Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Breath of Angel by Karen Henley

Book Blurb:
The stranger’s cloak had fallen back, and with it, a long, white, blood-stained wing.
When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man.

Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.

Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When the feud turns violent and Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without the repayment of an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.

My Review:
For some reason I didn't have a lot of good expectations for this book and I let it sit on my shelf for longer than I probably should of.  I knew that this was a book about angels but as far as I could tell there wasn't going to be much romance, and I'm not a fan of a story without some romance (sad but true).  Anyways, when I finally picked up Breath of Angel and started reading I told myself I'd go until page 50 before I gave up, but by page 25 I knew I was going to enjoy the story and I stuck it out and loved it!

There is a chantress, Melaia who sees a man get murdered right near the temple where she was at and once she begins to prepare the body for burial she realizes he is an angel and the thing that killed him was a hawk or other creature!  Her journey begins with the discovery of the angel and her life is forever changed.

Again I was surprised that I was truly as invested in this story as I was.  While there were no romantic scenes technically there were some hints to a romance brewing in the future books which has me excited.

This story was mostly about adventure, angels and promise made 200 yrs prior.  Breath of Angel was somewhat historical and definitely fantasy, mixed with some mystery and action and adventure!  The parts about the stairway to heaven were so intriguing to me that I couldn't stop thinking about it for a few days after reading this book.
I enjoyed the characters immensely and I am really intrigued with Melaia and what her plans are for the future! She was a shy and sheltered young girl that grew along with the story into a warrior and confident person!

Breath of Angel was an easy yet action packed read and I plan on picking up the next book in the series to see how the story continues!!
Abour Karen Henley:

73933Award-winning author Karyn Henley has written more than 100 titles, including a mix of childrens books and articles, parent-teacher books, articles, and curricula, and preschool musicals and CDs/DVDs of original music for children.

Venturing into the young adult market, Karyns first book in The Angelaeon Circle trilogy, Breath of Angel, releases June 21 from WaterBrook Press (Random House).

An accomplished songwriter, Karyn has been a Dove Award nominee and received a regional Emmy Award as Music Composer for a Christmas television special. She has traveled worldwide speaking to parents and teachers and entertaining children and their families in storytelling/active movement sessions and concerts.

A graduate of Abilene Christian University (BSEd), Karyn received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004.

Karyn lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

More at
Follow Karyn on Twitter: @KarynHenley
Buy Breath of Angel at Amazon

Monday, June 27, 2011

Interview of Dawn Dyson/Book Review of Bella Maura

Interview with Dawn Dyson:

Hello, Dawn Dyson, and thank you so much for talking with me today! To begin, could you just tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m a newbie author from Nebraska. I live on a farm where I primarily do office work and write novels during the winter months. I have degrees in Animal Science and Special Education and I enjoy gardening and riding horsesJ
How long have you known that you wanted to be a writer?  Did you receive a clear “calling” from God or have you always had a desire to write?

The idea started as a seed when I worked at a female psychiatric treatment center for youth in the Omaha area. It was a live-in, lockdown facility and my heart went out to those girls. Most of them had one thing in common besides the pain they were suffering—they read books. Ever since that summer job I’ve wanted to write something that could inspire and touch the heart. The world is desperate for it. When circumstances in my life allowed the opportunity, I prayed for confirmation from God to become a writer and here I am!

Who has inspired you the most? 

Besides God Himself, I’d say Joyce Meyer. I don’t go a day without reading something of hers or watching her television program. I highly recommend her teaching; it’s life changing.

What are 2 things that people wouldn’t normally know about you?

I train my own horses to show them with the American Quarter Horse Association. I’m fascinated with Old World architecture, especially castles and churches.

You recently have had a book published, would you take this time to describe it to us?  How and where can readers buy your book? (versions and locations)

Bella Maura is Book One of the Beautiful Justice Series. It’s romance/suspense with a spiritual theme. Bella is a little girl with an amazing gift of intercession. The book details how this praying child transforms the lives of all those around her. It is a story of love and the beauty of overcoming abuse by rising from the ashes of one’s past to help another.

My books are available on my website,, or online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook, etc. Bella Maura is offered in hardcover editions now and will be available in ebook format (Kindle, Nook, so on) at the same time Justice Quinn (Book Two) is released this fall.

Is there a spiritual message in your book?  If so, what is it and what can readers expect to get from reading it?

The spiritual message of Bella Maura is about the immense power of prayer as portrayed by the character, Bella. The book encourages the reader to respect the gifts and privileges of God above all other worldly ideas or cares. If they are open to the patterns and examples set before them through the characters in this book, hopefully their own lives will become more authentic, interesting, and true. There is nothing in this world quite as satisfying as finding God’s purpose for your life. I pray this book will assist readers in discovering or refreshing their own.
What’s your favorite part of the story?

My favorite part of Bella Maura is actually a hidden principle. The character Jonathan represents Jesus in my opinion. He’s very loving, loyal, and he’s willing to suffer years waiting for the undecided (Cheney, in the story’s case) to choose Life. Sienna represents all women looking for romance, adventure, and restoration in their lives and truth be told, it doesn’t always come from a man. It comes from God, especially in the form of a friendship with Jesus. He’s our true soul mate.

What was the hardest part to write?

The most difficult parts were based on experiences I’ve either suffered myself or stood by while others were suffering the aftermath. Some of the parts about “takedowns” in psych wards or the familial abuse situations are, sadly, based on true stories.

Do you have any other books in the making?

Justice Quinn is Book Two of the Beautiful Justice series (Bella Maura’s sequel) and it is due out September 2011. Mason Michael (Book Three) is my current project. I estimate it to be out in fall/winter 2012. And Mercy Sky was my first attempt at authorship; it’s been out since 2005.

Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out?  Anything else you’d like to share?  (promotional information)

My website is My books can be ordered there or through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook, etc. Complete synopsis, reviews, and book signing information are listed on my website. I’m also on Facebook at and I can be followed on Twitter @DawnDysonNovel.

Here are a few fun questions:

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate. It’s one of the five food groups, right?
Pepsi or Coke? Coke.
Cats or Dogs? Both, but I don’t tell them that.
Summer or Winter? Summer, or winter in the Caribbean–either way!!

Thank you for the interview and your interest in Bella Maura! God Bless you, Dawn Dyson

Bella Maura Book Blurb:

Novelist Sienna Emory is surprised by a frantic call she receives from her old college friend, Cheney. When she arrives at Cheney’s house, Sienna finds her passed out from a drug overdose and neighbor Jonathan Driscoll arriving on the scene. Trying to help Cheney overcome her addictions, Sienna develops a friendship with Jonathan, a handsome single father, and his five-year-old daughter Bella. However, Bella is not the typical kindergartner; she has special gifts, as if she is communicating on a direct line to God. Sienna and Jonathan quest for answers to Bella’s special gifts, leading them to Jonathan’s hometown in Ireland that holds the key to a family secret. Sienna begins to fall in love with Jonathan, but wonders what is God’s plan for them and if their faith is strong enough to protect them from evil.

In her second novel, author Dawn Dyson seamlessly weaves together a touching love story with weighty spiritual topics such as overcoming abuse, trusting God, and stepping into your spiritual gifts. Bella Maura is the first installment of the two-book series Beautiful Justice. This exhilarating novel will open readers to the spiritual opportunities and challenges that face us all. 

My Review:
I've never read anything so spiritually powerful before in my life! Bella Maura is so hard to describe though I don't know where to begin. Sienna is a writer who has taken in 4 young ladies to be sort of like their foster mom. All of these ladies have suffered through terrible tragedies and abuse and Sienna is the key to leading them through the pain by God's power. She gets a call from an old friend Cheney who is drug addicted and drunk and everything is leading Sienna to go help her out. She follows God's will and goes to help Cheney and while she is there she meets Cheney's neighbor and ex, Jonathon and his son Bella Maura.

We learn about the unique spiritual gift that Bella Maura has and how Jonathan needs to learn to trust God to protect his daughter against spiritual warfare and attacks!

Like I said before, I've never read anything so spiritually powerful before in my life. Sienna is a powerful character that reminds me a bit of my own Christian mom; Intense and very spiritually grounded in her beliefs of God and not only God but Satan as well. She believes everything happens according to God's plan and prayer can truly save us in all circumstances.

I thought the romance was very sweet although I did struggle with the initial intensity of it because things moved so fast but the way that Dyson described it the more I fell in love with the book even more.

This story is about overcoming abuse and finding out who God made you to be and embrace your spiritual gifts and lead your life after God. Dawn Dyson has this way of describing details that truly paint a raw and emotional picture of what is going on. If you like a story that will make you cry, and think deeply about God's plan for your life, has mystery, romance and redemption than this is the book for you!

Thank you Dawn Dyson for the free copy of Bella Maura in exchange for my honest review. All my opinions are true and my own!

 Buy Bella Maura by Dawn Dyson:


Monday, June 20, 2011

Life, Love and the Pursuit of Free Throws

My Review:

This is a story about two young girls that are best friends but struggle with comparing themselves to each other.  Then the girls both fall for the same guy and this threatens to break up their close friendship.

I am a big fan of Janette Rallison! When I am looking for a humorous, happy quick book to read, I always go for one of her books!! I was not disappointed with Life, Love and the Pursuit of Free Throws.  It had me laughing, especially the whole mall scene and the way the both girls want to be orphans because they are too embarrassed to be seen with their families. 
The characters are always genuine and lovable.  They are not too perfect but are realistic to the age the author is portraying.  There is always a lesson to be learned in her books and this book is great to remind young girls that boys will come and go, so never let a boy come between you and your best friend.

This is a great book for young girls to read, probably from the age of 11 or up or even earlier.  There are no kissing or inappropriate scenes. Very well written!

Book Blurb:
Going head-to-head with your best friend is never easy, on the court or off.

Josie loves hottie Ethan Lancaster, the captain of the basketball team, but she never can do or say the right thing in front of him. So how can it be fair that Ethan is only interested in her best friend, Cami, when Cami isn’t even trying for his affection? Or is she?

Cami dreams of winning her basketball team’s coveted MVP award, and earning the chance to take the court during a special halftime demonstration with WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, but her best friend, Josie, is a better player. So how can it be fair that Josie is a shoo-in for the honor if she is barely interested in basketball in the first place and isn’t even trying to be the best? Or is she?

About Janette Rallison:

Check out my awesome book trailers!
My Unfair Godmother:
My Fair Godmother:
Just One Wish:
My Double Life

Janette Rallison has five children who keep her well supplied with plot ideas, sometimes even making cameo appearances in her novels. She likes to write romantic comedy because there is enough angst in real life, but theres a drastic shortage on both humor and romance.

Playing the Field was named Society of School Librarians International Best Book Award Honor Book, and both Alls Fair In Love, War, and High School and Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Free Throws were included on YALSAs Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list. Fame Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List, was just chosen for IRAs YA Choices list for 2007

Buy Life, Love and the Pursuit of Free Throws!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy

My Review

Mary Connealy is turning in to one of my favorite authors with every book I read.  Although, because I know how great some of her books are I was a bit disappointed with Deep Trouble but I still loved it even though!  This is about a young wealthy woman Shannon Dysart who decides to follow her dad's maps to treasure after he passes away.  She wants to find out why her dad was so obsessed with his quest and she also wants to prove that he did find treasure among the Grand Canyon and that he wasn't crazy like most people thought.  When trouble finds Shannon, rancher Gabe Lasley finds her and rescues her and then decides to follow along with her on her quest to treasure which turns in to one dangerous event after another.

One of my favorite things about Mary Connealy's writing is the adventure that goes on while the romance is brewing and of course the humor.  Deep Trouble has a lot of adventure, some sweet romance but really lacks in the humor aspect.
I didn't find myself truly invested in this story as much as the other books I've read by Connealy.  I think most of the reason I didn't fully connect was due to the multiple story lines/angles going on at the same time.  I didn't like how she switched over to the other stories when I was really interested in the current setting.

The characters were all well-developed and I wanted to see Shannon succeed right from the get-go but I never really loved her all that much.  At times I was frustrated with her with anyone else that liked her. 

She always has a spiritual message going on throughout her books and this one was no different. It reminded me of looking at my life to see what I rely on more than God and to get my focus back on Him!

Even though this wasn't one of the good Mary Connealy books, this will not sway me from reading any of her others and I do think others might enjoy this book more than I did.

Book Blurb:

Get ready for a Grand Canyon tour de force by award-winning author Mary Connealy. Gabe Lasley and Shannon Dysart are an unlikely pair. He’s an aimless wanderer who wants nothing other than to be left alone. She’s a fearless female determined to find a city of gold. When they are forced together the mayhem begins. As they set out to find the treasure, trouble is hot on their trail. Will the dream of gold color every decision Shannon makes? Will Gabe fail yet another helpless female in his life? 

Get ready for a Grand Canyon tour de force by award-winning author Mary Connealy. Gabe Lasley and Shannon Dysart are an unlikely pair. He’s an aimless wanderer who wants nothing other than to be left alone. She’s a fearless female determined to find a city of gold. When they are forced together the mayhem begins. As they set out to find the treasure, trouble is hot on their trail. Will the dream of gold color every decision Shannon makes? Will Gabe fail yet another helpless female in his life?

About Mary Connealy:

I wrote my first book when I was about twelve. A romance novel. I shudder to think what a twelve year old could know about romance. I have no idea what happened to the manuscript. I suppose my mother found it, and burned it while screaming in horror, but I’ve always been afraid to ask. Was it a hundred pages? Two? I have no idea, but I seem to remember just writing FOREVER! So I’m guessing two pages long at least.

As a new bride I marched straight out of journalism school and into the kitchen, I did a lot of scribbling. I still have those heartbreaking works of staggering genius, Ode to Roast Beef, things like that, all born out of the ‘Write What You Know’ school of literature.

I began writing more seriously when my baby went to kindergarten. Not writing well of course, but just putting words on paper. No one does anything well the first time. I’m sure Babe Ruth missed the first ball pitched to him. I’m sure Picasso smeared pages with paint-y fingers when he was a kid—as I remember he went back to that later in life. I’m sure Beethoven played the eighteenth century version of Chopsticks before went for the sonatas.

My writing journey is similar to a lot of others. Boil it down to persistence, oh, go ahead and call it stubbornness. I just kept typing away. I think the reason I did it was because I’m more or less a dunce around people—prone to sit silently when I really ought to speak up(or far worse, speak up when I ought to sit silently).

So, I have all these things, I want to say, in my head; the perfect zinger to the rude cashier, which you think of an hour after you’ve left the store, the perfect bit of wisdom when someone needs help, which doesn’t occur to you until they solve their problems themselves, the perfect guilt trip for the kids, which you don’t say because you’re not an idiot. I keep all this wit to myself, much to the relief of all who know me, and then I write all my great ideas into books. It’s therapeutic if nothing else, and more affordable than a psychiatrist.

So then a very nice, oh so nice publishing company like Barbour Heartsong comes along and says, “Hey, we’ll pay you money for this 45,000 word therapy session.” That’s as sweet as it gets.

My journey to publication is the same as everyone’s except for a few geniuses out there who make it hard for all of us. And even they probably have an Ode to Roast Beef or two in their past.

Buy Deep Trouble on Amazon:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spring for Susannah Blog Tour & Kindle Giveaway

To celebrate her debut novel, Catherine and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away a Spring For Susannah Prize Package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond (for KINDLE)

To enter just click one of the icons below and then tell your friends! But hurry, giveaway ends on June 27th. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th at 5 PM (6PM MST, 7PM CST, & 8PM EST) during Catherine's Spring for Susannah Book Club Party on Facebook! Catherine is rustling up some fun for the party - she'll be chatting about the story behind her novel, hosting a book club chat, testing your mail-order bride trivia skills, and giving away some GREAT prizes! Don't miss the fun and tell your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

About the book: Spring for Susannah
Booklist says, "Inspired by [folk] lyrics, Richmond arrives on the inspirational fiction scene with a moving debut novel. Readers will be filled with hope that Susannah will learn the true meaning of love. Highly recommended where inspiring, romantic historical fiction is in demand."
Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.
When her parents die suddenly, and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota Territory .
Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her-and his faith in God's perfect plan-slowly begin to chip away at the wall she hides behind.
When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.
She looks to the future with a renewed heart. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits her.

My Review of Spring for Susannah: 
Such a great romantic debut novel!! I was really impressed by the story of Spring for Susannah! I LOVE stories about mail-order brides and this one was great! Unlike other mail-order brides stories I've read this one the main hero and heroine were sort of set-up by a mutual person. The hero Jesse has a minister brother, and Jesse gets lonely and asks his brother if he knows anyone looking to be a bride? So then the minister thinks the quiet shy girl Susannah who just lost her parents and needs a husband is a perfect match for Jesse and that's how they end up together!

What's different about this Christian Romance than most is the couple gets married before they even meet each other and then they fall in love later instead of the other way around! Susannah is terribly shy and has dealt with some horrible things in her past so she has a hard time opening up to Jesse even though Jesse is everything one could want in a mate!

I really loved this story! I could really relate to Susannah because I am a shy person myself and find I related to her inner voice a lot. Susannah kept telling herself she shouldn't do this and he wouldn't like her if she said that and so on and it reminded me of myself!

There was so much to love about the hero Jesse. He isn't perfect and has dealt with some pretty hard trials in his life but he places a lot of faith in God and does everything he can to get Susannah to open up to him. I loved his teasing and flirting with Susannah.

Some people gave a negative comment about the bedroom scenes but I personally enjoyed them. They were married and I thought the flirting and teasing just made them seem more like a realistic character and marriage then other books but I do think some people might not like that sort of talk.

My only complaint of the book is the ending. There was so many things going on and I wish they would have gotten to the ending way sooner than they did and I also wish there was more after the ending! It's hard to word exactly what I felt was lacking in the ending without spoiling the book!

I can't wait to read more by Catherine Richmond because I'm sure her writing will just continue to get better!

A Big Thank You to Litfuse for providing a review copy of the book. I was not obligated to provide a positive review.
About Catherine: Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist till a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelist critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.
For more about Catherine, please visit

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with author K. Dawn Byrd

Title: Mistaken Identity 

Book blurb: Eden Morgan longs for a boyfriend of her own, an impossible goal when her best friend, Lexi Branson, gets all the attention and all the guys. When they fall in love with the same guy, Eden believes she doesn't have a chance. She can only hope that sometimes the good girl gets the guy.

1)      How did this story come to you?
Sometimes I get the strangest ideas! I wondered what would happen if a not-as-pretty good Christian girl and her gorgeous non-Christian best friend fell in love with the same guy. Who would get the guy? 

2)      Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.

I had already published several books with Desert Breeze Publishing when they opened a young adult line. I'd been writing romantic suspense and thought it would fun to try my hand at a young adult novel. It was so much fun that I'm signing a contract for a young adult mystery series that will debut in January.

3)      Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

1)      I own two hairless Chinese Crested dogs.
2)      I love sour things....pickles, lemons, sour candy.
3)      I used to ride a Harley, but gave it up in order to have more time to write. (My husband always wanted to stay out way too long and take the scenic route home. He still has his bike, but I don't miss mine at all.)

4)      What are you working on now and what's next for you?
                         I'm editing my October release with Desert Breeze. This Time for Keeps is an inspirational   romance.

5)      Parting comments?

Thank you for hosting me! For those of you who love Christian fiction, please check my blog for weekly book giveaways. I interview 3-5 authors a week who give away their books.

                 6) Where can fans find you on the internet?


I'm also on Twitter (kdawnbyrd) and facebook (K Dawn Byrd.) I am the moderator of the Christian Fiction Gathering facebook group (!/group.php?gid=128209963444) If you join this group, you'll get reminders about the weekly book giveways. 

Okay readers, here is your chance to win either a gift card for a download or a t-shirt!!


*Leave an encouraging comment about the interview/author with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address. Use this format kcmelone(at)yahoo(dot)com to protect you from spam.

*If you leave a comment you are automatically entered in the giveaway, unless you tell me not to.

*Here are ways to get entries:

mandatory entry: comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

+2 Rate my latest review (on When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley) on Blogging for Books by clicking here.
+2 Read and leave a comment on any of my other reviews located on this blog.

**This is a total of 6 entries.  Tell me in your comments which of these entries you did. **
*The contest will run from today (May 16) until Tuesday (May 28). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner either directly and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.
**USA addresses only, please**