Saturday, September 30, 2017

Interview with Brenda Taylor

Today we welcome Brenda Taylor to my blog. Glad to have you stop by!



Tell us about the book – a brief blurb:

Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?

A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. It tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro, and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.


Do you create playlists for each book, write to the same music all the time, don’t listen to anything?

I like a quiet environment when I write; however, I do listen to Scottish music or folk music during the day, according to the series I’m developing. Music puts me into a writing mood.

Where is your favorite place to write? Pictures?

I have an office, but my favorite place to write is at a desk in my bedroom. The chair is comfortable, and I have a lap desk and computer desk with all my files close by.

Will you complete this opening? “It was a dark and stormy night…”

but William had to go out into the drenching rain to hunt down the reivers who were stealing Munro cattle and leave Aine alone, again. The loud crashing thunder with lightning strikes near the castle gave her angst. She slid from the bed, donned the fur-line robe and slippers, lit the candle on the bedside table, and made her way to the chapel to pray for her husband’s safety.

Sion, her ever-present guard, rose from the doorway where he slept and followed.

What book do you admire do you wish you’d written?

I adore the Jane Austen books and wish I could weave a love story like she did.

How do you find the balance of writing time and family time?

Each morning after a devotional time, I begin working and completing the daily tasks of writing, publishing, or managing an author’s business. I usually work until time to dress and cook lunch then do chores. If I have many household jobs, I stop early and work in the afternoon.

Share your bio and links for social media and to buy:

A Highland Emerald Buy Links:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
Smashwords

Author Bio:

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.
Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Author Contact Information:
Historical Heartbeats
BookBub Authors Page
Amazon Authors Page
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads


Friday, September 29, 2017

Walk It Out



Special!!!  30 Days of Prayer As You Walk It Out is FREE only for a few more days. All the details are here:  (http://www.dccpromo.com/walk-it-out/)






Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time 

Paperback, ebook

October 1, 2017

by Tricia Goyer

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434710994

Women often pack their lives with family, friends, and faithful service, yet still end up feeling empty and unfulfilled. In Walk It Out, Tricia Goyer demonstrates to women that walking out the mandates of Scripture allows God to spark passion and mission within them.

Whether believers realize it or not, God intended for them to do what the Bible says: adopt the orphan, take the gospel into all the world, and care for the needy. These are mandates that point believers down the path of true living and eternal life.

Sometimes those steps are easy, but many times they require a move outside of what feels safe or secure. When women stop focusing on their own dreams and purposes, and instead focus on God’s dreams and purposes, everything changes.

My thoughts:  WALK IT OUT is a book for women who want to make a difference, but maybe they are too scared, too ashamed, or don't know where or how to start.  

Tricia Goyer is an amazing person (I only briefly met her once and we did not connect, just more of a hi/bye thing because we know each by name) who has done some things she's ashamed of. (Haven't we all?) But unlike some of us, Tricia opened her heart to God's leading and He began to lead her and John down amazing paths of ministering to Teen Moms, working at pregnancy centers, mission trips, adoption, and more. 

She has some practical suggestions for things we all need. Creating quiet time - emptying the schedule instead of run, run, run all the time. How to help the homeless. How mission trips can change your life.  So many things happen to Tricia and she is so willing to open the doors wide and let God in to work through her how He will. 

 I (on the other hand) am terrified. I see $200 in checking when I need $2,000 and I go into a panic.  But she, and her daughter, give it to God and watch that money show up mere minutes before the deadline. I'd be an emotional wreck and not serenely confident in His ability! 

WALK IT OUT is a book for women like you. Like me. Ones who want to be used by God but aren't sure how. What was the lowest place in your life? Can you turn it into something to be used by God?  

My low spots were when my mother had a stroke and I was a caregiver -- alone.  God could use me to relive other caregivers or encourage them.   Or when I had breast cancer. God could call me to minister that direction. Or my son who is wrestling with problems that I'm ashamed to share. I have a few others, but I haven't thrown my doors wide open and shared my hurts with many. But maybe, thanks to God putting Tricia Goyer's Walk It Out in my hands, in time, I will. 

A timely book that will help many find their low-spot, passion, or gifts and use it for God.  And if you are truly open, He may use a once-in-a-lifetime trip to minister for Him as He did Tricia Goyer, Robin Jones Gunn, and others. 

An amazing nonfiction book. Discussion questions and action plans are included.  

I was given a free copy. All opinions are my own. 





Help Tricia #WalkItOut by serving teenage mothers in Little Rock! 100% of the profits from shirt sales go to help this inner-city support group!

https://teespring.com/stores/tees-by-tricia-goyer?pr=FREESHIP












Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book spotlight: That was Then, This is Now


Hello. I’m Excited. This is one of my stops for the Virtual Book Tour That Was Then, This Is Now, This Broken Vessel Restored. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs September 28, 2017.  Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL
Genre: Christian Non Fiction
Kindle ASIN: B073VCY1L5


About the Author

 In addition to being an award winning author of Completely Whole and Secret Places Revealed, Paulette is an inspirational speaker, as well as a writing workshop instructor. Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, Real Life Real Faith Magazine, The Sacramento Observer and Black Pearls Magazine. She has also appeared on numerous local and online radio shows.
Paulette resides in Northern California.







                     About The Book

HOW COULD GOD HAVE A PURPOSE FOR ME AMIDST THIS MESS?
WHY DO SUCH BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

If you've recently asked yourself these questions, Paulette Harper's That Was Then, This is Now has the answers. Struggling to recover from a broken marriage and disappointed dreams, Paulette Harper gropes for meaning and understanding. And through her searching, God reveals Himself to her in ways she never before imagined possible. By sharing her struggles with transparency, she illustrates how a heart attitude of surrender allows God to use a broken vessel for His ultimate plans of glory.
That Was Then, This is Now, minsters to hurting hearts in every season in life, reminding them that God restores shattered lives, intent on using them for His sovereign purposes.


Purchase Links
Amazon paperback:  http://a.co/8uFAONt

Connect Socially
Amazon author page: http://amzn.com/e/B004FEJKCQ
Tour hosted by Write Now Literacy

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Spotlight: Toward a Secret Sky

Toward a Secret Sky 

Hardcover, Paperback, ebook

April 4, 2017

by Heather Maclean


  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Blink 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310754749

"Everywhere I go, I leave a trail of dead bodies. My parents died fighting to stop the darkness. I'll keep fighting too, even if it means I have to die. Dying's not half as hard as being left behind, anyway...

Evil is real. We are at war. Anyone who tells you differently is lying."

Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she's never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that's now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she'll continue her parents' fight or stay behind to save her friends.

With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she's not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn't as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Interview and Story Behind the Story by Catherine Castle

Thanks for dropping by, Catherine. It's so good to have you. Tell us about the book – a brief blurb:

I’d love to, and thanks for having me today.


A Groom for Mama is based on a radio play my husband and I wrote years ago. Originally called “A Bride for Mama,” the main character was male and was trying to convince his dying mother he was searching for a bride (which he really wasn’t doing) so she would feel he would be taken care of when she was gone. The play finaled in the contest, but didn’t win. My husband and I set it aside, considering it an exercise in playwriting, which we were heavily into at that time.

Fast forward quite a few years and I wanted a new story for another solo book as Catherine Castle. I asked my husband if he minded if I used our radio play as a basis for a romantic comedy novel, and he graciously agreed.

I changed the main character to a female, made the mother the one trying to pull a fast one, added an old boyfriend to the mix, and A Groom for Mama was born.

Here’s the book’s blurb:

A Groom for Mama
By Catherine Castle

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

My romantic comedy, with a touch of drama, is filled with love, laughter and surprises as Mama, Allison, and the man who loves them both hunt for a groom, a cure, and the perfect date. I hope readers will love it as much as I do.



Do you create playlists for each book, write to the same music all the time, don’t listen to anything?

Unlike my teenage years, I can’t work to music anymore. I require a more silent environment. If the story has music referenced in it, or I need music to get the setting, I’ll listen to songs before or after I write, but never during.

Where is your favorite place to write? Pictures?

I usually write in my very messy office, unless I’m working with my co-author husband. Then we work in his office. I’ve become too used to the convenient piles of reference papers and stuff, which have spilled into his office as well, to work well anywhere else. As for a picture? No way. It’s too messy.

Will you complete this opening? “It was a dark and stormy night…”

Ooh, classic bad opening. I’d be glad to set the stage.

It was a dark and stormy night … so Alice turned on the light. It didn’t work.
Drat! The storm must have knocked out the electricity. She couldn’t do anything about the darkness, nor could she stop the rain or lightning. Might as well settle in for the duration.
As she reached for the afghan on the back of the sofa, a crash sounded in the kitchen, freezing her mid-motion. Sliding soundlessly to the desk, she dug the revolver from the desk drawer and crept toward the noise.
Some things were beyond her control . . . other things, not so much.


What book do you admire do you wish you’d written?

Hmm. I can think of a couple of movies I’d love to have written—ones that I walked away from saying, “Wow! If I could have done that.” Field of Dreams and The Lake House are two of those movies. A book is a harder choice for me, but I think I would say any of Tolkien’s fantasy books, because of the complex world he created.

How do you find the balance of writing time and family time?

It’s just me and the hubby now, and since we both write, there isn’t much to keep us from our computers. Having said that, I tend to write as the project demands. When I’m working on a book, it’s a tyranny of the urgent, and when the project is done, I take long breaks and do something else while I just think about the next idea. It’s an all-in, or all-out sort of thing for me, especially since I no longer have the weekly deadlines I had as a newspaper freelancer. My writing time was a lot more structured then.

Share your bio and links for social media and to buy:

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. Her most recent release, A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy from Soul Mate Publishing.  Both books are available on Amazon.

Buy links for A Groom for Mama  www.amzn.com/B074SZSGB1 

Social Media links:

Catherine’s blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/
Catherine’s Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCCastle    @AuthorCCastle

SMP authors blog site:   http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/





Monday, September 25, 2017

Coloring Christmas Devotions





Coloring Christmas Devotions 

Coloring Faith

Paperback 

October 3, 2017

by Lizzie Preston (Illustrator), Claire McElfatrick (Illustrator), Suzanne Khushi (Illustrator)

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310088097

Enjoy all the best parts of the Christmas season as you spend time reflecting on God’s greatest gift for His children: the birth of Jesus. This unique coloring book also includes devotions perfect for the season. Take a few minutes out of the busyness of Christmas to spend time in devotional thought, while relaxing through stress-free coloring.
With inspirational devotions on one side and a festive Christmas scene to color on the opposite page, Coloring Christmas Devotions will be a welcome part of your holiday celebrations. Take a few quiet moments to yourself to reflect on the reason behind the festivities as you read through the Scripture verses and devotions and color the pen-and-ink illustrations.
This coloring book is unique with a trim size that is easy to fit into a purse or bag, an embellished cover, perforated pages, and a low price point.
A beautiful gift or a fun treat for yourself, Coloring Christmas Devotions will help you focus your heart on the true meaning of Christmas.

My thoughts:  COLORING CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONS is a book of Christmassy devotions mixed with Bible verses and Christmassy or wintery coloring scenes to color while you reflect on the devotion or verse, or just need some quiet downtime. I can't wait to color some of these pictures. 

The devotions are not deep Bible studies, but they do have more meat than some. There is a Bible verse, a Christmas themed story, a tie-in to scripture, and a prayer.

Will make a nice addition to your Christmas devotions collection or a wonderful gift for people who love coloring books or Christmas or devotions. 

Highly recommended. A great holiday gift idea. 

I received a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Rule of Law

Rule of Law

by Randy Singer  

Thriller/Suspense
Tyndale

What did the president know? And when did she know it?

For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.
But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?


Learn more and purchase a copy.

My thoughts:   
Show-time under the big top.  SEAL Team Six has just taken center stage.  For good or for ill, the lives of an American Journalist and the son of the Saudi royal family rested in the hands of one of the most capable Special Forces Units currently under arms.  Expertly trained, incredibly equipped, this should have been a walk in the park.

Of course, one can never forget the most-oft quoted proverb of the SEAL Team community:  “The only good day was yesterday.”  And with bad – bogus? – intel, the “walk in the park” becomes a bloody fight for survival. In the aftermath, hard questions are being asked, and no one seems to be able to provide the answers.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Who was ultimately responsible for the spectacular failure of SEAL Team Six?
                              
Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

Randy Singer has written what can only be called an epic tour de force of legal and military suspense.  His writing is tight, his plot lines are engaging, and the action rarely allows for the reader to take a ragged breath.

My only criticism is simply this; the book is just too long!  At 473 pages, and with a cast of 40 characters to keep track of (there is a CAST OF CHARACTERS at the beginning of the book), one is reminded of Abbot and Costello’s infamous radio program, WHO’S ON FIRST?  Perhaps the CAST OF CHARACTERS at the front of the book should be detachable? 

If you have the necessary patience and stamina, as well as the time and inclination, Randy Singer produces a fictional story that reads like yesterday’s headlines in terms of authenticity.  Along the way, the author forces the reader to really think through what we have always naively accepted as THE RULE OF LAW. 

4 stars for an excellent book that requires a lot from the reader.


 Meet the Author


Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than 10 legal thrillers and was recently a finalist with John Grisham and Michael Connelly for the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal. Randy runs his own law practice and has been named to Virginia Business magazine's select list of "Legal Elite" litigation attorneys. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his "Jekyll and Hyde thing"---part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and civil litigation at Regent Law School and, through his church, is involved with ministry opportunities in India. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. 


Find out more about Randy at http://www.randysinger.net.

 Blog Tour Schedule




Saturday, September 23, 2017

These Healing Hills

These Healing Hills 

Paperback, ebook, hardcover

September 5, 2017

by Ann H. Gabhart 


  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723637

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII's end writes to tell her he's in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

My thoughts:  i am a huge fan of Gabhart's cozy mysteries, but haven't read very many of her historicals.  When I was offered a chance to review THESE HEALING HILLS I thought I'd give it a try.  Recently my son graduated from A school for the Coast Guard and we drove through "these hills" and saw how massively huge they are.  It gives new appreciation to these "pioneer" nurse midwives who traveled them on foot and on horseback to "catch babies" or see to sick women and children. 

The story is rather slow, easy to put down, but it was a nice  peaceful read, a good escape.  I identified completely with Fran, out of her element with the setting (she was a city girl) and getting used to hillbilly lingo, and traversing steep mountain trails on foot.  And so many other dangers out where people are likely to shoot first and ask questions later. 

Ben is a sweet hero, battle worn, glad to be home, but mourning so much. he has a lot of hurts to work through and a lot on his plate with the death of his dad and his mom and siblings needing so much from him. 

I rooted for these characters.  Granny Em was a lovely secondary character and some of the others added humor and drama as well. 

A great historical fiction read.  Historical fiction loves will devour this book. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

The Source of Confidence by Heidi Dru Kortman

Text: Philippians 3:3ff. “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who...