Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sweetened with Honey

Sweetened with Honey 

A Farm Fresh Romance #3

Paperback, ebook, audio

October 27, 2014

by Valerie Comer


  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: GreenWords Media 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993831393


His unspeakable past. Her insurmountable future.


Gabriel Rubachuk returns to Galena Landing, Idaho, once the setting of a charmed life before an accident killed his pregnant wife. Will he embrace hope for a new life or escape once again?
Beekeeper Sierra Riehl has spent three years helping to keep Gabe's health food store afloat while he worked with orphans in Romania. Now he's back, but it looks like he might bolt. Can she hold him still long enough to spark a romance? But Sierra's hope falters when she begins to suspect she can't give Gabe the life he deserves.
Is new love sweet enough to overcome the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future?

My thoughts: Okay, I admit I read these books out of order, but since they are all stand-alone (sort of) it really didn't make a difference. Yes, the cast of characters were the same, and yes I knew how this book would end because I read the fifth and sixth books before the third (and second and fourth) - but I still enjoyed every moment of getting to know Gabe and Sierra better and the challenges they went through to get together. It also had me researching medical websites to see if maybe Sierra's problems were caused by eating too much honey - but I didn't find anything to support that. :) 

If you like to read series in order, they are Raspberries and Vinegar, Wild Mint Tea, SWEETENED WITH HONEY, Dandelions for Dinner, Plum Upside Down, and Berry on Top.

I enjoy Ms. Comer's contemporary romances and this series is really good. Gabe and Sierra have a chemistry between them, the faith message is strong, it teaches a good lesson about trust and following God's leading, and is just really a great book. I highly recommend SWEETENED WITH HONEY and all the other books in the series. 

Not sure about Ms Comer's books? Try one out for free. She has the whole series on kindle unlimited so they are free to borrow. You may find you like her books as much as I do. 

Not on Kindle Unlimited?  For only a few days, Dandelions for Dinner is 99 cents. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

No Way Up

No Way Up 

The Cimarron Legacy #1

Paperback, ebook, hardcover, audio 

July 5, 2016

by Mary Connealy

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764211812

New Western Romance Series from Bestselling Author Mary ConnealyWhen Cimarron ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Badly injured, Chance demands that his will be read and its conditions be enforced immediately. 

Without anyone else to serve as a witness, Heath is pressed into reading the will. If Justin, Sadie, and Cole Boden don't live and work at home for the entire year, the ranch will go to their low-down cousin Mike. 

Then Heath discovers the avalanche was a murder attempt, and more danger might follow. Deeply involved with the family, Heath's desire to protect Sadie goes far beyond friendship. The danger keeps them close together, and their feelings grow until being apart is the last thing on their minds.

My thoughts: NO WAY UP is classic Mary Connealy.   She uses strong verbs that really add a lot of punch to her scenes - "She erupted out of the chair." "He stormed across the room." You can feel the action and the tension!  Add in an unexpected avalanche of stones. loads of injuries to the key players, an unexpected clause in the will (which was read before the death) and siblings who don't get along -- oh, and then discover that the avalanche was really an attempted  murder!

A family saga, a historical, a western, and lots of mystery and suspense and you have a book that has pages that turn and turn and turn until you finish the book! You have to keep reading to discover what happens next or how they'll survive the attack or avalanche or whatever. 

Negatives: the story is a bit slow and did lack some of the sass I'm used to with her books. Also some of the events are a bit silly and far-fetched - but that does add to the humor that is trademark for this author.

NO WAY UP is the first book in Ms. Connealy's new series, The Cimarron Legacy about the two brothers and one sister in the family (and the family dynamics). Long time fans of Ms. Connealy will not want to miss NO WAY UP and those who like westerns, mystery, suspense, historicals, and maybe a touch of romance will likely enjoy Ms. Connealy's books.  Recommended. 4 stars. 



Friday, July 29, 2016

Thrill Squeaker

Thrill Squeaker 

Squeaky Clean #11) 

Paperback, ebook

February 15, 2016

by Christy Barritt 

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1530059997

An abandoned theme park. An unsolved murder. A decision that will change Gabby’s life forever. 

Restoring an old amusement park and turning it into a destination resort seems like a fun idea for former crime-scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire. The side job gives her the chance to spend time with her friends, something she’s missed since beginning a new career. 

The job turns out to be more than Gabby bargained for when she finds a dead body on her first day. Add to the mix legends of Bigfoot, creepy clowns, and ghost-like remnants of happier times at the park, and her stay begins to feel like a rollercoaster ride. 

Someone doesn’t want the decrepit Mythical Falls to open again, but just how far is this person willing to go to ensure this venture fails? As the stakes rise and danger creeps closer, will Gabby be able to restore things in her own life that time has destroyed—including broken relationships? Or is her future closer to the fate of the doomed Mythical Falls?

My thoughts: THRILL SQUEAKER is the 11th book in Ms. Barritt's popular series Squeaky Clean Mysteries. While the relationship between Gabby and Riley move along and changes, each book is stand alone on the mysteries, and this spooky, scary book is a great one to jump in at. 

Summer vacation and theme parks are at the top of a lot of family's vacation lists. This particular park has been closed down due to three unexplained murders--one of them by Big Foot who supposedly lives in the woods there. When Gabby and her co worker go to help clean up the park so the new owner can open it up in time for tourist season, the first thing they find is another body -- killed by Big Foot! 

Despite misgivings, Gabby and Cade move into the cabins on the property and then Gabby wakes to find a Big Foot footprint outside her bedroom window. Commercials of the park play without warning in buildings where the electric is off. Men go missing. Another attempted strangling by Big Foot. Multiple footprints... and so much more. This is a book NOT to read after dark unless you aren't bothered by things that go bump in the night. Super scary.  Fans of Christy Barritt will not want to miss THRILL SQUEAKER.  Recommended. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Interview with Jo Huddleston and giveaway!!!

Today, we are blessed to have author Jo Huddleston with us on my blog today. Jo is graciously offering a Kindle eBook copy of Donna’s Detour for a giveaway. 

Jo, what three things are you most thankful for in your life that others might think silly?

Others may not think it’s silly to be most thankful about health, but perhaps they might not place as much importance on it as I do. Back when we were first married and struggling with our finances, we’d roll our eyes when my mother said that having good health was a most important thing. She was healthy until shortly before she passed away at the age of ninety-six. Now that our grown daughter has been diagnosed with cancer, I understand how true my mother’s words were.

I'm a cancer survivor. Your mom's words were true. Praying for your daughter. Someone has given you access to a time machine and you can go back and visit two events in the history of the world, what two events would you experience? Why?

I’ve always been fascinated with flight—birds, airplanes, spaceships. In a time machine I would go back to the day and place where the Wright Brothers took the first flight. I’d love to have witnessed that even though it was a very short flight. Next stop would be to the years Amelia Earhart made headlines and broke flight records. I admire all three of these pioneers in their field.

If you could live in any time, when and where would that be and why?

I think I’d love to be stuck in the 1950s. Then was a more peaceful, wholesome time. Children didn’t lose their innocence prematurely because of crime and dishonesty in the world. Living in America in the 1950s was safer and less stressful.

What is your favorite season of the year? Why?

Fall is my favorite season. We’ve left the heat and humidity behind and not yet forced to drag out our heavy winter coats.


Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.

I love being at the seashore any time of year. I played varsity girls’ basketball in high school. I was named Best Actress in my junior year at college. I’m claustrophobic. I’m petrified in the dark—a couple of lamps burn in my home 24/7.

Do you outline your books or let the story go where it wishes?

I do not outline my books on paper. Before I begin a book, I know the main characters, the setting, and the ending. Then as I write the story of my main characters, they take the story where I’m sometimes surprised, but pleased.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles? Taylor and Hudson

A young Elizabeth Taylor and a young Rock Hudson.


Are there any themes in your books that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

The ultimate theme of all my novels is the redeeming story of God’s pursuing love. Additionally, each novel has its own relevant theme—a promise made is a promise kept, integrity, second chance at love, etc.


Tell me about the story of Donna’s Detour.

When Donna Turner and two girlfriends leave Alabama in 1956 and head to California on Route 66, Donna runs out of money. Her girlfriends continue the journey to Los Angeles, leaving Donna in Needles, California where a dream-come-true adventure is about to happen.

She worshipped the ground he walked on when she was fifteen, and now he shows up at the diner where she works. Will he remember her or does he still think of her as her brother's skinny kid sister? Will Donna be confident enough in herself to accept her dream?

Share the first page of Donna’s Detour.

 Chapter 1
Needles, California, June 1956
Donna Turner wiped down the counter for what seemed like the umpteenth time since she’d clocked in at six this morning. She straightened the laminated menu standing in its place beside the napkin holder. When the glass door of the diner pushed open, she turned her weary attention to the new customer that entered.
What she saw took her breath away. Or did the gust of hot, dry desert air the hunky specimen brought in with him have something to do with her difficulty to breathe? After three months in Needles, California, she’d become used to the bone-dry air that slurped the air from your lungs the second you stepped outside. It was definitely the perfect guy she feasted her eyes on that had tripped her heart into overdrive and left her winded.
Her gaze followed him as he walked toward the one empty stool at the curved end of the counter. The familiar swing of his hips snapped her back to reality. Could it be? She had watched him from the bleachers every Friday night back home years ago. Who could forget him in his football uniform? Her junior high school crush on Thomas James Crowley had caused her to measure every date she’d had since then with his perfection.


What’s next after Donna’s Detour?

The book I’m writing now is set in 1952 near the panhandle of Florida on a barrier island. Rose Marie Henley’s body and mind need solitude to recover from abuse at the hands of her fiancĂ©. Her great aunt Clara convinces her to stay at her beach house, vacated by her aunt due to declining health. Aunt Clara arranges for the telephone and utilities to be connected and gives Rose the name and number of the handyman she always used, in case anything needs fixing at the house. Rose hopes he is a crotchety old man and unattractive. She doesn’t want any man in her life again—too much hurt to handle.
Aunt Clara’s handyman is as old and infirm as she is, but he sends his nephew to repair Rose’s hot water heater. Last spring Rose would have been elated to see his over-the-top handsome nephew, Franklin Sutton. Now, the sight of every male between the ages of twenty and forty causes alarm bells to go off in her head and in red neon, the words high risk blink before her eyes. Does Frank have a chance to act on the instant attraction he feels for Rose?

Web site 
http://www.johuddleston.com
Blog
http://www.johuddleston.com – Christian authors and their books with weekly giveaway  
http://lifelinesnow.blogspot.com – Inspirational Thoughts
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/southernnovels/?fref=ts


Jo Huddleston is an Amazon Bestselling author of books, articles, and short stories. Novels in her West Virginia Mountains series and her Caney Creek series are sweet Southern historical romances. Her novels are endorsed by Amanda Cabot, Debra Lynn Collins, Cara Lynn James, Sharlene MacLaren, and Ann Tatlock. The redeeming story of God’s pursuing love is the foundation of her novels, and in them you will find inspiration, hope, and gentle stories that are intriguing and entertaining. Jo is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN).

Jo is offering a Kindle eBook copy of Donna’s Detour for a giveaway. Also, the purchase link for Donna’s Detour is https://www.amazon.com/Donnas-Detour-Your-Kiss-Route-ebook/dp/B01HC0BG08/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1469396476&sr=8-2&keywords=Jo+Huddleston


Website and blog (Read novel first chapters here): http://www.johuddleston.com
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2aei1d1
Sign up for Jo’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/1ZFaZwG
Inspirational blog: http://bit.ly/1QAPRnr
Facebook author page: http://on.fb.me/1pvJQiQ
Facebook personal page: http://on.fb.me/1Ubic69




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

When Calls the Heart Season 3 plus #giveaway!


We’re working to build awareness for a promotion launching July 22, 2016 to promote Pre-Release sales of the 10-DVD When Calls the Heart Season 3 Collector’s Edition.

Free DVD Set for all Preorders For everyone who preorders the Season 3 Collector’s Edition from FishFlix.com, we’ll send the Season 1 “Episodes” set as a free gift.

 We believe that this set is a great item to give away to friends who are not yet familiar with the When Calls the Heart brand. With the release timed for October 11, this bonus item is a great Christmas gift for any fan of family-friendly romantic programing.

Win a $100 Gift Card Another promotion we’re running is a drawing for a $100 gift card. In order to enter the drawing, one needs simply to leave a review of Season 3 on this page: https://www.fishflix.com/review/product/list/id/1836/category/153/#reviewform and send an email to promo @fishflix.com verifying the “nickname” used on the FishFlix.com

When Calls the Heart Season 3 Pre-Release Blogger Outreach. product review. A drawing will take place on Sept 1, 2016 and one lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card to FishFlix.com.



About the Season 3 Boxed Set We’re really excited about the When Calls the Heart Season 3 boxed set because it provides some truly unique bonuses for committed fans of the show (#Hearties.) As with the When Calls the Heart Season 1 and Season 2 Collector’s editions, this 10 DVD set contains both the film versions and the TV episode versions of When Calls the Heart Season 3. You can watch the series as 10 hour-long episodes or 5 feature films.

 As in previous years, fans will enjoy finding small differences between the film versions and the individual episodes. The really exciting elements of the Season 3 collectors’ edition are the three bonus Discs. Disc 8 features the typical bonus material one would expect from a project like this – behind the scenes footage, interviews, etc. Disc 9 is a special product devoted to the fans that have made When Calls the Heart such a grassroots success - featuring footage from the #Hearties gathering in Vancouver in January of 2016. The 10th disc is a When Calls the Heart trivia game that devoted fans are sure to love.

 When Calls the Heart Season 3: When Calls the Heart Season 3 DVD Set:
 Christian Movies - home page (https://www.fishflix.com/ )

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Captive Imposter

The Captive Imposter 

The Everstone Chronicles #3 

ebook, paperback

by Dawn Crandall


  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Whitaker House 
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2015
  • ASIN: B00VKLN3JS

The Everstone Chronicles Series Book 3

For her own protection following the murder of her brother Will, hotel heiress Estella Everstone assumes the alias of Elle Stoneburner and takes a job as companion to an elderly widow. Never did she imagine that her position would lead her back to her beloved Everston, a picturesque resort property tucked away in the rugged mountains of Maine. 

Living below her station in a guise of anonymity has its struggles, but her spirits are buoyed by a newfound friendship with the hotel manager, Dexter Blakeley. And his distaste for the spoiled socialites who frequent his hotel causes her to take a close look at her own priorities and past lifestyle. 

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer of employment she can't refuse. As the two interact and open up to each other, Estella feels a growing attraction to Dexter; and increasing discomfort over concealing her identity. Yet, in spite of the false pretense she's putting forth, she's never felt freer to be herself than in his presence. But will he still love her when he learns the truth about who she is?

My thoughts: My first thought about THE CAPTIVE IMPOSTER is "Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive. Estella is living a lie. Hiding from someone who killed her brother, Will, and nursing her wounds over a broken heart when a missionary wannabe rejects her, Estelle has changed her name to Elle, added a rather unique last name, and became a companion to an older lady. But when this lady decides to take a holiday to Everston, Estella finds herself on one of her families hotels - and she is recognized by several people.  

Dexter is described as having the demeanor of a wild boar. I didn't see it in this story, instead, the way he is portrayed he is a man of God, honest, upright, and beyond reproach. I enjoyed getting to know Dexter. 

Estella is greatly upset when she thinks Dexter lied to her - though in all honesty, he didn't, he was introduced as the manager, and didn't interrupt the hotel guest to correct her publicly. On the other hand, Estelle has lied since the beginning, about almost everything - her identity, how well she knew her family, and about how she knew her ex-boyfriend the missionary among other things. I think she really had no room to judge Dexter.  But then we often judge people the harshest when we perceive they have faults we ignore in ourselves. 


The faith message is strong and well written. There is no sexual tension, but for readers who prefer a clean, sweet romance suitable for any age, this is a book to consider. 


Ms. Crandall is a master at first person historicals - seriously I think she has been the only author I've read who's done this in the historical genre - and I do enjoy first person. Fans will want to read The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, THE CAPTIVE IMPOSTER, and then preorder The Cautious Maiden.


Those who love regencies - and authors such as Laurie Alice Eakes, and other regency romances will likely enjoy Ms. Crandall's books, particularly THE CAPTIVE IMPOSTER. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Giveaway and Spotlight of Home to Chapel Springs






Blessed to have Ane Mulligan on my blog today introducing us to her new book, Home to Chapel Springs. Ane is graciously giving away one copy ebook or print, winners choice -- USA only for print to one commenter.  Please include contact information! 





While a floppy straw hat is her favorite, novelist Ane Mulligan has worn many including pro-family lobbyist, drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Ane writes her Southern-fried fiction in Sugar Hill, GA, where she resides with her artist husband, chef son, and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, her Amazon author page, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.










A homeless author, a heartbroken daughter, and a theatre ghost. There’s trouble in Chapel Springs.

There’s always someone new in Chapel Spring, either coming home or stirring up trouble.

Bestselling author Carin Jardine’s latest book is a flop. While the reviewers are happily skewering her, her racecar-driver-husband walks out on her and she’s evicted, because he hasn’t paid the lease on their condo for the last three months. Then she discovers he also he drained their bank accounts. Homeless and broke, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she inherited from her nana in Chapel Springs—the house that’s been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life.

After the residents thwarted Howie Newlander’s plans for a Miami-style resort on Chapel Lake, he’s running for mayor and spreading rumors about diverted water and misused taxes. The Lakeside Players want to remodel the town’s old theater, but it’s rumored to be haunted. When Newlander and Mayor Riley go head-to-head, Claire gets caught in the middle.

Claire’s youngest daughter is in love with a young man whose daddy is none other than Mayor Felix Riley…the man who man who blames Claire for every wrong in Chapel Springs. Having him part of her family isn’t in Claire’s plan. The years of her heartache should warn her daughter off this boy. So far, her daughter’s heart isn’t hearing the warnings.

With hearts pulled in all directions, will they find a home in Chapel Springs?





Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pounced

Pounced 

The Sierra Files #1 

Paperback, ebook

January 30, 2014

by Christy Barritt 


  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • ISBN-13: 978-1495388521

Sierra is used to fighting for the lives of innocent creatures. But when a killer puts the lives of her own cats on the line, her crusade becomes personal. 


Animal rights activist Sierra Nakamura never expected to stumble upon the dead body of a coworker while out filming a project. She definitely never expected to get involved in the investigation. But when someone threatens to kill her cats unless she hands over the "information," she becomes more bristly than an angry feline. Making matters worse is the fact that her cats--and the investigation--are driving a wedge between her and her boyfriend Chad. 

With every answer she uncovers, old hurts rise to the surface and test her beliefs. Saving her cats just might mean ruining everything else in her life. In the fight for survival, one thing is certain: It's either pounce or be pounced.

My thoughts; POUNCED is the first book in Ms. Barritt's The Sierra Files series. I've read all these books out of order, so even though they are about the same characters they are separate mysteries and do stand alone. 

I have enjoyed some of The Sierra Files books and not others, and unfortunately, this was one of the didn't enjoy ones. Sierra is mean and hateful to Chad, thinking he's all about controlling her when he makes it plain that he loves her and wants to keep her safe. Sierra is jumping off the deep end because someone threatened the life of her cats! A dead person is involved, but that is secondary to the life of her cats and she's willing to sacrifice relationships and everything. 

I did guess who might be behind the "catnapping" and murder somewhat easily. The "helper" came as a bit of a surprise, as did the real identity of Sage, the person who was killed.

Still it was a good read, Ms. Barritt is a very good mystery writer, and knows how to keep the reader engaged.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves cozy mysteries and figuring out "whodunit." If you are an animal activist all the better, because that is what Sierra is all about. 

There is a good faith message, though Sierra herself is not a Christian. The book is clean with no sexual tension, and suitable for all ages. 3 stars. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Bound Heart

The Bound Heart 

The Everstone Chronicles #2

ebook, print

by Dawn Crandall

  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Whitaker House 
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2014
  • ASIN: B00P2YEFSC

One accidental kiss from Lawry Hampton. That was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt's world upside-down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn't have the time or the desire to fall for her best friend. 

But with Vance out of the country, and with Lawry at her side nearly every day, teaching her what the world is like through the eyes of a little orphan girl named Wynn--Meredyth can't deny that what's holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from her past. 

Will she marry Vance once he returns from Europe? Or will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web she's convinced she deserves, and accept that God's plan for her life includes redemption...and, quite possibly, Lawry Hampton?

My thoughts: THE BOUND HEART is book two in the Everstone Chronicles series, but it easily stands alone  Fans will want to go back and read the first book, The Hesitant Heiress, if they are interested in knowing the story behind Nathan and Amaryllis. and their romance. 

I absolutely loved the premise of THE BOUND HEART--an accidental kiss--and I wondered how a kiss could be accidental. I won't tell you the details because, of course, everyone likely loves a kiss and I adore how the sexual tension between Meredyth and Lawry came to life. Oh, and Lawry? Ahhh, definitely swoon-worthy. 

The language of THE BOUND HEART was much more relaxed than in The Hesitant Heiress, and I enjoyed it. Also the scene breaks flowed ever so much smoother. I also enjoyed that this book is also first person (I mentioned in the review for The Hesitant Heiress that I enjoy first person point of view) and it is such a nice change of pace for a historical. 

Fans of Laurie Alice Eakes' Regencies will enjoy Ms. Crandall's books. These are set in Boston. 

I did get a little confused with the identity of some of the characters with A names - in fact I went back to look to see what Lawry's sister's name was because another character with a similar name was introduced as a very good friend (when you have time to kill at the pool while watching your daughter swim you notice stuff like that) and I did get a bit frustrated with her obsession over someone when Lawry was so swoon-worthy, but all in all I enjoyed THE BOUND HEART. 4 stars. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Hesitant Heiress

Hesitant Heiress 

The Everstone Chronicles #1

Paperback, ebook

September 8, 2015

by Dawn Crandall

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Whitaker House 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1629116587



After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. 

Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt's Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men--Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother's tragic death. 

However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems...and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn't who she thought at all.

My thoughts:  I have heard (and I won't say by whom) that Ms. Crandall's writing style is very disjointed and stilted.  It is. It doesn't flow well at all between scenes and the wording is very formal. However, it is a regency and maybe (just maybe) that is the way people actually talked back then. I don't know. A lot of regencies I've read do use formal language. Some don't. It is also headache inducing with the same thing being hashed over and over and over (but I did the same in my first book.)  And as rude as Amaryllis is to Nathan I wonder why he even bothered with her. I did love Aunt Claudia though. She was fun and entertaining. 

I am glad that Ms. Crandall didn't start out with a death -- yay! -- though in a way she did as it starts with Amaryllis being expelled from music school where she was a "higher level student". But I'm rather confused as to why she was in music school at all as she admits she cannot read music and plays by memory. (My children's music teacher would shudder!) 

The secrets behind Amaryllis and Nathan's father were rather predictable when they finally were revealed. Maybe it was just me but I saw it coming from the beginning. However, as a writer, I know how these things work and it may not be so obvious to anyone else. 

I also really liked Nathan. He was a nice guy, a true hero. Very patient.  I LOVED him. There is absolutely zero sexual tension between the hero and herione, But some readers like knowing that books are super clean and suitable for preteens, teens, etc as well as adults. I enjoyed the faith message. 

THE HESITANT HEIRESS is written in first person, which I did notice initially, but it didn't bother me. I loved it.  It was rather nice to experience a first person historical.  If you like regency romances set in America (Boston), then  Ms. Crandall's book might be one you would enjoy.  3 stars. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Interview with Heather Blanton and giveaway!



Heather is graciously giving away one copy of her book, A Promise in Defiance to one commenter! Please include contact information.  

BLURB—

~~~The haunting final chapter in the Defiance series!~~~

CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES...EVEN FOR THE REDEEMED. 

When Charles McIntyre founded Defiance, he was more than happy to rule in hell rather than serve in heaven. But things have changed. Now, he has faith, a new wife...and a ten-year-old half-breed son. Infamous madam Delilah Goodnight wants to take it all away from him. How can he protect his kingdom and his loved ones from her schemes without falling back on his past? How does he fight evil if not with evil?

Logan Tillane carries a Bible in his hand, wears a gun on his hip, and fights for lost souls any way he can. Newly arrived in Defiance, he has trouble, though, telling saints from sinners. The challenge only worsens when Delilah flings open the doors to the scandalous Crystal Chandelier. She and the new preacher have opposite plans for the town. One wants to save it, one wants to lead it straight to hell.

For Tillane and McIntyre, finding redemption was a long, hard road. God's grace has washed away their sins, but the consequences remain and God will not be mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap...and the harvest is finally at hand.



Where did you grow up and attend school? Are there any other authors in your family?
 
I was born in Florida but moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina when I was 9, and that was when I truly came home. My hometown is a tiny community (there were 26 seniors in my graduating class) and I miss it every day. I live in Raleigh now. I’m convinced my 12-year-old will be a writer one day, he has such an incredible imagination, but he hates reading. Breaks his mother’s heart.


How did you get started writing? How old were you? What made you want to start? What did you enjoy reading as a child? 

I am loathe to admit I grew up in a century when, as a child, I only had three tv channels to watch. Yes. I know. The horror of it. Forced from shear boredom to find other activities, I gravitated to writing. There used to be a cartoon called The Funky Phantom. I adored it and wrote my first story as a way to spend the afternoon with my favorite teenagers! My mom typed it up for me. I am still mad about some of her editorial changes, but we have finally agreed to disagree … 45 years later!


How and when did you and your husband meet? Was it love at first sight? What does he think about your being an author?  

How apropos is it that my husband and I met at The Long Branch Saloon? I kid you not. Wearing a baby blue button-up, he was leaning over a pool table, muscles in his shoulders bulging all sexy-like, and I said, “I like him.” But we didn’t make eye contact. A few minutes later he came up and asked if my friend and I would like to play pool. He told us later that he had actually lost the game he was playing and therefore the table as well. He gave the other guy twenty bucks to scram so he could invite me to play. He was not a big fan of my writing “hobby” until I finally hit the best-sellers list at Amazon. Now he’s a whole lot more enthusiastic.


How do you research the communities and people you write about? Do you find yourself having to do a lot of research? 

I have travelled throughout the West, but especially Colorado and Wyoming. I love those two states. That’s one reason I set my stories there. I’ve hiked to the top of Independence Rock; rode horses in the mountains above Telluride; even held an outlaw’s note in my hands. I’ve worked as a journalist, too, and know how to research. Besides the Library of Congress, one of my favorite places to visit is the Wyoming newspaper archives http://newspapers.wyo.gov/). Everything you could ever want to read about the Old West is in there! I read lots of old diaries and letters, too. I highly recommend the collection called Covered Wagon Women, the diaries and letters of women who went west on the Oregon and California trails. And to my family’s dismay, I never pass up a museum when we’re on a roadtrip.

Which is your favorite book? Do you have a character in your books you identify with the most

Hearts in Defiance is my favorite book. It’s book 2 in the Romance in the Rockies series and I love it because God presented me with so many wonderful plot twists! It was such fun to write. And while there is a little bit of my sisters and me in all three of the fictional sisters, Naomi is my gal. Like me, she is a work in progress. Flawed, but lovable, God shows her a lot of grace.


BIO
Heather Blanton is the independent bestselling author of several Christian Westerns, including the Romance in the Rockies series, which has sold over 40,000 copies. Intrigued by the concept of three good sisters stranded in a lawless Colorado mining town, a few notable Hollywood producers have requested the script for her first book in that series, A Lady in Defiance. Heather’s writing is gritty and realistic. In fact, her books have been compared to AMC’s Hell on Wheels series, as well as the legendary Francine Rivers book, Redeeming Love.

A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among the fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw's note in her hand.

She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!

She can be reached several different ways:

http://ladiesindefiance.com/