detective Eddie of the Appleton Police won’t be able to help. Not until his friend Amy from the flower shop on the other side of the abandoned building between them and he start experiencing real break-ins, that is.

From the moment Toby meets a grumpy old man badgering Amy who outbid him on a piece of furniture we wanted at an auction and stole his dream of expanding into next building this fourth book in Brown’s series is like coming home to old friends.

Poor, clueless Toby, is about to get a lesson in the real meaning behind best friends. It’s a riot to watch Toby get what’s coming to him while working with his friends to unravel the mystery of dark family secrets in sunny Appleton, West Virginia.

Cleverly weaving businesses and friends from the previous stories and melding them into a new mystery, Brown makes Appleton a fun place to visit. Told from multiple perspectives with good pacing. Brown’s stories are clean and inspirational, and recommended for junior high readers and up.



About the Author

My photoBesides 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 have ministered and counseled across the country. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? 
Connect:

Friday, July 20, 2018

New Serial Romance from Susan Baganz



Donuts and Detours
Susan Baganz

Pelican Book Group
Released May, 2018

ebook $4.99
Print $15.99

Buy on Amazon

About the Book
Cars were far easier to understand than most people . . .

Titus Rickmeyer has a servant’s heart. Mechanic and tow-truck driver he’s used to coming to the aid of damsels in distress, especially serving as part of Orchard Hill’s Garage Ministry in his spare time. So why is he suddenly suspicious of the young man fixing cars and bringing donuts to the repair shop?

Bethany Joelle Hanson has been on her own for too long. Orphaned and dumped into foster care at a young age she bounced around the system until declaring her independence at sixteen. She holds her secrets close. She wonders if God has abandoned her too. Working as an assistant baker at a local grocery store, she becomes B.J. in her off hours to work on cars at the Garage Ministry where all the guys there think she’s one of them. But something about Titus threatens her long-honed desire to hide her femininity.

The twists and turn in their relationship lead to detours on the way to the sweet taste of love.


My Review
We all see what we want to see, coming at life from our biased points of experience. Baganz’s latest addition to her series of interconnected friends and family who attend the same Milwaukee-area church just goes to prove the rule. Her story of broken people who come together and weather figuring out how to make friendship, then romance work, is a lovable read. All the stories in the series are stand-alone, with pop-in guests from the other books who play supporting roles. It is not necessary to read them in order, but you’ll be curious about how the relationships developed.

An orphan who experienced an accident and abuse resulting in physical scars, Bethany never knew more than sadness. Losing her mom and dad at a young age and then knowing only foster homes never presented a good role model for friendship or marriage. She feels unprepared for life, as well she should be after emancipating at age sixteen. Fortunately she found a precious lonely older woman who rented part of her home to Bethany. They both need each other and become close. Bethany fell back on two work experiences she learned from a too-brief stay at her one loving foster family and became a baker at a store and works on cars as a volunteer to provide an outlet for her mechanical talents. She not only hides her talents but her gender, fooling even the director of the volunteer church mechanic program—for a while. After an accident at the garage, there was no more hiding. Fortunately, the volunteers at the program were on to Bethany long before Titus, or Ty for short. When Titus and Bethany respond to their feelings for each other, they realize they have a long road ahead of them to work out their personal issues. With the help of their solid faith and new friends and family, they prove that love always conquers all.

Told in multiple points of view, Baganz’s character names can be a handful, as Bethany Joelle is the main female character’s preferred reference and Ty is a short balance. Some of the initial dialog felt a bit stiff, but smoothed out the further we got into this intriguing story. I always enjoy seeing the other characters from the series support each other. Bethany’s claim toward the end that she doesn’t need Ty, but wants him in her life, is a powerful statement that helps put the stakes of a relationship in perspective. Baganz’s former career in social work shows the heartbreak and the joy that can happen through foster care, as well as the disappointments of neglect in families who stop taking the time to care for each other.

About the Author
DSC_0526
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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Not Always a Bridesmaid contemporary romance collection

Not Always a Bridesmaid by Jennifer Conner

Released June 6, 2018
Books To Go Now, publisher
$3.99 ebook
Jennifer Conner
Sharon Kleve
About the Book:
The Professional Bridesmaid by Jennifer Conner
To help three co-workers coordinate their weddings, Skye Wilson must act as a bridesmaid for them. Skye dreams of becoming a wedding planner and needs to start somewhere and reluctantly agrees. Just when the wedding arrangements and her plans started going wrong, she meets Chasen Dantrell, a handsome limousine driver.
Chasen has a growing limo business. He loves his job but the long hours of waiting by himself wear on him. That is until a cute, blue-eyed bridesmaid named Skye stumbles his way.
As their two worlds become more and more entwined with each wedding they work, Skye wonders if she'll ever be a bride and would it be Chasen at the end of the aisle with a ring?

The Undecided Bride by Sharon Kleve
When Steven, the man of Bridgette North dreams, proposes she automatically says yes until her fiancé’s constant pressure for a speedy wedding has her questioning his motives and love. Now she is undecided whether she wants to marry him.
Mason is hired to trick Bridgette into marrying Steven quickly to ensure a promotion but ends up falling head-over-heels in love instead.
Can Mason explain his deceit and still win her heart?
And will Bridgette be willing to risk her heart one more time?

Red, White, and Bridesmaid by Jennifer Conner
Jess Caldwell is the third in line to wear the mistletoe headband until she’s kissed. But it’s her best friend Kara’s wedding, Jess needs to keep her mind on designing the flowers and not on the fact that Kara’s older brother, Darrin, who she’s had a crush on for years will be there.
Darrin’s happy to be moving home, and what is even more of a pleasant surprise is seeing her again. Jess isn’t the geeky girl he remembered when he left. But after all the mean things he said in the past, will she give him another chance?
When things at the wedding go wrong, more than fireworks fly for this 4th of July wedding.
Will love be in the air?

The Reluctant Bride by Sharon Kleve
Penelope Moore’s last boyfriend had no qualms about cheating even after he professed his undying love. As a wedding event planner Penelope has seen plenty of happily-ever-after. But with her terrible luck in the relationship department, she is reluctant to believe it will ever happen to her.
Ferguson enjoyed the freedom of bachelorhood until he met his last girlfriend. He considered her the love of his life until she betrayed him. Without his consent, she used his professional experience and knowledge as a private investigator to write and publish a best-selling novel. Ferguson couldn’t forgive her underhanded deceit and ended their relationship.
When Ferguson meets Penelope he is once again willing to risk his heart, but Penelope isn’t as trusting. Just when he is beginning to win the beautiful event planner’s heart, his ex-girlfriend arrives in town and causes heartache all over again.
Can Penelope and Ferguson trust each other and their hearts enough to get their happily-ever-after?

My Review:
Four unique stores in one, Not Always a Bridesmaid is a contemporary mainstream collection of modern-day romance set mostly in the Pacific Northwest. Each story uses characters from the others to showcase true friendship and love beyond initial love-at-first-sight relationships.
Skye moved to be closer to her estranged father, and although an accountant by trade, would like to eventually trade that job out as an event planner. To earn points for her resume, she agrees to help engaged girls at her new workplace, not knowing she’s about to embark on a journey with three of the worst bridezillas ever. Thank goodness the cute limo driver, Chasen, has her back…and more.
The second story follows a wedding planner, Bridgette, who falls for a shady character. Everyone suspects him; even she has second and third doubts, but heartbreak and hilarity ensue when each of the couple’s friends get involved.
When Kara gets married at the same wedding venue used in the first two stories, her brother Darrin’s return for the wedding sends Kara’s friend Jess into palpitations. The crush of her teen years finally recognizes that she’s grown up. Better yet, he’s planning to come back and set up shop. Besides that, he’s got a wicked sense of humor and evil way to cool things down.
In the final story, it’s Bridgette’s assistant Penelope’s turn for romance. Things sizzle out of control…and get even hotter when Ferguson’s former scheming lover returns for more devilment. Ferguson, a PI, shows his stuff when he proves how deeply he cares for and knows the true love of his life.
Four bite-size stories for summer getaway reading, Not Always a Bridesmaid will charm the contemporary romance reader. Each story is told through multiple viewpoints and include juicy details of wedding venues, dresses, food, romance galore, and way too-good-to-be-true heroes.



Friday, June 15, 2018

Larry Hammersley and sweet inspirational sci fi

Higher Mission

Higher Mission
Larry Hammersley
Burst, Canada, October, 2013
Kindle only $4.95

About the Book:
To widower Joe Cramer, his only mission is to provide care and a cure for his ill daughter, Cindy. Paired with Mona Watson, they mine Saturn’s rings for radioactive boulders, plunge into the ocean beneath Europa’s crust in search of blind fish and dive into Jupiter’s atmosphere to learn the secret of The Great Red Spot.

While Witherspoon, the solar system’s tycoon, pays them well, he has his own agenda. He plans to send Cramer and Mona on the most dangerous mission of all: a trip to the star, Sirius.


Cramer wants to refuse. Exceeding the speed of light isn’t possible, so the trip will take several years. To complicate things he discovers he has feelings for Mona that need to be ignored to complete the mission and return home. Will Cramer ever see his daughter again?

My Review:
Hammersley's sweet sci fi story with elements of romance and speculative fiction is fun to read and think about our solar system and near neighbors. The author takes us to a place and time where humans still think bottom line financially, but are able to put risk over compassion and use resources in a positive way. It's naive but very sweet. Aging heroes and heroines are cast in the starring roles in what is in effect three short stories of exploration and revelation at the whim of an extremely wealthy, influential, but desperately ill man. He has the means to search for the answers to several of humanity's most puzzling questions, such as what is the nature of Jupiter's red spot, are we alone in the universe, and what kind of people are we, anyway? He's kept the biggest secret known to mankind for years, waiting for the right opportunity, and the right people to aid his quest--the people who take the high road on their higher mission.

About the Author:

Larry Hammersley
Larry Hammersley was born May 6, 1938 in Alexandria, IN. He has a B.S. degree in chemistry from Purdue University, January 1961 and a M.S. degree in chemistry from Indiana University, January 1975. He is a retired civil service chemist with 40 years in the work place. He writes science fiction and sweet romance. He has several short romance stories on the internet and has written several novels for which he is seeking representation. He is married, has two children and five grandchildren. His interests besides writing is amateur radio, astronomy, jogging and a little woodworking.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Introducing Joanne Otto on tour with her new books


Write Now Literary Book Tours is pleased to be coordinating a book tour for author Joanne Otto. This is a two-month book tour for her books: The You-Song and Daughter of Jerusalem. This tour will run June- July, 2018.
                                 
 Introducing Joanne
Joanne Otto is a lifelong student of the Bible who has taken four exciting tours of Bible lands and done extensive research, including numerous courses. She has taught foreign languages and English and more recently, as an academic language therapist, has helped dyslexic children strengthen their reading and writing skills. Also a music lover and amateur pianist, she especially enjoys accompanying singers. 
About the Book 
The You-Song celebrates, in a way young children can understand, the unique and vital place each of us occupies in God's world and encourages them to fill their place in it with joy. Written by a teacher who's helped many children overcome reading challenges, "The You-Song" is user-friendly, consisting of words that are either familiar or easy to decode. Lavishly illustrated with nearly 50 heart-warming photos, it's also fun to read aloud to pre-readers.
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction                                                                                                    

About the Book
Daughter of Jerusalem" takes its 21st-century readers on a journey back to the first-century world of a young rabbi named Yeshua—better known to us as Jesus. Mara, the young heroine of this story, gets to mingle with the crowds who come to hear him teach during his visits to Jerusalem and, finally, to meet him face to face in a brief, life-changing encounter—one that comes at no small cost to herself. For middle-grade readers who want to use the book as a springboard for deeper study, there are Bible references and questions on each chapter, as well as a glossary. For others, the story itself will be the full journey. 
Genre: Christian Fiction


Tour hosted by Write Now Literary Book Tours.... " We take the stress out of promoting."
Click here to check out our tour packages. Click here to join our mailing list for upcoming releases and book promo specials.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Three Strand Cord by Tracy Krauss




May 2018
Kindle book $2.99

About the Book

Tempest. Stella. Cherise. Fate brought them together, but can their friendship survive the tangled web of danger and deception that threatens their very lives? 

Tempest Ross dreams about moving back to California some day – both the place of her birth and her parents’ tragic death. When she agrees to pretend to be her friend Cherise for an afternoon, a tangled web of lies develops from which she can’t escape. Complicated by the unwelcome advances of Cherise’s playboy brother and her own attraction to a mysterious man, Tempest’s faith in God is tested to the limits.

Stella Crayton has high ideals about saving the planet and plans to start with her father’s ranch. Then she finds out her father has been keeping a dangerous secret. At the same time, her own errant emotions take over as she falls in love with two brothers at the same time. Add to this her best friend’s disappearance, and questions about God set this no-nonsense Texas girl in a tailspin.

Cherise Hillyer just wants to have fun, which in her books means having a good looking man in tow. The typical rich girl, she usually gets what she wants, even if she has to lie to get it. Desperate for her latest flame who has left for Rome, Cherise convinces her friends to cover for her while she takes off after her Italian lover. She doesn’t know she’ll soon become embroiled in an international conspiracy of lies and deceit that will threaten her life.

Three Strand Cord is a story of intrigue and romance told from three different points of view, all coming together to prove that when it comes to true friendship, ‘a three strand cord is not easily broken.’

10 Fun Facts About Tracy Krauss:


I’ve moved more than 30 times
I’ve lived in several locations north of the 60th parallel
I homeschooled for nine years
I’m a peanut butter-a-holic
I’m also a playwright and my stage plays have been performed across N.A.
I was once stampeded by a herd of wild buffalo
I’ve been inches away from a polar bear in the wild on more than one occasion (with something like a car window in between, of course!)
I’m a Sci-fi nerd and used to be a ‘Trekkie’. (Maybe I still am… )
In my ‘spare’ time when not writing, I like to paint
I majored in Intaglio printmaking at University (Fine Art Department)

My Review of Three Strand Cord


Tracy Krauss gives her fans a new novel of friendship that takes her readers on a tumultuous ride across the United States and across the ocean to Italy.

Three friends who met at boarding school come from very different backgrounds. Tempest, the naïve orphan, Stella the cowgirl, and Cherise the spoiled rich daughter. All have secrets, weaknesses and strengths that draw them together and, as iron sharpens iron, helps make them want to be better.

The first half of the book is divided into three segments as each girl shares current events. Tempest wants to reconnect with her past, and when an unexpected opportunity falls in her lap, she reluctantly pushes aside her conviction of newfound faith to participate in a lie. She becomes an unwitting pawn in a game perpetrated by her friend Cherise’s equally spoiled brother. Stella, having completed a masters degree in environmental science, returns home to the Texas ranch where she was raised. Her complicated relationship with her stepmother and her best friends, the foreman’s sons, create tension, exacerbated when she stumbles on the not-too-subtle secret shame of the land she’s loved all her love. When Stella realizes her friends have grown up and no longer consider her a kid, either, all’s fair in love and war. The ranch becomes both battleground and haven when Tempest needs a safe harbor. Both Tempest and Stella’s devout housekeeper help Stella to reexamine her absent faith. Cherise lives in the moment, doing exactly what she pleases and forcing everyone around her to bow to her wishes. When she follows her Italian lover, she gets a rude awakening. But going home is impossible when she’s caught up in international intrigue. A secret phone call to Tempest sets up a risky rescue attempt.

Although there will be more stories in this series of friendship adventures, A Three Strand Cord is a complete story. Initially told from the three friends’ viewpoints, the second half of the story comes together beautifully as each of the three learn to rely on dependence and trust in each other and the Lord.

While inspirational, some of the situations in the story portray sexual situations and violence, as well as pet death. A Three Strand Cord is a big story, from the east to west coast US and Texas, as well as Italy, and covers a lot of action. With three very different personalities in the main characters, readers of contemporary romance with suspense and action will find the book a breathless read.

About the author:
Tracy Krauss is an award winning author, artist, playwright, speaker, teacher, mother, grandmother,

and pastor’s wife – not necessarily in that order! She writes contemporary Christian romance with a twist of suspense and a touch of humor. Her books strike a chord with those looking for a hard hitting yet thought provoking read – no sugar added. Her work has won multiple awards and has been on Amazon’s bestsellers’ lists.  She also writes stage plays tailored to a high school audience, and has contributed to several anthologies, devotional books, and one illustrated children’s book.



She is on the executive of ICWF (Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship), a Canada wide organization for writers of Christian faith. She is also an active member of The Word Guild, The Playwrights Guild, and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). An avid reader, Tracy reviews books and posts most of these online at amazon, goodreads, and on her blog. She is also a regular contributor to several other blogs.

Originally from Mossbank, Saskatchewan, a small prairie town, Tracy received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and teaches Secondary School English, Drama and Art – all things she is passionate about. She has been involved in local theatre as a director, playwright and actress for more than thirty years and has written and directed dozens of stage plays, several of which have found homes with well known US play publishing houses.

Apart from her many personal creative pursuits, she leads worship at her local church. She and her husband, an ordained minister with the PAOC, have lived in five provinces and territories including many remote and unique places in Canada's far north such as Churchill, Manitoba – polar bear capital of the world; the Yukon – home of the Klondike Gold Rush; and the North West Territories. They have four grown children and now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, waterfall capital of British Columbia, where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests.

For more information visit her website http://www.tracykrauss.com  “Fiction on the edge – without crossing the line”