Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Through Raging Waters

About the Book

If Mother Nature has her way, Timber Springs will never be the same…
A warm spring and early rainstorms melt the snowpack. Spring runoff compounded by the storm of the century sends Timber Springs into a tailspin.
Tossed into the role of rescuer, local pharmacist Paul Fitzgerald must face his past before the whole world falls apart. While he fights to contain the beast around him, he finds his steadfast control slipping through his fingers. And life…everyone’s life…hangs by a thread…once again.
She isn’t a hero. Melissa Hampton has her own demons to battle. After she learns of her mysterious beginnings amidst her mother’s keepsakes, she faces more than just the river rushing outside her door. Now, she must discern friend from foe…but as waters rise and tension climbs within Timber Springs, she needs to rise to the challenge or lose the only man she’s ever loved.
Can two people find each other through raging waters?
My Thoughts: As I was reading, all I kept thinking was "This would make a great movie!!".  This book is chock full of family drama, natural disaster, and hidden secrets.  The story grabs you from the start and takes you on a ride you won't soon forget. Blare does an excellent job of describing the landscape, you feel like you are right there in Timber Springs. I can't wait for the next book to find out what happens with the Fitzgeralds and the rest of Timber Springs.
Renee Blare’s nose has been buried in a book for as long as she can remember. Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, she started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, she lives in Wyoming with her husband, crazy dogs, and ornery cat. She serves her beautiful small town as a pharmacist while penning her stories about struggling Christians as they travel along the journeys of their lives. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Guest Post from Renee Blare

I Wrote a Book
Five years ago, I wrote a book…and then I wrote another and another and another. Many said that the words flowed like a river onto the page. Or I painted a picture with letters.  As for me? I simply write what I see so you can see it too. What about you? Do you want to write a book?
If so, there’s one thing I’d like you to know. A book’s like a child. It starts out small or simple with garbled language…often repetitive and indistinguishable. Kind of like when a baby babbles “dada” over and over. And then that moment comes when you rejoice because you hear him say “mama.” That’s the growth every book…writer…reader…yearns for.
Different stories float around inside an author’s mind, flowing in a way much like labor. Some authors plot, others don’t. And still others combine the process in a convoluted method. But like birth, no matter how the words eventually find their way to the page, the development of a book doesn’t stop with its first dawn. It takes time, energy, and growth.
Take my first release, To Soar on Eagle’s Wings. Five years ago, I wrote it, my very first book, in three months. And it was awesome! I couldn’t believe it. God brought the plot together in a phenomenal way. But publication wasn’t the next step. I had a lot to learn before that could happen.
My latest release, Through Raging Waters is the example of a writer’s growth, but also her soul. I learned that I had to leave more than my knowledge and my heart on the page. I needed to leave a piece of my soul. When you read Paul’s struggles, you read mine. Melissa’s fear and confusion? Yes, they’re mine. The anger, the pain . . . the trials, the lessons learned are scriptural but also first-hand, taught by my Father.
Writing is more than a job. It’s more than a hobby. It’s sharing your knowledge, your hope with the world. So if you want to write a book. Do it. Then take that next step, and the next. You’ll get there. Oh, and I can’t wait to read it!

Blog Stops

July 19: Pause for Tales
July 24: A Greater Yes
July 25: bigreadersite
July 26: Splashes of Joy
July 29: Quiet Quilter
July 31: Bukwurmzzz
August 1: Carpe Diem


To celebrate her tour, Renee is giving away a wonderful package that includes a $20 Cabelas gift card, a set of her series paperbacks (books 1 and 2), and fleece blanket. Click here to enter:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Siren's Song

Siren's Song is  Mary Weber's third book in the siren trilogy. If you have not read the first two books; Storm Siren and Siren's Fury, you need do that now. You shouldn't read them as a stand-alone and I sure don't want to spoil anything for you. I will post links at the bottom so you can go grab a copy of each.

I absolutely loved this series. I didn't think I would. I'm particular on what YA fiction I read because some of it gets redundant. There are only so many vampire stories or dystopian series you can read before they all blend together. This however, grabs your attention from the get go and doen't let go until the end of book three. If then, because to be honest, I'm really wishing there was a book four. Yes, it's that good.

Nym is a female Elemental, and she isn't supposed to exist. She was never supposed to be, but yet here she is. Once a slave now turned war hero she still struggles with her inner demons, to come to terms with what she is and what she is supposed to do with it. She is more powerful that anyone can ever imagine, but how can she tap into that power and save her people,and, her love Eogan, and defeat Draewulf. They are being hunted to the death and she is their only hope. Even though she's not completely sure how to save them. She didn't ask for this, but she will do what she has to do to save Eogan.

Draewulf is the stuff nightmares are made of, seriously. He is basically a shape shifter that is half wolf and half man. Whomever he enters he destroys from the inside out, absorbing their soul and tearing their flesh when he's done. He is pure evil. Not even his daugher is safe from his wrath. His main goal is to last forever. How will he do that? By destroying all of the royal bloodlines of Tulla, Cashlin, Faelen, Bron and Drust. Will the people fight back? Certainly and that just makes it all the more fun for this demented monster and his dark army.

Never have I been so captivated by a story as much as this one. It's a classic tale of good versus evil, yet it's not. There is so much more like the inner struggle to love yourself. To believe you are wothy of a destiny bigger than you ever dreamed. To ignore the naysayers and possibly overcome a colorful past.  No one is truly good, we all have things that make us less than proud. Truly evil? Well other than Draewulf, I'd say no one is truly evil.

By the time you get to the third book the characters become friends. Egogan, Nym, Rasha, Myles, Colin, Brek, Kenan, Kel, a loveable band of misfits if there ever was one. Some are royal, some are slave, some are Uathuils, others soldiers but all bonded by friendship and their desire to save their people. I loved the fact they weren't all the same. They weren't even from the same countries, yet they looked past each other's differences and annoyances and became friends along the way. Despite the horror and devastation of war they always had each others backs and would walk through fire, or a dark army to help their friends.

So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a copy and join Nym and her band of misfits on a journey of a life time that will touch your heart in a way you never imagined.

*I was given a copy of Siren's Song from the TNZ Fiction Guild in exhange for an honest review. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Storm Siren--Book 1
Siren's Fury--Book 2
Siren's Song--Book3

Sunday, July 24, 2016

She Who Knows

About the Book

One girl’s journey from loneliness to love.
Isolated on a Maui mountaintop, Cassandra has only her imagination to keep her company. Shut in due to her heart condition and shut out emotionally by her father, she meets the Menehune in a dream. Their “Gift” enables her to take the first step away from her loneliness. Along the way she finds an amazing woman in the grandmother she never knew and experiences true friendship with a new classmate. Eventually she learns that to love another she must open her heart, even if it means it may break.
My Thoughts: I wasn't sure what to make of the book at first because it's not written in your typical "love story" style but don't let that stop you from reading this wonderful book. I thouroughly enjoyed the author's style of writing. She describes people, places and even plants with such detail that you can vividly see them in your mind's eye. Cassie's struggle is so real that I believe all readers can connect with her one some level. We all want to love and be loved in return. This is a unique novel and a delightful read and I hope everyone will give She Who Knows a try.

About the Author

In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God. She believed that her first step would be to share the amazing ways God had blessed her. As she wrote of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed, it led to the rediscovery of her entire life, including the history of her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia and her search for purpose and love. Her memoir led to her first novel, which she hopes readers will find engaging and memorable.

Guest Post from Barbara Bras

An interviewer asked what inspired me to write and publish two books within a year. It’s a long story. Unlike many authors, I didn’t always write, nor did I yearn to write. In fact, the opposite was true for me; fear of judgement discouraged me from writing. Judgement from my mother, an English teacher and a strict perfectionist who demanded excellence in everything, especially writing.
In spite of the circumstances, my love of reading led to my first profession, teaching English at the high school level. Teaching laid the foundation for my career, which ultimately resulted in twenty-five plus years in various corporate environments as an Human Resources leader. Naturally, during my career I wrote a great deal, including proposals, papers, and communications of all kinds. But never anything creative, I never even journaled.
Almost two years ago, our Pastor handed out little pieces of paper during his sermon that said, “ENOUGH”. He questioned our inane desire to accumulate things when we already have the one thing that is needful. Just as Mary choose to worship at the feet of Jesus rather than be distracted by the world, so must we choose what is most important. (Luke 10:42) It struck a nerve.
Shortly thereafter, I made the decision to leave my position of ten years. Unsure of my next move, I focused my energy on a burning desire. Ever since the Lord provided a son for us through a miraculous adoption, I believed He wanted me to share it as an encouragement to others. I had tried to write the story many times without success. I signed up for retreat that promised, “Write your book in a weekend!”
The three-day retreat required nonstop writing, first in long hand, then on the pc. Amazingly, at the end of the third day I had not only finally written the story of the miraculous adoption, I had shared the incredible disappointment and heartache of the years that followed, all captured within the context of my life and the life of my ancestors. Wrapped in God’s Grace, a Life Rediscovered had materialized. I felt a great release and I thought that would be the end of my writing.
Over the next few months as I edited the book, I followed the system of editing for 45 minutes, and writing new material for 15. What emerged during those 15 minute segments became Cassandra’s story, or She Who Knows, a Tale of the Heart. The story unfolded in front of me, inspired by the woman who supervised my student teaching in Honolulu back in 1977.
Barbara Robinson was an inspiration to me both as a teacher and as a person. As we worked together that semester, she shared many stories and took me under her wing. She told me the story of how her grandmother, a musician, had come to islands and married her seafaring grandfather. She spent a great deal of her childhood isolated in the mountains on Maui, presumably to recover from an illness. When finally allowed to return to school years later, her years of isolation and her archaic English made for a lonely life. She also believed she that she had an usual gift, which she decided was better left unused.
So what began as an effort to share my story and encourage others has developed into a love of writing and a desire to serve the Lord through my new passion.
Soli Deo Gloria. To God Alone Be the Glory!

Blog Stops

July 23: Mary Hake
July 27: A Greater Yes
July 27: Reading Is My SuperPower (Spotlight)
July 29: Splashes of Joy
July 29: Artistic Nobody (Spotlight)
July 31: Bukwurmzzz
August 2: Carpe Diem
August 3: Pause for Tales


To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a $100 Amazon gift card, copies of She Who Knows, and Wrapped In God’s Grace. Click here to enter:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Change of Heart

About the Book

Lydia Esh’s younger sister Emma is running wild during Rumschpringe, causing the family major heartaches. Although it means risking her reputation, her job as a schoolteacher, and her courtship with Jakob Zook, Lydia attends parties to watch over Emma and protect her sister’s virtue.
When Emma begins a relationship with Kyle, an Englischer, Lydia teams up with Kyle’s older brother, Caleb, to keep the couple apart. As Lydia and Caleb spend time together keeping an eye on their siblings, Lydia falls for this forbidden love. Will she stay true to her faith even if it means giving up the man she loves?
My Thoughts: I truly enjoyed reading Change of Heart. Lydia could be my soul sister. She feels torn between obeying her family and faith or following her heart. She doesn't take her decisions lightly, she battles with herself and seeks God's guidance. The author does a great job of making you fall in love with the characters and their plight, without coming off too preachy. Faith, Hope, and forgiveness are woven thorough out the novel: whether it's forgiving yourself, trusting your faith, or finding hope in small accomplishments. Change of Heart is a great read and will touch you deep inside. I cannot wait for the next novel to find out what happens with the rest of the family.  

About the Author

Rachel J. Good, inspirational author, writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of Amish romances in the Sisters & Friends series. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student in Writing and Illustration at Hollins University. In addition to having more than 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. To buy the Amish Quilts Coloring Book:  Visit Rachel at:

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Hi, I’m Rachel J. Good, inspirational author of heartfelt tales of faith, hope, and forgiveness.
I’m excited to launch the first book in my Sisters & Friends Amish series, Change of Heart. Although I’ve been writing for many years and have about 30 books out now, this is my first inspirational novel. I’m busy editing book 2, Buried Secrets, and writing book 3, Gift from Above. And I’m planning the next three books in the series.
I’ve been asked how I came to write Amish novels. For that, I have to credit my agent Mary Sue Seymour, who suggested it to me. I loved the idea because I’d lived near Lancaster, PA, and had always been interested in the Amish. Although Mary Sue went to heaven a few months ago, just before the book launched, I feel her presence in my life as I write. She believed in me as a writer and encouraged me to work on this novel, which she quickly sold.
Lydia’s story in Change of Heart has several connections with my real life. The first is that I’m the oldest in my family and have two sisters, and so does Lydia. We both feel responsible our younger sisters. Lydia’s younger sister, Emma, gets in trouble during Rumschpringe. (And no, her wild sister doesn’t resemble either of my two younger sisters.)
The second connection with my life is the spiritual lesson Lydia learns in the book. I wanted Lydia’s journey to be not only a struggle between faith and love, but also a personal inner journey from self-righteousness to seeing with God’s loving eyes.
Oftentimes, goodness and spirituality can be a source of pride, and it can also be used to justify being judgmental. Lydia’s sister Emma points this out to her, but in my case, it was my young daughter who piped up, when I was complaining about someone at church, and said, “She sounds just like you, Mommy.” Ouch!
That day I came face to face with the truth that often what I criticize most in another person is often a flaw or a sin I’m overlooking in myself. As Matthew 7:3 (NIV) says: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” I wanted Lydia’s story to reflect that truth.
The Amish try to avoid the sin of hochmut (pride), but Lydia, without realizing it, is secretly proud of her own spirituality. It often saddens me that, as Christians, we spend more time criticizing others outside the faith or with different lifestyles or beliefs, but very little time examining our own unloving and judgmental behavior. I’d like to see us become more like Jesus, who ate with the “publicans and sinners,” and showed love to everyone, instead of condemning them.
Lydia is also forced to choose between staying in her faith or leaving it for love. I, too, faced a similar challenge many years ago, so I wrote those scenes from my heart. I hope Lydia’s story touches hearts, and that readers come away reassured that although we can’t always see the larger picture, God can, and He’s working out a wonderful plan for us. Our present circumstances might seem dark, but He knows the final results. We need to trust Him even during the challenging times, because “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).

Blog Stops

July 15: Bigreadersite
July 18: Bukwurmzzz
July 22: Quiet Quilter
July 24: A Greater Yes
July 24: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away lots of fun prizes, including copies of her books and even a box of Whoopie Pies from Bird-in-Hand Bakery. Click here to enter:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Can't Buy Me Love

Admit it. The minute you read the title the Beatles song Can't Buy Me Love popped in your head. Am I right? I wonder if the author was listening to the song when she penned this book. Either way it's a great song and this is an equally great book.

As the Beatles sang "I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love". Blake Caldwell knows that truth all to well. Sure it can buy you a house full of servants and a garage full of shiny cars, but not love. If he inherits Aunt Virginia's estate, as he plans on doing, he might just manage to save Caldwell Clothing Company. It takes money to make money and he's done all he can to save the family business with his limited resources.

Aunt Virginia can best be described as a fire cracker. She always has to have her way and in death is no different. She is fully prepared to leave Blake the Caldwell fortune, including her estate. But under one condition, he must marry first. Blake the confirmed bachelor must marry in order to save that which he loves the most, Caldwell Clothing Company, He has poured his heart and soul into the company, but married?! Surely Aunt Virginia must be crazy. Besides, who would he marry? The girl he loves has left him to go overseas and nobody else would want him due to his playboy persona. Well, they might if the price is right, but he could stand to lose everything. So, who does that leave? The next girl who walks through the door?

Paige Parker is trying to adjust to life back in the states. She has lived the majority of her life with her father serving as missionaries in Africa. She naively assumed she would come back stateside and have a happy reunion with her sister and mom. What she gets though is a relationship that needs a ton of work and a hard time adjusting to life in the states. She has a temp job she hates, but desperately needs just to buy the basics. Her new boss,Noah, doesn't even know her name. Imagine her shock when she delivers the coffee service and gets a marriage proposal from the hunky millionaire! What's a girl to do?

A quirky aunt, a disillusioned missionary, a playboy millionaire, a phony marriage in name only, what could possibly go wrong? Can't Buy Me Love will have you laughing out loud from the start and won't stop until the end.

You can grab a copy here: Can't Buy Me Love
Just Because: Can't Buy Me Love--The Beatles

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dance and Be Glad

About the Book

Jillian Matthews is a widowed mom and owner of a dance studio in a small farming community. When her husband died nine years ago in the desert of the Middle East, a piece of her died as well and she lost all joy in the day to day blessings. Tiny dancers and her daughter, Katie, are her main focus until an old flame, Michael Emerson, waltzes back into her life, awakening things she thought dead and gone.
Dr. Michael Emerson told himself he was happy with his bachelorhood after a messy divorce. He thought his life as an ER doctor and yearly missions work left  no room for a wife and family. When tragedy strikes and he is left with an unforeseen situation, he must evaluate his life and make some major changes.

My Thoughts: What can I say about Dance and Be Glad? It's an amazing book that is full of depth and colorful characters you will find yourself falling in love with. I believe the message is one that will resound with all readers. No matter what life throws your way, whether it be good or bad, you need to dance and be glad! Is it always easy? No! Jillian had a choice to make when he husband died in combat. She at first chose to walk away from her faith because she was angry with God, but with the help of friends she learned to dance and be glad. Michael could have ranted and raved at the injustice of losing his brother and sister in law, right around Christmas, and being left to care for his niece all by himself. The point I believe is we have to choose joy. Life will beat you down if you let it but you can always turn to God, trust He has your future in hand, and dance and be glad!

* I received a copy of Dance and Be Glad from CelebrateLit in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

I am an independently published author of Christian romance.
I wear many hats from one day to the next. I am a devoted wife, basketball and dance mother, teacher, taxi service, friend, caregiver, daughter, sister, and now, published author. Seeing all that is enough to make my head spin. But more importantly, I am the Daughter of the Most High King.
I was raised in and still reside in a little farm town in Mid- Michigan called Corunna. It’s quiet and simple, just the way I like it. If I can’t live out in the country among the corn fields and trees then living in this small town works for me.  My husband and I have been together since high school and have 3 children, all of whom we homeschool. It has been quite the journey, but I couldn’t ask for a better life.
I decided to give writing a try because I needed something to occupy my down time, but after reading my first draft of my first book, What God Brings Together, I then understood that God had a much bigger plan.  God does not give His children a desire just so that it can go to waste. I never anticipated the journey God would put me on through writing, but I am excited to see what He has in mind for the future.
I have always felt a call to reach out to women and mothers, to encourage them in their lives. So naturally, all my stories revolve around women who are mothers: single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.
My greatest hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life. Lord, knows we have earned it.

Guest Post from Melissa Wardwell

When I wrote the first book in this series, “What God Brings Together”, it wasn’t supposed to become a series. It has seemed to have a mind of its own and is spiraling into other books.
You met Dr. Michael Emerson in the first book as the third wheel to Emma and Ryan’s crazy triangle. As soon as I finished it and read through it one last time, Mike’s character begged to have his own story. I felt bad giving such a nice guy a sad ending. So an idea formed for a story focused on him but it took me a while to decide on who his other half would be. I was sitting in front of the dance studio two of my kids attend, and it hit me. A Dance teacher and studio owner. From there the story went out of control- in a good way. The dance studio is the actual studio my kids dance at, and much of the descriptions of the location are the same as the space. The town is even the real town this studio is in. It is such a quiet place and I love it.
I live in the area this series takes place. The county has a funny name as it is a Native American name – Shiawassee. It is nothing but small towns and farm land. New Lothrop, the main location for this story, has a population of approx. 600. I spend many hours there because of dance and I have grown to love the quiet little farm town.
I like to bring light to actual business in some of my work, so when I chose to write in Infinity Dance Company I had to include the location. There is also a neat little coffee shop that I talk about in this book that is also an actual coffee shop.
I am all about promoting local business, so if I can plug a cool business in my books, I will.
You will see a bit more of another character from the first book, Tiffany, and you’ll get some insight into her story as well but you won’t get the full picture until the release of “I Know the Plans” which is set to come out no later than next spring – hopefully. I also introduce a new character in “Dance and Be Glad” whose story is heartbreaking but you won’t know much more until book four “Redeemed Through Grace” comes out in 2018.
“Dance and Be Glad” is about finding joy in the middle of uncertainty and the scary moments in life. We can let the sudden changes bring us down or we can look at them as an opportunity to learn something new. I have witnessed a lot of tragedy and sudden losses in my personal life to learn that God still has me in His hands even when I feel like my world is crumbling. My prayer is that each reader can have a similar revelation.

Blog Stops

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away a wonderful package that includes a hand-crafted necklace. Click here to enter: