Welcome to my little bit of cyber-space. It is my prayer that all who enter here may be richly blessed by the God of all grace. All praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Book Review of What Follows After by Dan Walsh

I have read and reviewed all of Dan Walsh's books. This one is another winner!

What Follows After has many dramatic elements--runaways, a kidnapping, a faltering marriage. But the emphasis is not just on the drama, but on the changing emotions of all the characters as they live out this true-to-life story.

You will feel like you are a part of this story as it is told, not just reading it, and you will be trying to read as fast as you can to find out how it ends, then slowing down to notice the details the author shares. Dan Walsh does a great job of getting into all of the character's heads from the young boys to the parents and grandparents and even the hired help.

I would recommend this book for all those who like to read dramatic stories that take you into the minds of the characters. It is a stand-alone book, but he has several other stories out, so if you haven't read any of them, check them out as you buy this one. They are all so good it is hard to pick a favorite, so mine is the one I am reading or just finished. So, until a new book comes out by Dan Walsh, this is my current favorite!

This book was a gift from the publisher for review purposes, but all opinions are mine alone.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

June winner and July book giveaway--A Love Discovered by Jennifer Johnson

June's book winner is Norma Gail, and this month's book to win is also by Jennifer Johnson--A Love Discovered. Everyone with a US address except for Norma Gail is eligible, so leave a comment with your email addy to be entered by July 31 to win this great read!

Here's the back cover blurb to whet your appetite: Ben Jacobs has big plans. None of them involve moving back home to his family's Tennessee farm after college. But when he plunges into a web of gambling debt, he has no other choice. Until beautiful single mom Maggie Grant comes into his life.

Widowed Maggie works tirelessly to make a better life for her young son. A relationship with a troubled soul like Ben is a risk she can't afford to take. Can Ben convince Maggie he's a changed man, willing to do whatever it takes to win over the two loves of his life?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

June book giveaway--Game of Love by Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Collins Johnson is one of my best writer buddies, and I love all her books, but Game of Love is extra special to me--the hero's last name is McCauley, and the book is dedicated to me! So leave a comment with your email address anytime between today and June 30th to be entered in the drawing.

I have several other posts featuring Jennifer and her books, so search with her name in the box at the top left hand corner of my blog and you will find them and a bunch of pics of her and her family and even some with me.

Winner to be announced on July 1st. Must have a US mailing addy to win.

And the winner of Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin is...Peggy Trotter!

Peggy has been contacted, and the book will be on its way to her as soon as she sends me her mailing address. Happy reading, Peggy, and for those of you who didn't win, I hope you will buy it in paperback or ebook. And check back next month for another giveaway.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Victoria Bylin Interview and giveaway of Until I Found You




I am so happy to introduce you all to a fellow KY writer--Victoria Bylin, who is giving away one autographed copy of Until I Found You to someone who leaves a comment on this post. Drawing to be in one week, so check back on May 28th to see if you won! 

Welcome, Victoria. So glad to have you stop by. Please tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?
 I was ten years old when I discovered The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.  My grandmother gave it to me along with several others in the series. I loved them all but especially that first one where Alec and his horse are stranded on a desert island. At its heart, the book is about courage and love. My favorite book as an adult is harder to pick. When I think about it, though, one title shoots to the top. That’s Jane Eyre.  A classic!

These two book don’t have much in common on the surface, but I can see how they both influenced my writing. The Black Stallion  is full of risk and adventure, while Jane Eyre is a classic romance.  My writing has both of these elements.


Jane Eyre was one of my faves, too. What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
 I just love Isaiah 50:10:  

“Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.

It’s my favorite verse because it talks about trusting God even in the dark. The Christian life is full of challenges.  This verse reminds me that God is with us always.  

When it comes specifically to the writing, I don’t have a specific verse that encourages me (they all do!), but I often recall something I heard in a sermon. It was just three words: “Don’t Limit God.”  When life gets a tad bit crazy, it’s good to remember that God is bigger than all of it.

Amen! If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
 I’d go to central California and hang out at the beach, then I’d drive all over the state. It’s home and I miss it.  My current book for Bethany House is set in the Los Padres National Forest in a town where my family and I lived for eight years.  It would be great to visit!

Hope you make it back there soon, Victoria, but I am very glad you live in KY now! I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
 I’m with you completely, Rose.  If I had to write by hand or even on a typewriter, I don’t think I could finish a book.  I’m more of an editor than a writer, which means I construct books out of dozens of drafts.  I usually end up with several files called “trash” because I’m constantly rewriting. I couldn’t do that on an old IBM Selectric, or even older, that blue Smith Corona I used in college.

I love the convenience of technology, and it’s tons of fun to interact with readers on Facebook and Twitter.  At the same time, technology has depersonalized our world in frightening ways. We tend to stare at computer screens instead of chatting with our neighbors. At the same time, I love being in touch with writers and readers around the globe.  It’s a huge blessing to me.

I agree that technology is a mixed blessing. It is only as good as we make it. As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
 I stretched big-time with Until I Found You. When I made the decision to jump from writing westerns for Love Inspired Historicals to trying my hand at a single-title contemporary, I felt like someone in a Star Trek movie traveling to a distant planet. Until I Found You is longer than my westerns, and the plotting is more complex.  It also includes a first-person diary, something I’d never done before. 

Until I Found You sounds great! Can't wait to read it. What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
 Study the craft!  Inspiration is a gift from God. Discipline is a choice. But technique can be learned.  My life changed drastically when I discovered section 808.00 in the Fairfax Co. Public Library in northern Virginia.  That’s where the writing books are shelved.  I particularly latched on to Jack Bickham’s  “38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes.”  It gave me a solid set of tools for building a book and taught me how a novel is structured.

Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?
 Just one thing . . . As much as I love Nick and Kate, the couple in Until I Found You, my favorite character just might be Kate’s grandmother, Leona Darby. She can’t speak because of a stroke, so she writes her own story in a journal.  Until I Found You is primarily a romance, but it’s also about family, faith, and taking chances.  I hope readers enjoy it!  It’s available now at Amazon , B&N, Christianbook.com, and just about everywhere Christian fiction is sold.

Thanks for having me, Rose! 



Christianbook.com :  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Review of Lorna Seilstad's When Love Calls

I've read and enjoyed several of Lorna Seilstad's books in the Lake Manawa series, so was happy to read this book which begins a new series by her called The Gregory Sisters. The first one is entitled When Love Calls, and is the story of the oldest sister, Hannah, who drops out of college where she is studying law to become a switchboard operator in order to support her two younger sisters after the death of both their parents.

Life can be hard in the early 1900s for those without support, so she is happy to find this job as a "Hello Girl" even with the strict rules. Little does she know that the hardship of losing the home their parents raised them in will cause her to meet a lawyer who does care for justice and the poor.

This book has it all--history, family relationships and a love story, too. A delightful read, and I can't wait for the next book in this series. This book was supplied by the publisher for a review, but these thoughts are all my own.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Review--Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest book was something I may not have chosen to read from the back cover blurb if I hadn't read all of this author's others books and knew I could trust her writing.

Blurb: "Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel...Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive." The short beginning section was difficult to read because Dinah Hubley lived a difficult life in Chicago, but it also made me even more sympathetic to the heroine, and left me cheering on her and the hero, chicken farmer Amos Ackerman, as they encounter the bumps along the way to finding their true happiness.

Like Dinah, give yourself a chance to experience God's love and the love of a good man in this novel.

This book was a gift from the publisher, but this review is my honest opinion.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Guest Interview with Sandy Nadeau, author of Red Gold

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Hi Sandy, love the beautiful mountain backdrop! I'm so glad to have you visit here to tell us a little about yourself and I'm excited to hear more about your just released novel, Red Gold. Let's start off with some fun questions:

Please tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books?
I loved the book The Cay when it came out in the late 60's. I was in elementary school. It was a powerful story about a black man and white boy getting stranded on an island. Prejudice had to be overcome in order to survive. It's an incredible book. I'm not sure I can name one favorite book as an adult. There are so many. But the theme of overcoming seems to speak to me most.
What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing?
I guess Proverbs 3:5,6 is my most favorite. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." That and 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you." They both speak to me in so many aspects of my life including writing. I have to trust God in all I do, and try not to worry, since He'll work it all out.
If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose?
That's a tough one. I'm fascinated with Norway (with my Scandinavian heritage) and Ireland. But I would choose The Grand Cayman because it is so incredible. Then it would have to be an underwater story since the snorkeling is so amazing there.  
We went to Ireland last year, and I have a story idea brewing that takes place there. And I can't wait to read your Grand Cayman book! 
I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don't like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing?
I started out *cough, cough* thirty years ago using a Smith Corona typewriter to learn writing on. White Out was my friend. I love how easy computers make this, especially when editing time comes along. I don't like when my computer acts up, since I don't know how to fix it. I especially hate computer viruses. Why do people have to do such mean-spirited things?! Now I'm so used to writing on the computer and all the advantages, so that alone enhances the process. 
As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone?
As you know, most writers are introverts. I'm very happy alone in my office writing. So talking to groups is definitely getting out of my comfort zone. Meeting with agents and editors at conferences is nerve wracking.  
What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you?
Funny you should mention that. I met Tracie Peterson at a conference many years ago. Follow advice from a pro!! She was so encouraging and told me I should join this new writers group. I had no self-confidence in writing back then. I didn't join. *slapping forehead* Kept slogging along in my writing. Fast forward several years, and I met Colleen Coble who encouraged me to join the same group, now called the American Christian Fiction Writers. I finally did. What a tremendous difference it made in my level of learning the craft, networking with people doing the same thing, meeting with others that help me along the path. I met a gal at the Denver conference and we became very close friends and help each other with our writing. Get with other writers somehow. Learn all you can on the craft of writing and understand that the learning never stops. Ever. 
Joining ACFW was one of the best things I ever did for my writing, too. I remember meeting you at that Denver conference and you offering me and some others a ride to the airport. Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?
Red Gold is a story that will take you on a mind tour of the Colorado mountains. I think you'll enjoy the ride along as characters face challenges, dangers and fun all rolled into a mystery surrounding the High Country Safaris guest ranch.
Check out Red Gold by Sandy Nadeau on www.barnesandnoble.com www.pelicanbookgroup.com or www.amazon.com and you can find more real life stories of our Colorado adventures on my blog: www.SandyNadeau.blogspot.com
I'm also on Facebook, Sandy Nadeau, author   and Twitter @SandyNadeauCO  and my website is www.SandyNadeau.com
Go find some adventures. Life is full of them!

Sandy Nadeau loves to go on adventures, photograph them and equally loves to write about them. She and her husband do a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado and share those experiences with others by taking them up in the mountains. With a background in writing a column about her community for a local newspaper, she also has had several magazine articles published. She loves to write novels about adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. She is currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Vice President of the ACFW South Denver Chapter. Married for 37 years, she and her husband are loving life as grandparents to their nine month old grandson. Travel is their favorite thing to do and they don’t get to do it as often as they’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain.