Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Big 5-Oh by Sandra Bricker

The Big 5-0h! by Sandra D. Bricker
Olivia Wallace can't remember a birthday that wasn't marked by illness, tragedy, or both. As she approaches the big 5-0, she's determined to change her streak of bad luck. With the help of her best friend, Liv escapes a snowy Ohio winter and runs away to the Florida sunshine.

Amidst a crazy cast of characters that include a dog with a lampshade collar, a rogue alligator, and a flirtatious octogenarian, God surprises her with the best birthday gift of all -- a second chance at love.

Sandra D. Bricker: For more than a decade, Sandra lived in Los Angeles and, while writing in every spare moment, worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of the daytime television's hottest stars. Since then she has written three novels for middle-grade readers and several romance novels, including unWANTED Husband,Change of Heart, Sins of the Past, Wish I Weren't Here, and Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas. Sandra lives in Tampa, Florida.

My Take: Several days ago I wrote a review of Sandra's book Love Finds You in Holiday Florida. It was the first time I had read any of Sandra's books. I had been asked by Sandra to read her book and give a review of it. I read the book and gave it a rave review. Anyone who is middle-aged can relate to the characters in this book. Now I want to rave again about a brand-new book that will debut tomorrow, February 1,2010. This book was sooooo funny! The cast of characters will keep you laughing to the very end. Once again, if you are middle aged you will relate beautifully to the characters. Olivia runs away to Florida to escape the winter in Ohio and to find her new self. Once there she can't decide what to do about coming back - it wasn't suppose to be this hard. Of course there are some very handsome men that make her acquaintance which make it doubly hard to go back to Ohio. Sandra definitely gets a thumb up for her new book The Big 5-0h!Visit her website at: http://www.sandradbricker.com/ and check out all of her books, including inspirational books!



Monday, January 25, 2010

New Reviews!

It has been a few days since I've posted. I have two more reviews that I would like to share. They are all different genres, but it was a joy to read each one. Here we go!

Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate:
Back Cover: Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She's never put down roots -- and she doesn't plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence. And when she meets hometown boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily -- until she discovers he may be promised to someone else.

Daley has always been a welcoming place of refuge for those the wind blows in, but for Kai is looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store -- especially when Aunt Donetta Bradford has cooked up a scheme.

About Lisa: Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national best-selling author of several books including Tending Roses, A Month of Summer, and The Summer Kitchen.

My Take: This is a story about two women from different generations who meet during an evacuation of a hurricane. They are thrown together in a difficult situation but before long they strike up a bond. Aunt Donetta is a character that has appeared in the other books of Lisa's. She is from the small town of Daily, Texas. I really like Donetta's character, she is a strong woman with a wonderful sense of humor. She will keep you laughing throughout the book even during times of trouble.

The other main character is a young woman who has had a troubled background. Her name is Kai Miller and she works for a cruise line that has left port early because of the hurricane. She casts to evacuate and along the way she spots three women on the side of the road who are in trouble. She stops to pick them up and they both continue on a journey of ups and downs before they reached safety and are able to go back to Donetta's hometown of Daily, Texas where Kai meets Donetta's nephew Kemp and a bond is formed between them. Of course, like any good romance story the relationship has a few bumps along the way before it is smooth sailing.

One thing I have noticed about Christian fiction, especially suspense, is that it is told from the viewpoint of two different characters. It usually goes back and forth between a female and male character. However, in this book each chapter goes back and forth between the two main characters Donetta and Kai. This kind of writing takes a little bit of getting used to, but it is worth it because story is shown from two different views. If you are in the mood for a little bit of laughter that this is the book you want to pick up and read. Please take a moment to stop by Lisa's website at: http://www.lisawingate.com/. Also, please notice my new widget on the side-bar which features Lisa's book " Never Say Never". You can click on the cover and order directly from Amazon.com.

Product Details


Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson:
Back Cover: Jo Lynn Hunter is at a crossroads in her life when her great aunt Stella insist that she returned home to restore the old family manse in sleepy Cottonwood, Georgia. Jo Lynn longs to get her teeth into a note worthy and satisfying project. It is the perfect excuse for some therapeutic time away from her husband.

Beneath the dust and the peeling wallpaper, things are not what they seem, and what Jo Lynn doesn't know about her family holds just as many surprises. Was her great-grandfather the pillar of the community she thought he was? What is Aunt Stella hiding? And will her own marriage survive the renovation?

Jo Lynn isn't sure she wants to know the truth-- but sometimes the truth has a way of making itself known.

About Eva Marie Everson: Eva is an award winning author, a successful speaker, and a popular radio personality. She is co-author of the Potluck Club series in the Potluck Catering Club series. Things Left Unspoken was inspired by her own Southern family history.

My Take: I cannot say enough good things about this book. The story takes place in a small Georgia town called Cottonwood, which is close to Savannah, Georgia . The main character, Jo Lynn has just turned 50 and is beginning to wonder what her life has been about and where she wants to go with her life in the future. When her Uncle Jim dies and she returns to her small hometown her Aunt Stella asks her to remodel the family home. This is the perfect time for reflection. During the renovation she stumbles upon information about the family that has been hidden away for many years. Now she is faced with the decision to bring this out in the open knowing that it will have an effect on family members.

This book brought back so many of my childhood memories. I too was raised in a small Georgia town. Also, since I am in my early 50s I could relate to the transition she was going through in her life. I had the pleasure of meeting Eva last week at a book club meeting in Marietta, Georgia. It was so nice to talk with Eva about her book and how she came about writing it. She told us that the characters are based on members of her family and the house was based on one of their own family homes. However, she did state that the story itself is fiction. If you only read one book in the next few months I would recommend you read this one. Please visit Eva's website at:
http://www.evamarieeverson.com/. Please note her book on my widget located on my side bar. You can order this directly from Amazon.com.




HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Contest at Ashley's Blog

I wanted to let you know about a contest that is going onR over at Ashley's blog. Please stop by over there and check it out!

NOTE: This is not a giveaway on my blog!

Review + Giveaway: The Raven Saint (Charles Towne Bells) by M.L. Tyndall




Author: M.L. Tyndall

Publisher: Barbour Books

Date Released: January 1, 2010

Series: Charles Towne Bells Bk 3

Stars:*****

Age rating: 12 & up

Pros: A deep (and moving) spiritual message and wonderfullycharacters with detailed backgrounds, make the story gripping and all the more real.

Cons: I loved the ending but I only wish we could have seen both Nathen & Hope and Rafe & Grace married.

Back cover:
When Grace Westcott is kidnapped by a French mercenary, tossed aboard his ship, and told she will be sold to a Spanish Don in Columbia, she cannot imagine what she has done to deserve such a horrid fate. She has spent her entire life serving God and helping the poor, not to mention trying to save the souls of her two wayward sisters. Thinking perhaps God has sent her to preach to the vile captain and his crew, Grace's every attempt to correct their sinful ways is rewarded with only mockery. When Grace's situation grows far worse than she could imagine, she is forced to face her own human weaknesses. But she isn't prepared to face her biggest weakness of all-falling in love with the nefarious captain, Rafe Dubois.

Captain Rafe Dubois hates nothing more than a religious pretence of piety. Fleeing a home of abuse and betrayal under the thumb of his self-righteous father, he became a mercenary upon the Caribbean. There isn't any job, no matter how vile, he won't undertake in order to amass the fortune he needs to build a hospital for the poor in his home town of Port-de-Paix. The praises of the people fill a craving in his soul for the self-worth and value he never received from his father, while giving him a sense of purpose for his otherwise reckless life. That is, until he meets the saintly Miss Grace Westcott who continually berates his every move.

*My thoughts:
I loved both, The Red Siren and The Blue Enchantress, so I knew when I picked up The Raven Saint I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. M.L Tyndall once again, masterly wove love, adventure and God together. Picking up right where The Blue Enchantress left off, your really able to get into the story and the into the characters . Rafe is a perfect opposite to Grace, brash, forward and faithless while Grace is pious, stubborn and demure. And when the two clash, sparks fly. The message in The Raven Saint, is so true for a lot ofChristians (especially me). I sometimes find myself judging others because of who they appear to be . I judge their actions, without giving a thought to what they've maybe been through and what they've had to live with, a second thought. Between that, the longing, deception, and the nefarious captain Rafe Dubois, there was never a dull moment in The Raven Saint. I really thought that the Raven Saint finished the CharlesTowne Bells trilogy with an end that didn’t leave me wanting. Although that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to see what happens after they return to Charles Towne.




Eva Marie Everson and Diana Sharples

Eva's "Potluck Club" books from Sweet Spirit Christian Bookstore

Deborah Malone aka me and Eva Marie Everson


Eva Marie Everson and Diana Sharples
I am so excited to tell you about my adventure to Atlanta and Marietta Georgia yesterday. I left out about 2:30pm and went to visit my daughter who lives in Atlanta. Then on the way back I stopped off at North Metro Church to hear Eva Marie Everson talk about her book "Things Left Unspoken." I was a little early and was blessed to spend a few minutes getting to know Eva and taking some pictures (posted above ). After we had a great supper of chili and strawberry shortcake for dessert, Eva talked on her book. She paralleled the books story and characters to the story of her childhood (with a few added things in the book).

I also had the privilege to meet Diana Sharples who is a writer of young adult fiction. Diana and I had a good conversation during the meal and she was a great encouragement to me. She urged me to continue my quest to enter the Genesis contest. Diana was a double finalist in the Genesis contest for 2009. Please go and visit both of these ladies websites. I know they will be glad to have you. I am going to post the pictures then in the next couple of days I will review "Things Left Unspoken."

HAPPY READING!








Sunday, January 17, 2010

Catching Up Is Hard To Do

I have been watching the commercial on TV lately for insurance where the spokesman uses the song "breaking up is hard to do." I think it's a cute commercial and the song has etched itself into my mind so I thought I would use it as a play on words for the title of this blog.

It has been a while since I have written anything on my blog. With Christmas and New Year's past the holidays have been very busy and has left me little time to work on the computer. However, I have been working on my writing and I'm excited to say that the magazine that I freelance for "Georgia Backroads" will be publishing an article of mine in the summer issue. The title of the article is "The Day the Sheriff Shot His Deputy". It has been a while since I've had anything published in the magazine so I am thrilled that this particular article is going to be in print. I will be sure to let you know when it comes out.

Another thing I have been working on is getting my manuscript ready to enter into the American Christian Fiction Writers contest which is called Genesis. There are several different genres you can submit to and I have chosen the mystery/ suspense genre. You submit the first 15 pages of your manuscript along with a synopsis. This sounds easy enough, but believe me it has not been easy. Because my manuscript is a first draft it has much, much work to be done and I have a very large learning scale to accomplish. I would have never dreamed I was ready to enter a contest except when I mentioned this to Katie Cushman, she suggested to go ahead and enter and that would be a wonderful way to get some feedback. So that encouraged me to go ahead and did just that. I have been working very hard towards that goal. I think the deadline is the end of March. I will also keep you up-to-date on this.

Tomorrow I will be going to Marietta where there will be a dinner featuring Eve Marie Everson and her new book "Things Left Unspoken". I will also be able to meet Diana Sharples who is a fellow writer with ACFW. I went out Friday and bought this book by Eva and have hardly been able to put it down. It is a wonderful story about family histories. It is set in the South and focuses on the refurbishing of an old home as well as the town where it is. It brings back a lot of memories for me of growing up in the South. When I finish the book I plan to give a more thorough review and also hope to have some pictures from the dinner tomorrow night. I believe that brings us up to date on what has been going on in my writing world.

As always:
HAPPY READING!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jaunary 2010 New Releases!

1. A Stray Drop of Blood, by Roseanna M. Whitefrom Whitefire Publishing. Born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds, Abigail never knows freedom until she feels the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter.

2. A Deadly Wilderness, by Kelly Irvin from Five Star/Gale/Cengage. A family that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets and a drug cartel hit man are just two of the pieces to the puzzle Homicide Detective Ray Johnson must solve to find a murdererĂ³and save his own life.

3. Becoming Lucy - The Winds Across the Prairie Series, by Martha Rogers from Realms Division of Strang Communications. An alleged murderer reclaims his life, but can he reclaim his beloved?


4. Burn, by Erin Healy and Ted Dekker from Thomas Nelson. A supernatural thriller about a woman who gets an unwanted chance to extinguish her fiery past.

5. First Impressions , by Michelle Sutton from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. Playing the role of a saloon girl taught her how to flirt, but it makes a lousy first impression on the man whose heart she longs to win.

6. Jenna's Cowboy- Callahans of Texas, 1, bySharon Gillenwater from Baker/Revell. Will Jenna's love enable Nate to put the horrors of war behind him and become the man she deserves?

7. Never Far from Home- 2nd in the Miller Family Series, by Mary Ellis from Harvest House Publishers. Emma's rebellious Rumschpringe may lead to her banishment as friendship turns to love with the English sheepfarmer.

8. Plain Jane, by Hillary Manton Lodge from Harvest House Publishers. Girl reporter Jayne Tate finds more than she bargained for when she goes to Amish Country to research a story.

9. Sworn to Protect, by Diann Mills from Tyndale. Danika Morales has sworn to protect our nation's borders. But that oath has come with a price.
10. The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth - All About Us #6, by Shelley Adina from Hatchette FaithWords. At exclusive Spencer Academy, Lissa Mansfield gains popularity when she replaces her nemesis, Vanessa, on the senior Cotillion committee, but graduation and major decisions about the future loom.

11. The Choice - Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1, by Suzanne Woods Fisher from Revell. A tender story of love and forgiveness, "The Choice" uncovers the sweet simplicity of the Amish world--and shows it's never too late to find your way back to God.

12. The Husband Tree - Montana Marriages, by Mary Connealy from Barbour. A tough lady rancher drags a reluctant cowhand on a cattledrive, along with her four daughters.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

News and Reviews!

I hope your holidays went well. My holidays were nice, but I will be glad to get back into a regular routine. There are several books that I have read and have not had time to write reviews on so now I want to take the opportunity to do so. The first two I am going to review are Christmas stories.

Wild West Christmas by Kathleen Y'Barbo, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, and Vickie McDonough:

Charlesy Ames can ride, rope, and work the ranch with the best of them. But things don't add up when she finds herself attracted to accountant Horace Miller III, a citified tenderfoot.Will he ever see the gentle woman beneath the the coating of trail dust?

Sharp -- shooting Lucy Ames is thrilled to join Maj. Paulson's Wild West Show. But is she setting her sights too high when she begins falling for budding evangelist Gordon Paulson? Would she be better off aiming for a stable, widowed rancher?

Although horse -- trainer Sarah Ames is stunned when her pa hires the part -- Mexican Carson Romero to take over her job on the ranch, she gradually becomes attracted to the drifter. But when cattle go missing, Carson seems the prime suspect. Has Carson stolen Sarah's heart as well as some prime longhorns?

An expert tracker, the plain Bessie Mae Ames resolves to spend her life taking care of her widowed father. That is until Texas Ranger Josef Mueller rides into town, trailing a wanted man. Will the soon-to-be smitten ranger find both he and his prey sweet on an unsuspecting Bessie Mae?

Will these cowgirls be tamed and live to celebrate Christmas Romance?

My Take: This is a really cute Historical Romance. There are four sisters living on a ranch with their father. Their mother died when they were young so they have always taken a part in the daily workings of the ranch. This seems to be a little off-putting to their suiters. Each daughter's story is written by a different author which makes it fun. This would make a great Christmas gift to give someone who loves Historical Romance or maybe even for yourself. Of course, you don't have to wait until Christmas to read it.

Christmas Peril by Margaret Daley and Debby Giusti:
Christmas bells ring with danger in these suspenseful holiday stories!


Merry Mayhem by Margaret Daley
When single mom Annie Coleman unexpectedly arrives in Christmas, Oklahoma, police chief Caleb Jackson suspects she's hiding secrets. He will be watching her closely. And his protection is just what Annie and her daughter need, as danger has followed them to their new home.

Yule Die by Debby Giusti
It's hardly a happy holiday for medical researcher Callie Evans...until she discovers her ailing patient is her long-lost brother. And he's being watched by undercover police officer Joe Petrecelli. When the trio is abducted by a cadre of bad guys, Joe and Callie will have to fight to keep her brother -- and themselves -- alive.

My take: If you like romantic suspense you are going to love this book. Two of the best suspense writers come together to give you two stories in one book. You cannot go wrong with anything that has the name Margaret Daley or Debby Giusti on it and once again Christmas Peril has proven this to be true. Please do not wait until next Christmas to read this book because you will be missing out on a great read.

Last but not least by any stretch of the imagination:
Scared To Death by Debby Giusti
Something scared Kate's friend to death. Literally!

An unexpected phone call from a frantic, estranged friend sent scientist Kate Murphy to a rural town in Georgia. But neither woman made the meeting. Kate's friend died mysteriously. And Kate herself was trapped in a horrific accident until rescued by Nolan Price, her friends handsome boss. And the widowed single father might know more about secrets and lies that he is telling.

Offered refuge in his house -- which happened to be in the dark woods that so scared her friend -- Kate sought the truth. But what she found would shock her -- and her faith -- to the core.

My take: If it were possible to give more than five stars, that is what I would do for Scared To Death. You've heard the expression a "nail biter" and a "page turner" - well this is exactly what you will get when you read this book. From the very first page when Kate's friend calls the suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. I finished the book in two nights of which I stayed up late reading because I could not put it down. I cannot wait to read more books by Debby. If you have not read any of her books yet and you like suspense please, please take the opportunity to do so!

I hope you have enjoyed these reviews. I'm glad that I was able to catch up on some of the books that I've read lately. The goal of my blog is to promote Christian fiction and Christian fiction authors. I hope that these reviews help do that in some small way. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. As aways:

HAPPY READING!