Friday, July 29, 2011

A River to Cross by Yvonne Harris

Book Blurb:

Texas Ranger Jake Nelson patrols the U.S.-Mexico border, protecting the settlers from cattle rustlers, outlaws, and bandits. Sparks fly when Manuel Diego stirs up a revolt against the government, which leads to the murder of a newspaperman, who is the son of a U.S. senator, and the kidnapping of his sister, Elizabeth Madison, a journalist in the making.
With Elizabeth's photograph in hand—a dark-haired beauty with smiling eyes—Jake rides over the border to find her. After the Rangers defeat the marauders and rescue Elizabeth, Jake is surprised to learn she's not the spoiled daughter of a senator that he was expecting. In fact, he finds himself taken by her. And she by him.
But the Mexicans won't give up that easily, as Elizabeth becomes the target of an all-out hunt. Leaving Elizabeth back at Fort Williams, Jake and his men set off again, this time to go after Diego himself—to apprehend him and his renegades and bring them all to justice.
Meanwhile, Jake knows what's begun between him and Elizabeth is undeniable. Amid all the turmoil, Jake finally admits how much he loves her. She tells him the same. Until now, they've lived in different worlds, yet it is those differences that drew them together.

My Review
5 STARS

Elizabeth, an upcoming journalist at her brother's newspaper business and the daughter of a U.S. Senator, watches her brother get killed right in front of her eyes and then the killers decide to kidnap her and take her with them in hopes of using her for leverage! 

Texas Ranger Jake Nelson hears about the brutal murder of his friend and the kidnapping of the young beauty Elizabeth by the revolting Mexican Manuel Diego and decides he will not rest until she is safe and sound and Diego is brought to justice!!
Jake sets out to find Elizabeth and when he succeeds not only does he begin to realize that she is nothing like he expected but much more, but he also severely ticks off Diego!!  That begins the hunt Diego initiates to find Elizabeth and have her murdered!

A River to Cross starts off with a bang and the excitement begins full throttle and it doesn't end until the end of the story!! The story is filled with action packed adventure, suspense and a sweet love story woven within!

My favorite part of this story is the main characters Jake and Elizabeth!! I really enjoyed reading about Elizabeth.  She is a strong and passionate young girl, unlike what Jake thought she'd be like with her being a Senators daughter.  She doesn't let the threats on her life distract her from what she believes is right by portraying the story that her brother was working on when he died!!

Then there is Jake, a yummy hunky Texas Ranger that has a grumpy side and a soft spot for the beauty he rescues!! I couldn't get enough of him!!  He takes his job seriously and wants Elizabeth to understand why he is passionate about his work!

I felt all the emotions and turmoil the characters did and was very emotionally connected to them and was rooting for them from chapter 1.

The spiritual threads throughout the book were subtle and enjoyable!! I'm not a fan of a Christian novel that pushes Christianity down your throat, it drives me crazy! A River to Cross was not like that for me!! There were moments of references to God and spirituality but it was woven in very nicely and didn't deter from the story!
Content:  Very clean, minor kissing!

Disclosure:  I received this book free from Bethany House to write an honest and personal review of A River to Cross! All opinions are true and my own!
About Yvonne Harris:
Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante's Bride, which is her debut novel.Visit her Web site at www.ylharris.com
Buy A River to Cross on Amazon:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interview with Pam Hillman with bonus giveaway and review


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

Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.

I'm still amazed that Stealing Jake was your debut novel.....
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?

I starting pursuing publication in 1994, but I’ve wanted to be a published author ever since I can remember. As a child, I was fascinated by how authors put all those stories on paper. Somehow, my brain just naturally made up stories. But for years, I didn’t write them down. I tried to get started a few times, but didn’t know how to construct a compelling story with an interesting beginning, firm middle, and satisfying ending. So out of lack of knowledge and fear of failure, I just kept dreaming. I think I had the idea that as long as I didn’t attempt to write, I couldn’t fail at writing. In 1994, I decided that if I was ever going to write, I had to stop kidding myself and get to work.

We are glad you finally gave it a shot...
Who has inspired you the most?

My daddy. After you read the story below, titled “Daddy’s Girl”, you’ll see that just because I was a girl, didn’t stop Daddy from letting me attempt to do anything I wanted to. Maybe it was just my nature, but growing up, I really believed I could do anything, be anything, I wanted to be. I still believe that. And the one thing I’ve always wanted to be was a writer.

That's really sweet....What are 2 things that people wouldn’t normally know about you?

I was a tomboy growing up, and was my daddy’s righthand “girl” until I married. I can cut, rake, and bale hay, or drive 40’ cattle trailer to the stockyard if needed. I’m a purchasing manager (my predecessors were all men) for an OEM company where I purchase tons of stainless steel, pumps, motors, relays, and solenoids all day long. And I know the difference in a Phillips and a flathead screwdriver, and that 26 gauge stainless steel is a lot thinner than 14 gauge, which is weird when you think about it!
 
Readers can click here to read “Daddy’s Girl” http://calicotrails.blogspot.com/2011/07/daddys-girl.html)

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?

Stealing Jake, Tyndale House Publishers, July 2011
When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.
Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy--literally--while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town--as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off--Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

To read the first chapter, click this link:  http://pamhillman.blogspot.com/2007/11/stealing-jake-prologue.html

Stealing Jake is an ebook and can be purchased at these locations. And, actually, for a limited time, Tyndale is offering the book for FREE in all formats! I’d love for your readers to download a copy, and if they love it, please post reviews and tell their friends. Word of mouth is priceless!




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

I’d like to quote from this reviewer. She said it so much better than I ever could! “Light-fingered Livy O’Brien grew up on the streets of Chicago. Raised on the cold and hunger of homelessness, friend to pain and the tragic death of her sister, hers is a story of God’s love shining in the most broken of hearts.

Woven into the story of Jake and Livy is a cast of street kids. Arrested in Chicago and sold—by the police, nonetheless—as child labor, these kids find themselves alone and without hope in Chestnut.
And yet God never leaves us that way, does He?
Because He brings Jake and Livy together at His perfect time, not only to discover a future together, but so they can intervene in the lives of kids who have no one to fight for them.”

Natalia Gortova, Reviewer

What’s your favorite part of the story?

All of it? Seriously, I love creating the opening of a story. That part percolates in my head for weeks, months, sometimes years, until it finally boils over on the screen. Yeah, it gets some tweaks before the final hoo-rah, but those opening scenes are usually still with the book once it’s finished.

What was the hardest part to write?

All of it? lol – Hmmm, the hardest part to write for me is the middle, trying to tie all the threads together and keep things interesting and clear for the reader. All this has to then dovetail for an ending that’s like snapping a bullwhip.

Do you have any other books in the making?

Stealing Jake is my first book, and I’m excited…and blessed… to see the great reviews that are popping up on Amazon, B&N, and CBD. As for what’s next, there’s a feisty young widow named Johanna Thorndike in Stealing Jake who’s looking to tell her story along with a brawny coal mine owner named Trey. Working title is Trusting Trey.  It’s not contracted, so we’ll see. And I’m been working on a book set in the 1790’s about an indentured servant. It’s been a lot of fun.

Oh, I love it when a character from a first book gets to have a story too, so excited to read about Johanna!!

Here are a few fun questions:
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Pepsi or Coke?Coke
Cats or Dogs? Cats
Summer or Winter? Summer

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


Giveaway Time
And I’d love for your readers to sign up for my Kindle Giveaway. Three Seeker books (Stay tuned. More to come!) already pre-loaded! Deadline to enter is September 30th: http://pamhillman.blogspot.com/2011/07/pams-blog-tour-kindle-contest.html

My Review of Stealing Jake:
5 STARS

Light fingered Livy who was an expert at pick pocketing has given up her old ways of living and has changed for the better! She is now a Christian and is helping run an orphanage in a small time to start a new life for herself. She is troubled though by all the street kids in her new small town that are getting a bad name because someone is stealing and everyone is blaming them. She is trying to help figure out who is the thief to clear the street-kids names and at the same time trying to convince them to come stay at the orphanage where they will be safe!

Livy meets Deputy Jake and instantly there are sparks a flying! The only problem is that she is afraid of falling in love, afraid of lawman, and afraid that once Jake knows her past he will abandon her!

Stealing Jake starts off with a bang and you are instantly involved in the lives of the street kids and the story of Livy! I was devouring the chapters as fast as I could and I finished the book in one night because I had no desire to wait until tomorrow to keep reading! I just had to know who the bad guys were and what would be the fate of the poor street kids!

I really enjoyed the character development of Livy! I felt like I knew a lot about her and could easily connect to who she was. I also felt this way about Jake, although at times I wish I knew a little bit more about what happened to him in the mine but I still really felt connected to him.

The spiritual aspect of this book was very refreshing and inviting! Hillman portrays a message that God can take anyone and restore them to beauty for God's glory and that when you seek God for help he will always provide for you! I was touched by the sweet way the Christians were portrayed in this story but I also never felt the Spiritual aspects were too pushy!

I very much enjoyed reading this debut novel and will be making sure I check out more of Pam Hillman's work. By the way - I got this novel free on Amazon, not sure how long the deal will last!

Content: Very clean, minor kissing!
eIn

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

FIRST Wild Card Tour: Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Multnomah Books (July 19, 2011)
***Special thanks to Laura Tucker of WaterBrook Multnomah Publicity for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Gayle Roper, a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, is the multi-award-winning, best-selling author of Fatal Deduction and more than forty other books. She teaches and leads mentoring clinics at writers’ conferences across the country. Gayle lives in eastern Pennsylvania.


Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Carrie Carter’s small café in Seaside, New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals … although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He’s recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children—and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her, to Carrie’s chagrin.

When Carrie’s dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, leaving only cryptic clues in her Sudoku book, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries … and into her life. But when Carrie’s own painful past becomes all too present, her carefully constructed world begins to sink.

Will the fragile relationship she’s built with Greg implode from the weight of the baggage they both carry?


Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Multnomah Books (July 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601420846
ISBN-13: 978-1601420848

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

So Bill punched him in the nose, Carrie!” Andi Mueller swung an arm to demonstrate and nearly clipped me. “He was wonderful!”

I leaned back and held up a hand for protection. “Easy, kiddo.” I smiled at the girl and her enthusiasm.

Andi giggled like the smitten sixteen-year-old she was. “Sorry.”

“Mmm.” I rested my elbows on the pink marble counter that ran along one wall of Carrie's Café, located two blocks from the boardwalk in the center of Seaside, New Jersey. I was the Carrie of the café's name, and Andi was one of my servers, in fact, my only server at the moment. She'd been with me almost two months now, taking up the slack when the summer kids left to go back to college or on to real jobs.

“Let me get this straight,” I said. “On Saturday night Bill, who is your true soul mate, punched Jase, our Jase, for paying too much attention to you at a party.” I didn't think my voice was too wry, but soul mates at sixteen made me both cynical and scared, teen hormones being what they were.

Andi just grinned with delight of the even-mentioning-his-name-givesme-the-vapors kind and nodded as she sat on a stool at the counter. “Isn't it romantic?”

I was hearing this tale today, Monday, because now that the season was over, Carrie's was closed on Sundays. My staff and I had earned our day of rest over a very busy and marginally profitable summer. We might be able to stay open for another year if nothing awful happened, like the roof leaking or the dishwasher breaking.

Listening to Andi made me feel ancient. I was only thirty-three, but had I ever been as young as she? Given the trauma of my growing-up years, I probably hadn't. I was glad that whatever her history, and there was a history, she could giggle.

“How do you expect to continue working with Jase after this encounter?” I was very interested in her answer. Jase was one of three part-time dishwashers at the café. All three were students at the local community college and set their schedules around classes. Jase worked Tuesdays and Saturdays from six in the morning until three, and the last thing I wanted was contention in the kitchen between Andi and him.

Andi looked confused. “Why should I have trouble with Jase? I didn't punch him. Besides he's an old--” She cut herself off.

I wanted to pursue her half-thought, but the door of the café opened, and Greg Barnes walked in, all scruffy good looks and shadowed eyes. His black hair was mussed as if he hadn't combed it, and he had a two-day stubble. He should have looked grubby, but somehow he didn't. He looked wonderful.

All thoughts of Bill and Jase fled as my heart did the little stuttery Snoopy dance it always did at the sight of Greg. Before he could read anything in my face, assuming he noticed me as someone other than the person who fed him, I looked down at the basket of fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon-swirl muffins I was arranging.

Andi glanced from me to him and, much too quick and clever, smiled with a knowing look. I held my breath. She wasn't long on tact, and the last thing I wanted was for her to make some leading remark. I felt I could breathe again when all she did was wink at me. Safe for the moment, at least.

Greg came to the counter and slid onto his favorite stool, empty now that the receding flood of summer tourists left it high and dry this third week in October, a vinyl-covered Ararat postdeluge.

“The usual?” I asked, my voice oh-so-casual.

He gave a nod, barely glancing my way, and opened his copy of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Press of Atlantic City waited. I turned to place his order, but there was no need. Lindsay, my sister, partner, and the café's baker, had been listening to Andi's story through the serving window. She waved her acknowledgment before I said a word. She passed the order to Ricky, our short-order cook, who had stayed with us longer than I expected, long enough that he had become almost as much of an asset to Carrie's as Lindsay was.

My sister gave me a sly smile, then called, “Hi, Greg.”

He looked up from his paper and gave Lindsay a very nice smile, far nicer than he ever gave me.

“The sticky buns are all gone,” he said in mild accusation, nodding toward the glass case where we kept Lindsay's masterpieces.

She grinned. “Sorry. You've got to get here earlier.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Or you could make more.”

“I'll take the suggestion under advisement,” she said agreeably.

“Haven't you heard the adage about making your customers happy?”

“Yeah. So?”

He laughed and turned a page in the paper. I brought him a glass of OJ and a cup of my special blend.

“How're you doing?” I asked, just as I did every morning.

He gave me a vague smile. “Fine.” Just as he said every morning.

But he wasn't. Oh, he was better than, say, a year ago, definitely better than two years ago, but he wasn't well. Even three years after the tragedy that had altered his life, he was far from his self-proclaimed fine. If you looked closely--as I did--you could see the strain never completely left his eyes, and the purple stains under them were too deep and dark, a sure sign that a good night's sleep was still little more than a vague memory for him.

But he was sober. More than two years and counting.

“Keep talking, Andi,” Lindsay said as Ricky beat Greg's eggs and inserted his wheat bread in the toaster. “This is better than reality TV. It's really real.” She walked out of the kitchen into the café proper. “Bill bopped Jase,” she prompted.

“Our Jase,” I clarified.

Greg looked up. “Your dishwasher?”

I nodded.

“Hmm.” And he went back to his paper.

“And Jase went down for the count.” Andi's chest swelled with pride at her beloved's prowess.

I flinched. “Don't you think knocking a guy out for talking to you is a bit much?”

Andi thought for almost half a second, then shook her head. “It wasn't for just Saturday. He knows Jase and I work together, and he was staking his claim.”

I'd seen Jase and Andi talking in the kitchen, but there never seemed to be any romantic overtones. “Jase is a nice guy and a good worker. I don't want to lose him because of your boyfriend.”

“He is, and I don't want him to go either,” Andi agreed. “I like talking to him.”

“Me too.” Lindsay rested an elbow on the counter and propped her chin in her palm. “I think he's sad.”

“What do you mean, sad?” But I'd sensed he was weighed down with something too.

“He's funny and open most of the time,” Lindsay said, “but sometimes when no one's talking to him, I see this look of sorrow on his face.”

I nodded. “All the more reason to hate that he got punched.”

“Yeah.” Lindsay got a dreamy look in her dark brown eyes. “But there's something about a guy defending you, even if what he's defending you from isn't really a threat.” She sighed.

“Lindsay!” I was appalled. “Get a grip.” Though if Greg ever wanted to defend me, I was pretty sure I wouldn't mind. Of course, that presupposed he'd notice I was in trouble. I glanced at him bent over his paper. Not likely to happen. I bit back a sigh.

“Tell me, Andi. Does Bill plan to punch out any male who talks to you?”

“Come on, Carrie,” Andi said. “Don't be mad at Bill. You know how guys can be when they've had a few beers.”

I did know how guys could be, beers or no beers. “What were you doing at a party where there was drinking?”

She became all prim and prissy. “I did not drink.”

“I should hope not, but you shouldn't have been there.” Good grief. I was sounding more and more like her mother--or how her mother would have sounded if she weren't missing in action somewhere. Part of that history I didn't know.

“Order up,” Ricky announced as he walked to the pass-through. “The food is never better than when I plate it.”

You'd have thought he was Emeril or Wolfgang Puck or one of Paula Deen's sons, not a stopgap cook who couldn't find any other job after graduating from college with a psychology degree and who stayed around because he had a crush on the baker.

I grabbed Greg's scrambled eggs and wheat toast and served them. He accepted them with a nod and a grunt.

“So what happened to Jase?” I asked Andi. I found myself hoping Bill had bruised a knuckle or two in his violence, though I was pretty sure it meant I was a terrible person too. I didn't wish for a broken hand or anything that extreme, just something to remind him that punching wasn't the way to handle a perceived rival.

Andi waved her hand vaguely. “Bill and a buddy carried Jase to his car. They only dropped him once.”

I imagined the thunk of poor Jase's head hitting the ground and flinched in sympathy. No such thought bothered Andi. She was too busy being thrilled by Bill, who rode in like her shining knight, laying waste to the enemy with knuckles instead of the more traditional lance.

“How much older than you is Bill?” Lindsay asked.

Good question, Linds.

Andi studied the cuticle of her index finger. “He's nineteen.”

Lindsay and I exchanged a glance. Those three years from sixteen to nineteen were huge.

I couldn't keep quiet. “So he shouldn't have been drinking at this party either.”

Andi slid off her stool. If looks killed, Lindsay'd be sprinkling my ashes in the ocean tomorrow morning.

“What does Clooney think of you and Bill?” Lindsay asked. Clooney was Andi's great-uncle, and she lived with him.

Andi cleared her throat. “We don't talk about Bill.”

“Does he know about Bill?” Lindsay's concern was obvious.

Andi stared through long bangs that hung over her hazel eyes. The silky hair sometimes caught in her lashes in a way that made me blink but didn't seem to bother her. “Of course Clooney knows. Do you think I'd keep a secret from him?”

“I didn't think you would.” Lindsay smiled. “I'm glad to know I was right.”

So was I. Sixteen could go in so many different directions, and I'd hate for this pixie to make wrong choices--or more wrong choices.

“Is he going to college?” I asked. “Bill?”

“He was, but not now.” Her fingernail became even more absorbing. “He dropped out of Rutgers at the end of his freshman year.”

Uh-oh. Dropped out or failed out? “Does he plan to go back? Try again?”

She shrugged. “He doesn't know. Right now he's happy just being. And going to parties. And taking me.” By the time she was finished, she was bouncing at the excitement of it all, her strawberry blond ponytail leaping about her shoulders.

Greg looked up from his newspaper. “So this guy took you, a very underage girl, to a party where there was lots of drinking?”

Andi looked at him, eyes wide, acting as if he'd missed the whole point of her story. “Don't worry about me, Mr. Barnes. Or any of you.” She included Lindsay and me with a nod of her head. “I can handle any problems that might develop at a party. Believe me, I've dealt with far worse.”

I was intrigued. I'd stared down plenty of problems in my time too, and I wondered how her stare downs compared to mine.

She grinned and waved a hand as if she were wiping away her momentary seriousness. “But I'd rather talk about how great Bill is.”

“So how great is he?” Lindsay asked. “Tell me all.” At twenty-seven, she was an incurable romantic. I wasn't sure how this had come to pass, since she had every reason to be as cynical as I, but there you are.

I frowned at her. “Stop encouraging the girl.”

Lindsay just grinned.

I looked at Andi's happy face and had to smile too. “So what's this wonderful guy doing if he's not in school?” Besides being and partying.

“Uh, you mean like a job or something?”

“Yeah.” Lindsay and I exchanged another glance. Greg looked up again at Andi's reluctant tone.

“Well, he was a lifeguard over the summer. He's got this fabulous tan, and it makes him so handsome.”

Soul mate stuff if I ever heard it. I half expected her to swoon like a nineteenth-century Southern belle with her stays laced too tightly. “What about now? Postseason?”

“And he was the quarterback on the high school football team two years ago when they won the state championship.”

“Very impressive. What about now?”

“He was named Most Valuable Player.”

“Even more impressive. What about now?”

She began making sure the little stacks of sugar and sweetener packets in the holders on the counter were straight. “Right now he's just trying to figure it all out.”

Being. Figuring. And punching guys out while he thought. “You mean he's trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up?”

She glared at me. In her mind he was grown up. She turned her back with a little sniff and went to clean off a dirty table.

Lindsay swallowed a laugh. “Your sarcastic streak is showing, Carrie.”

Mr. Perkins, another regular at Carrie's Café and at eighty in better health than the rest of us put together, rapped his cup on the pink marble counter. He'd been sitting for several minutes with his eyes wide behind his glasses as he listened to Andi.

“No daughter of mine that age would ever have gone to a party where there was drinking,” he said. “It's just flat out wrong.”

Since I agreed, I didn't mention that he was a lifelong bachelor and had no daughters.

He rapped his cup again.

“Refill?” I asked, not because I didn't know the answer but because the old man liked to think he was calling the shots.

He nodded. “Regular too. None of that wimpy decaf. I got to keep my blood flowing, keep it pumping.”

I smiled with affection as I topped off his cup. He gave the same line every day. “Mr. Perkins, you have more energy than people half your age.”

He pointed his dripping spoon at me. “And don't you forget it.”

“Watch it,” I said in a mock scold. “You're getting coffee all over my counter.”

“And a fine counter it is.” He patted the pink-veined marble slab. It was way too classy and way too pricey for a place like the café. “Did I ever tell you that I remember when it was the registration counter at Seaside's Grand Hotel? And let me tell you, it was a grand hotel in every sense of the word. People used to come from as far as Pittsburgh, even the president of U.S. Steel. Too bad it burned down. The hotel, not U.S. Steel.”

“Too bad,” I agreed. And yes, he'd told us the story many times.

“It was in 1943,” he said with a faraway look in his eyes. “I was thirteen.” He blinked back to the present. “It was during World War II, you know, and people said it was sabotage. Not that I ever believed that. I mean, why would the Germans burn down a resort hotel? But I'll tell you, my father, who was an air-raid warden, about had a seizure.”

“I bet he was convinced that the flames, visible for miles up and down the coast, would bring the German subs patrolling offshore right up on our beaches,” Lindsay said with a straight face. “They might have attacked us.”

I glared at her as she repeated word for word Mr. Perkins's line from the story. She winked unrepentantly.

Mr. Perkins nodded, delighted she was listening. “People kept their curtains drawn at night, and even the boardwalk was blacked out for the duration, the lights all covered except for the tiniest slit on the land side, so the flames from the fire seemed extra bright. All that wood, you know. Voom! ” He threw his hands up in the air.

Lindsay and I shook our heads at the imagined devastation, and I thought I saw Greg's lips twitch. He'd heard the story almost as many times as we had.

Mr. Perkins stirred his coffee. “After the war some investor bought the property.”

“I bet all that remained of the Grand was the little corner where the pink marble registration counter sat.” Lindsay pointed where I leaned. “That counter.”

Again she spoke his line with a straight face, and this time Greg definitely bit back a grin.

Mr. Perkins added another pink packet to his coffee. “That's right. The buyer decided to open a restaurant around the counter and build a smaller, more practical hotel on the rest of the property.”

Even that hotel was gone now, replaced many years ago by private homes rented each summer to pay the exorbitant taxes on resort property.

I walked to Greg with my coffeepot. “Refill?”

He slid his mug in my direction, eyes never leaving his paper.

Be still my heart.



2

The café door opened again, and Clooney sauntered in. In my opinion Clooney sauntered through life, doing as little as possible and appearing content that way. I, on the other hand, was a bona fide overachiever, always trying to prove myself, though I wasn't sure to whom. If Clooney weren't so charming, I'd have disliked him on principle. As it was, I liked him a lot.

Today he wore a Phillies cap, one celebrating the 2008 World Series victory. His gray ponytail was pulled through the back of the cap and hung to his shoulder blades.

“You work too hard, Carrie,” he told me frequently. “You'll give yourself indigestion or reflux or a heart attack or something. You need to take time off.”

“If I didn't want to pay the rent or have insurance or eat, I'd do that very thing,” I always countered.

“What you need is a rich husband.” And he'd grin.

“A solution to which I'm not averse. There just seems to be a shortage of candidates in Seaside.”

“Hey, Clooney,” Andi called from booth four, where she was clearing. She gave him a little finger wave. Clooney might be her great-uncle, but try as I might, I couldn't get her to call him Uncle Clooney. Just “Clooney” sounded disrespectful to me, but he didn't seem to mind.

“Hey, darlin'.” Clooney walked over to Andi and gave her a hug. Then he came to the counter and slid onto the stool next to Greg. He did not take off his cap, something that drove me crazy. I've developed this manners thing, probably because my childhood was so devoid of anything resembling pattern or politeness. I know people thought me prissy and old-fashioned, but I am what I am, a poor man's Miss Manners.

Clooney pointed at a muffin, and I placed one on a dish for him. He broke off a chunk, then glanced back at Andi. “She tell you about that fool Bill?”

I grinned at his disgruntled expression. “She did.”

“What is it with girl children?” he demanded. “I swear she's texted the news around the world.”

“She thinks it's a compliment--her knight defending her.”

Clooney and Greg snorted at the same time.

“Slaying a dragon who's threatening the life of the fair damsel's one thing,” Greg said, actually looking at me. “Decking a kid for saying hi to a pretty girl is another.”

“Your past life as a cop is showing,” I teased.

He shrugged as he turned another page of the paper. “Old habits die hard.”

The door opened again, and in strutted the object of our conversation. I knew it had to be him because, aside from the fact that he looked like a very tanned football player, he and Andi gazed at each other with love-struck goofy grins. I thought I heard Lindsay sigh.

Andi hurried toward the kitchen with an armful of dirty dishes from booth four. She squeaked in delight as Bill swatted her on the rump as she passed. Clooney stiffened at this unseemly familiarity with his baby. Mr. Perkins tsk-tsked his disapproval.

“Can I have breakfast now?” Andi asked when she reappeared empty- handed.

The wait staff usually ate around ten thirty at a back booth, and it was ten fifteen. We were in the off-season weekday lull between breakfast and lunch, and the three men on their stools were the only customers present. I nodded.

Bill looked toward the kitchen. He appeared overwhelmed at the prospect of food, unable to make a selection. He draped an arm over Andi's shoulder as he considered the possibilities, and she snuggled against him. Clooney's frown intensified.

Bill was a big guy, and it was clear by the way he carried himself that he still thought of himself as the big man on campus in spite of the fact that he was now campusless and unemployed. As I studied him, I wondered if high school football would end up being the high point of his life. How sad that would be. Clooney drifted through life by choice. I hoped Bill wouldn't drift for lack of a better plan or enough ability to achieve.

Careful, Carrie. I was being hard on this kid. Nineteen and undecided wasn't that unusual. Just because at his age I'd already been on my own for three years, responsible for Lindsay, who was six years my junior…

Bill gave Clooney, who was watching him with a rather sour look, a sharp elbow in the upper arm and asked, one guy to another, “What do you suggest, Clooney? What's really good here?”

Clooney's relaxed slouch disappeared. I saw the long-ago medal-winning soldier of his Vietnam days. “You will call me 'sir' until I give you permission to call me by name. Do you understand, boy?”

Bill blinked. So did I. Everyone in Seaside, no matter their age, called him Clooney.

“Stop that, Clooney!” Andi was appalled at her uncle's tone of voice.

“Play nice,” I said softly as I realized for the first time that I didn't know whether Clooney was his first name or last. I made a mental note to ask Greg. As a former Seaside cop, he might know. “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, darlin'.” Clooney gave Andi an easy smile. He gave Bill a hard stare. “Right, Bill?”

Bill blinked again. “Y-yes, sir.”

Andi took her beloved's hand and dragged him toward the back booth. “Ignore my uncle. He's having a bad day.” She glared over her shoulder at Clooney, who grinned back at her.

“She's got spunk, that one,” he said with pride.

“How'd she end up living with you?” I'd been longing to ask ever since Clooney showed up with Andi just before Labor Day and asked me to give her a job. I did, and I guess I thought that gave me the right to ask my question.

Clooney disagreed because he said, “I think I'll have one of your amazing Belgian waffles with a side of sausage.”

“I'm on it.” Lindsay headed back to the kitchen before I said a word. “Got it, Ricky?”

“Got it.” Ricky tested the waffle iron with a flick of water. He smiled as the water jumped and evaporated. He was a handsome kid with dark Latino looks of the smoldering kind, a young Antonio Banderas. Unfortunately for him, his smoldering looks appeared to have no effect on Linds.

Another victim of unrequited love.

Andi came to the counter and placed an order for Bill and herself. I blinked. We could have served the whole dining room on less.

Mr. Perkins eyed me. “Are you going to make him pay for all that? You should, you know.”

True, but I shook my head. “Job perk. He's cheaper than providing health benefits and not nearly as frustrating.”

“So say you.” Clooney settled to his waffle and sausage.

I watched the parade of laden plates emerge from the kitchen and make their way to the back booth, making me reconsider the “cheaper” bit. Andi took her seat and stared at Bill as if he could do no wrong in spite of the fact that he leaned on the table like he couldn't support his own weight. Didn't anyone ever tell the kid that his noneating hand was supposed to rest in his lap, not circle his plate as if protecting it from famished marauders or little girls with ponytails?

“Look at him,” Clooney said. “He's what? Six-two and over two hundred pounds? Jase Peoples is about five-eight and one-forty if he's wearing everything in his closet.”

“Let's forget about Jase, shall we?” Andi's voice was sharp as she came to the counter and reached for more muffins. “The subject is closed.”

I grabbed her wrist. “No more muffins. We need them for paying customers. If Bill's still hungry, he can have toast.”

“Or he could pay.” To Mr. Perkins a good idea was worth repeating.

Andi laughed at the absurdity of such a thought.

Ricky had left his stove and was leaning on the pass-through beside Lindsay. “Four slices coming up for Billingsley.”

“Billingsley?” I looked at the big guy as he downed the last of his four-egg ham-and-cheese omelet. With a name like that, it was a good thing he was big enough to protect himself.

“Billingsley Morton Lindemuth III,” Ricky said.

“I should never have told you.” Andi clearly felt betrayed.

“But you did. And you got to love it.” Laughing, Ricky turned to make toast.

“He hates it,” Andi said.

I wasn't surprised.

Greg drew in a breath like you do when something terrible happens. We all turned to stare at him.

“What's wrong?” I asked.

He was looking at the front page of The Press of Atlantic City. “Jase Peoples.”

“What?” I demanded.

Clooney grabbed the paper and followed Greg's pointing finger.

I could see the picture and the headline above it: “Have You Seen This Man?”


My Review of Shadows on the Sand:
5 STARS

Exciting Romantic Suspense! There are two sad stories of two people who come together! Carrie and her sister are now running a small café after and are looking for happiness when danger comes lurking in to their lives. Greg is a regular at the café that is just struggling daily to live after the loss of his family! These two are struggling to survive the danger imposed on them as well as learning how to love and trust again.

I thought this book was really good!! There was quite a bit of suspense that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could as well as an ending that was unpredictable! The whole concept of the cult that was going on was fascinating and I thought the book was great at being original! You were guessing at whom the killer was the whole time and when I finally figured some of it out I was shocked!

The characters were engaging and lovable! I felt so awful for Greg and he pulled on my heart strings through the whole book. I wanted him to find love again and to move forward from the pain of his past. Carrie was just as lovable as Greg too! She is struggling with her past and when it comes back to smack her down she has to learn how to deal with the changes and challenges God throws her way! The emotion that was involved with these two characters was intense and I was so drawn in to this story it was hard to put down.

The romance was passionate and oh so sweet and very emotional!

There were some spiritual tones throughout but they were developed in to the story with ease and I loved the lessons that were learned about forgiving yourself and others and not hanging on to the guilt!

I highly recommend Shadows in the Sand to all Christian Romantic Suspense lovers, you will not be disappointed.


Thank you to FIRST Wild Cards for the free book for my personal opinion and review! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Great Catch

Book Blurb:


It is the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa Resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When 22-year-old Emily Graham's meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.
Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer at Lake Manawa, Iowa, before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.
When Emily crashes into Carter at a roller skating rink, neither could guess what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?
The perfect summer novel, A Great Catch will enchant readers with its breezy setting and endearing characters.


My Review:
5 STARS

A Great Catch was a great summer read!! I haven’t read the first book in this series, Making Waves, but once I finished A Great Catch I eagerly want to go get my hands on that book! This is a story about a young woman Emily who is fighting her little heart out for women’s rights and has dedicated all her spare time to her suffragist organization. Then there is Carter who is an old friend of Emily’s brother who shows up for the summer to play baseball for the local team. Carter is drawn to Emily despite her clumsy ways and her opinionated mouth! They are at Lake Manawa playing baseball, swimming and drinking lemonade!

I found myself laughing out loud numerous times while reading this story especially when it came to Emily’s 2 aunts that are a piece of work! They try to set her up on dates with anyone they can think of even if he is balding and has a name like Mr. Wormsley. The scene with Mr. Wormsley just had me cracking up!!

Carter was oh so delightful. I’ve always had a thing for baseball players and this was no exception. He sounds so yummy and oh so sweet at the same time! But no…he is not perfect either! I find it hard to relate to characters when they have no flaws. Oh how he was sweet to Emily despite her ability to jump to conclusions without seeking God.

There were lots of lessons to be learned while reading A Great Catch like putting God ahead of all your other priorities! Emily struggled with putting God before her suffragist group and her relationship with Carter and we see how that can really cripple you!

There were a lot of things to enjoy in this story; summer fun like watching baseball and swimming, a summer romance blooming, a bit of history on women’s suffrage and some mystery involved making an exciting climax and satisfying ending!

Now that I have read a Great Catch, I plan on getting a copy of Making Waves to see who else found romance in the story of Lake Manawa. Great book!!

Content: Very clean!


About the Author:


For as long as I can remember, I loved writing. I even dreamed in plots. I also grew up attending antique auctions nearly every weekend, so history was as much a part of my life as chores on our farm in Iowa, reading books, and playing with Barbies. So, writing historical romances fit perfectly. Times may change, the style of clothes, the way we speak, but the common threads that unite us remain the same. Couples fall in love. Injustices happen. We fight for what we believe in. We struggle. We endure. We grow.

After graduating from York College in York, Nebraska with an A.A. and then receiving a B.S.Ed. from Lubbock Christian University, I met and married the love of my life, David. God had
written our love story, and I knew from the moment we met that he was the one. It was not love at first sight by any means, but I was so sure he was "it" that I wrote that I'd met the man I would marry in my diary. We pledged our hearts to one another two and half years later.

I taught high school English until my oldest child was born. After that I began my career as a professional wiper. I wiped noses, counter tops, tiny tushes, tears, and scraped knees.

Deciding that my children were now older and less in need of my constant supervision, I started pursuing my first love again --writing. After joining American Christian Fiction Writers, I found a wonderful critique group and began studying the craft of writing.

David and I have three children ages 18, 16, and 11. We also work in youth ministry and teach youth and adult Bible classes.

Thank you so much for stopping by, friend!
 

Buy A Great Catch on Amazon:
  
 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Airel by Aaron Patterson, Chris White

Book Blurb:

All Airel ever wanted to be was normal, to disappear into the crowd. But bloodlines can produce surprises, like sudden mysterious illness. Then there’s Michael Alexander, the new guy in school, who is impossibly gorgeous…and captivated by her. Somewhere in the back of her mind she can hear the sound of pages turning, and another, older story being written. It is the story of an ancient family, of great warriors, of the Sword of Light, and the struggle against an evil so terrible, so far-reaching, that it threatens everything she hopes for even now. Airel knew change would be inevitable as life went on. But can she hold on when murder and darkness begin to close in and take away everything she loves? Will she have what it takes when the truth is finally revealed?


My Review:
4 STARS 
I LOVE THE COVER!!!!

I have had this fascination with fallen angel stories lately and I just love them. I expected Airel to be similar to most of the fallen angel stories I've read but it is nothing like those except that it is about a fallen angel. This was such a unique twist to the common way angels are portrayed. There are two stories going on through most of the book that are woven together at the end.

First you have the story set in present day Boise, ID where an average high school girl Airel is just living her normal life when suddenly hot new boy enters and she catches the love bug! The second story is about the fallen angel Kreios dated back in 1250 BC and his struggles with losing his wife and then the battles of the Brotherhood. In Part 1 of this book having the 2 separate stories going on was a bit hard to follow but you instantly were connected to the lives of Kreios and Airel.

One of the things I liked most about this story is the main character Airel. The authors nailed a typical teenage girl with the glimpses they give us of being inside her head. I love how we see in to her mind, because it is pretty hilarious in there. There were so many quotes I loved, here is a favorite: "Sometimes I watched all the popular girls, wondering if they actually had brains or if they just ran on batteries, plugging in at night to charge their ever-so-perfect personalities. No bitterness here!"

There wasn't a whole lot of dialogue in this story; most of it is coming from the minds of the characters. This was a new way to read a story, I did enjoy it, although at times I wished there was more conversations going on. You get to see in the minds of Airel, of Kreios, and of a killer. The struggle between good and evil is the forefront of this great story!

The ending was the best! I was a bit frustrated at how things were going and wasn't sure I'd like the way it ended but the authors sure pulled out the big stuff for an ending that leaves you begging for the next book!

I loved the message that is being taught; "you don't need a man to love you and make you special, you are special because you are you...see and believe you are one of God's children; that's what makes you special."

Great YA fantasy that I highly recommend to those that love the fallen angel stories like Hush, Hush and others alike.

I received this book free from PUYB for my honest opinion and review. I would not recommend this book if I didn't enjoy it!

 
About Aaron Patterson:

Aaron Patterson lives in Boise Idaho, and has three children, Soleil, Kale, and Klayton. Aaron is the author of the bestselling WJA series. SWEET DREAMS, DREAM ON and IN YOUR DREAMS (coming soon). He also began a line of "Digital Shorts" which are eBook short stories. His first in the line is "19, and The Craigslist killer."  

About Chris White:

Chris loves history, Sherlock Holmes, and anything that's not virtual, like old motorcycles and mechanical typewriters. He also doesn't get why we have these things called "smartphones" when all they do is make people dumber. He recently celebrated 10 years of marriage with his wife, April, and has two boys: Noah, age 8, and Jaden, age 3, who inspired the Great Jammy Adventure series; the OK-to-color-in picture books. Chris is working on a short story called The Marsburg Diary that will further explore one of the subplots of Airel (with Aaron Patterson). His first novel, K: phantasmagoria, is due out in 2011. Chris has a major crush on Audrey Hepburn, who is now dead. He also thinks Mary Poppins is hot. His wife is okay with all of this.  

Buy Airel from Amazon:
  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Raider's Heart by Marcia Gruver

Book Blurb:

Steal away to the Old South with Marcia Gruver’s Backwoods Brides series. Two brothers—one violent and one gentle—belong to a family of bandits. While Duncan McRae can hardly stomach their raids, his brother Hooper revels in the violence perpetrated by the band of thieves. When they meet mild-mannered Dawsey Wilkes, the competition steps up a notch as the brothers vie for her hand. Which marauder will steal Dawsey’s heart? Meanwhile, Dawsey holds the key to Dilsey McRae’s past. What will Dilsey do when she discovers the truth?

My Review:
4 STARS

Two lives...the wealthy and lonely and the loving family of outlaws!
Dawsey, a young lady from a wealthy family gets suddenly taken from her home and ends up with a family of outlaws! They keep her prisoner while they try to decide how to fix the mistake Hooper has done by taking her in the first place! Dawsey is mad, obviously, at the fact that she is a hostage but somehow the McRae family of outlaws is working their way in to her heart! Set in the late 1800's.

I really enjoyed this book!! I won this book on someone's blog a long ways back but had yet to read it because the book blurb on the back didn't sound too interesting! Well, once I started Raider's Heart I could not put it down! 

There is so much that happens in the story that I'd love to mention but I'd ruin it for you so all I'll say about the plot is that it's exciting, full of surprises, and keeps you guessing all the way to the very last page! This is such a unique story that isn't like anything I've ever read.  This was like reading a modern day Robin Hood story with a bit of a romance twist - which made for a fun tale!

The characters were all really likable and fun to read about! I especially enjoyed the two raiding brothers Hooper and Duncan! They remind me a lot of brothers; always competing, always messing with each other and ready to brawl at any chance!

My only complaint is that at times I felt the story moved just a bit too slowly and I wish the romance would have played out more than it did! I still loved the story and I will be watching for the next book in this series about the nephew Tiller. 

Content: This is completely clean romance wise but there was a tad bit of violence but not much. 

About the Marcia Gruver:

Marcia Gruver, author and creative writing teacher, lives in Texas, and has published various articles, poems, and devotionals. Her novel, Love Never Fails, won third place in the 2007 ACFW Genesis Contest. She is a member of ACFW, Fellowship of Christian Writers, and The Writers View."

Buy Raider's Heart at Amazon!
 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Judgement Day by Wanda L. Dyson

Book Blurb:
Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions..
           
Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find an entrepreneur she is investigating, John Edward Sterling, unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Sterling is dead, she has his blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancé–the man she betrayed in college.
                       
Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.
 

My Review:
3 STARS


Have you ever watched that show TMZ (I think that is what it is called)? Where they basically are reporting gossip about celebrities and calling it “news”. Well, the main character reminded me of those reporters. Susan is reporter that isn’t really reporting on celebrities but she was basically reporting information that she couldn’t fully back up. She was accusing people of things without full proof. She is judging w/o the facts.

Then one day it all blows up in her face when she comes home to find someone unconscious and then they die and she is blamed. Everyone starts to judge her and she turns to her ex-fiancé’ who is a detective for help.

This story was just okay for me. Not sure what to say about it. I enjoyed the crime that was described; it was very unique and kept the plot very entertaining. However, I never really connected at all with the characters. I barely remember their names even right after putting the book down. I also noticed a lot of holes in the story and way too many characters involved to keep them all straight.

The main character Susan was a snob and she drove me nuts. I didn’t find her sob story very convincing and I didn’t believe her turnaround either, she was just unconvincing and unlovable.

I wanted very much too really like the two detectives, Alex and Marcus, but again they just fell short. Marcus was not a memorable person, he didn’t seem like a strong lead guy and he being a detective wasn’t described well. Also, the fact that Alex and Marcus were supposed to be Christians was just not believable.

Again, the plot was unique. The crime was fascinating and I had no trouble reading the book or enjoying the suspense and mystery involved. I just found the characters to be dull and boring and I just didn’t connect with the story.

I do think other readers would enjoy this, especially those that like mystery and suspense.

WaterbrookMultnomah provided me with a review copy of this book. I received no other compensation, and all opinions about the book are my own.





About Wanda L. Dyson:
Wanda Dyson – "a shining example of what Christian fiction is becoming..." (Christian Fiction Review). She's been called a "natural" and a "master of pacing," but her fans know that whether it's police thrillers, suspense, or bringing a true story to life, Wanda knows how to take her readers on a journey they'll never forget.

Wanda is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked for an exclusive release on Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC, Great Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW conferences.

Wanda lives in Western Maryland on a 125 acre farm with a menagerie of animals and when she's not writing critically acclaimed suspense, or away at conferences, you can find her zipping across the fields on a 4-wheeler with Maya, her German Shepherd, or plodding along at a more leisurely pace on her horse, Nanza. 


Buy Judgement Day by Wanda L. Dyson:
   

Interview/Giveaway with Sherry Gammon

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

I'm a nomad! I have lived in six states and something like 26 different homes/apartments! I have a secret desire to live in Paris, or Hawaii, I'll take either! We have been in Upstate NY for 8 years now. We love it and plan to stay here forever…Unless we get the chance to move to Paris and Hawaii!

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?

I started writing poems in Junior High and fell in love with writing. I found it a great way to express my feelings and emotions. When in College, I graduated to short stories, with my teacher encouraging me to continue writing. I became a mom and that took my attention, as it should. About five or six years ago, I wrote a Harry Potter novel for fun, after JK Rowling started killing off characters that I cares about. My love for writing was reignited, and I have written ever since.

Who has inspired you the most?

JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, and the great Victor Hugo. I would LOVE to write a novel as wonderful and Les Misérables!

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

I wear a size 11 shoe, and I am a horrible typist!

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)

Book Bio: Seventeen year-old Maggie Brown is truly the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with her jutting bones and her dark-ringed eyes. She’s struggling with her growing feelings for the new guy at school, Seth Prescott, and fears he is just another person who will let her down, like everyone in her life has done thus far.
Seth Prescott is an undercover cop assigned to Port Fare High, and despite his job, he’s developed strong feelings for Maggie. Seth’s working tirelessly to flush out the sadistic heroin peddlers that have invaded the small town of Port Fare, New York, while Maggie fights to stay alive as the search turns deadly.
Seth and Maggie’s romantic journey is one of humor, heartbreak and self-discovery as their world is about to change forever.



The hard copy is on Amazon.com also.

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

To NEVER give up. Life is hard, at times VERY hard, but things will get better. AND don't let the cycle of abuse continue. If you have been in an abusive situation, you DO NOT have to repeat it. They say it is hard to break the cycle… I say it is not. You can DO anything, especially if it is worth it.

What’s your favorite part of the story?

When Maggie realizes she is Not the unlovable one.(So many others in the story are, but not Maggie!)

What was the hardest part to write?

The hospital scene with her mom near the end and the next scene when Maggie is in her trailer.

Do you have any other books in the making?

I am working on book two of the series right now. I am also working on a fun take on an Old Fairy Tale!

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

I wrote this story so my daughters and I would have clean teen romances to read together. They have been my biggest supports and promoters!! I hope clean read blogs like this hope they will spread like wildfire throughout the internet!!

The web site for Unlovable is: www.WordpaintingsUnlimited.blogspot.com


Here are a few fun questions:

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate!!!!!!!
Pepsi or Coke? Diet Pepsi!
Cats or Dogs? Dogs…Look for Daisy May, she is in the story -- she's my dog!!
Summer or Winter? Winter…I hate the heat.

Thank you for allowing me to share UNLOVABLE with you, and thank you for your great web site. If you will send me the exact web address of the interview, I will post it on my blog and on my FB account. Keep up the great work.

Thank you Sherry Gammon for writing a clean romance!! We need more of those! Thank you for sharing your story with us!!

My review of UNLOVABLE: 

 Unlovable was everything I thought it would be! I read some reviews of this book before I read it and was fully prepared for what it had to offer and I was actually surprised! It was a lot better than the one negative review I've read... a lot! This is about a young girl, Maggie, which is a senior in high school that struggles daily to survive. She lives in a trailer with her alcoholic mother and barely gets enough food because her mother spends all her money on booze. Maggie continually questions whether or not she is lovable because she hasn't been told by her mother that she is loved since she was a toddler.

I really enjoyed the characters despite the fact that there were some minor stereotypes going on. I think the author nailed Maggie as a true to character abused and sad young girl. Living with an alcoholic mother can really mess with a kid and this seemed evident with Maggie. The other main character was Seth, an undercover MET cop that is working at the high school pretending to be a popular student to try to find out who is selling drugs to the kids. He seemed a bit too perfect at times but I just really adored him. He had values and stuck to them, he was nice, sexy (which is always great in a hero) and he was a bit shy with how to flirt and impress the girl he wants and I found that delightful.

There aren’t a whole lot of young adult books out there that offer clean but exciting romances and I was thrilled that Unlovable was one of those books!! There was plenty of kissing scenes and danger that kept this book alive and exciting.

Even though this book did suffer some predictability I still enjoyed reading it and in-fact I couldn't seem to put it down. I was worried about what was going to happen to the mother, the drug issue and fragile state of Maggie all the way through.

There were some grammatical errors but it really didn't deter from the story at all. I barely noticed a few of them and they are in no way significant to distracting the reader.

I really was invested in all the characters, and I'm excited to learn that there is going to be additional stories on Booker and Cole. I will be picking up a copy of those when they are released because I really want to read some more about the lovable secondary characters.

Thank you to Sherry Gammon for providing me a copy of Unlovable for my honest review. All opinions are my own!



GIVEAWAY TIME
 
Okay readers, here is your chance to win a copy of "Unlovable" by Sherry Gammon!!
TO ENTER:

*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 Judgement Day) 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 July 7 until July 21. 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**


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