Tamera Alexander – Rekindled

**The winner of my new release, Black Forest Redemption, from the giveaway last week is Tima Murrell. Congratulations Tima! I’ll be in contact shortly. :)**

From the Back Cover:

Ten years ago Kathryn Jennings made a vow. For better or worse. And that promise still holds true, even though her marriage has not turned out as she expected. When her husband fails to return home one stormy winter night, she struggles to keep their ranch, but her efforts are blocked at every turn. After a shocking glimpse into her husband’s past, Kathryn uncovers a hidden truth. What she wouldn’t give to turn back time and be able to love her husband for the man that he was, not for the man she always wanted him to be.

Larson Jennings has spent his entire life running from a broken past, unable to trust, reluctant to try again. One fateful night, his life takes an unexpected twist, and soon he is forced to make a choice. Whatever he chooses, his decision may cost him his life.

Amanda’s Review:

I loved this novel. It caught me in so that I was up until almost 1am reading. What if you had the chance to fall in love with your spouse all over again? In Rekindled, Tamera Alexander has shown just that, but in a way you wouldn’t expect. In the process two lives deal with past hurts, misunderstandings and failures, in order to bring a marriage back to wholeness.

I appreciated the way Tamera dealt with marriage relationships and the trust that needs to exist between husband and wife. But, the message came through so gently amidst a moving romance. She also showed how God can use tragedy to bring us closer to Him and to those involved in our lives.

Rekindled is heartily recommended to those who love a great historical romance, with a gentle heart-warming story line.

About the Author:

Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, and the Carol Award. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children, and a ten pound silky terrier named Jack.

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Debbie Roome – Insight

Rather than offer Debbie Roome a standard interview, I asked her to share part of her life with us – either a story about how she met her partner, a story about how she became a Christian, or a story of heritage from her family’s past. Debbie offered to share the story about how she and her husband got together. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

What’s in a Name?

“So which name should we pick?”Mom asked.

“I don’t know. You choose.” I replied.

Our church in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, was hosting a team of workers travelling through Africa with Reinhard Bonnke and Christ for all Nations. Mom had volunteered to take in one person who would be with us for a week. I was 19 at the time and still living at home.

“Okay, let’s go for Kevin Roome,” she said.

“Sounds fine to me.” I had no idea that less than two years later I would be married to this man.

Kevin duly arrived and we discovered that he was 22 and worked full-time for Christ for all Nations, maintaining and driving their trucks. With me being on the quiet side, we had a couple of superficial conversations and that was it … as far as I was concerned anyway. Kevin was of the same opinion but it appeared God had other plans.

Kevin later told me that after leaving Bulawayo, the crusade team travelled up to Harare. He was on stage security for one of the first outreaches up there and while he was on the platform, God impressed something on him very clearly. He told him that I was going to be his wife and that he was going to attend Bible school the following year. His initial reaction was “What! I don’t even know her!”

To cut a long story short, he decided if that was what God wanted, He would make it happen. It appeared his impression was a heavenly one and we married on the 1st February 1986. Since then we have lived in three countries and produced five wonderful children. We love each other more now than ever before.

Wow, what a wonderful story. Thanks Debbie, for sharing it with us. I reviewed Debbie’s novel Embracing Change last week. You can read it here, along with more information about Debbie Roome. What can we look forward to next from you Debbie?

I am currently working on a novel entitled Contagious Hope.

Contagious Hope is a romantic adventure set in three diverse areas of South Africa. New Zealander, Savannah, meets Blake and Pumzile at Mercy House where she is volunteering as part of a six week mission trip. She has to dig deep when confronted with AIDS, prostitution, crime and a midnight escape to a safe house. God continues to work but after dramatic events unfold in a Zulu village, one final adventure could cost her everything.

Sounds intriguing! I’m looking forward to reading it. (I noticed you released the cover for this recently, so I popped it on here too.) Thanks for sharing your time and stories with us, Debbie.
Published in: on 5th September, 2012 at 10:15 am  Comments (2)  
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Debbie Roome – Embracing Change

From the Back Cover:

Embracing Change is an inspirational story of personal challenge. When Sarah Johnson’s fiancé is killed by a hijacker in South Africa, Sarah carries out his wish to continue with their plan and moves to New Zealand, taking his ashes to scatter there. In her grief she hasn’t counted on her gradual healing coming from two unexpected sources: Jesus Christ, and His new plan for her: Joel Baxter.

But will Joel’s old flame, Mandy, succeed in destroying Sarah’s fragile progress in both her spiritual and earthly paths? And will she ever break free of the oppressive power still held over her by the hijacker who murdered her fiancé and attacked her, too? It takes a journey halfway back across the world for Sarah to face her demons, and finally forgive.

Amanda’s Review:

I found this novel intriguing, primarily because I’ve recently made some new South African friends and they way they describe South Africa is exactly how Debbie Roome portrays it. Of course, the journey of Sarah, not only to a new country, but to a new man and a whole new life was captivating as well. This novel gave me some insight into what it’s like to shift not only from one country to another, but to another culture as well.

I especially loved the way Sarah confronted her past in the end, but you’ll have to read it to find out for yourself. It brought many a tear to my eye. And Joel, was a wonderful example of Christianity, as well as being the kind of guy every woman dreams about. If you love a good romance, read Embracing Change.

About the Author:

Debbie Roome was born and raised in Zimbabwe and later spent fifteen years in South Africa. In 2006 she moved to New Zealand with her husband and five children. Writing has been her passion since the age of six and she loves to write stories that touch people’s lives and turn them towards God.

Over the years she has won many awards and trophies for her work, including placing first in the Rose & Crown Novel Writing Competition in 2009. Debbie’s writing has opened doors for public speaking and she is often asked to share her life story and her experiences as a writer.

Siri Mitchell – The Messenger

From the Back Cover:

A Riveting Tale of Faith and Romance by an Acclaimed Novelist.

Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith

…until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah’s world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him–and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God’s voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

Amanda’s Review:

One thing I love about reading historicals is the inside view you get of what it might have been like at certain times and/or events in history. The Messenger was great in that respect. Set during America’s Revolutionary War, with a Quaker for a heroine and an embittered and damaged, ex-soldier for a hero, I was intrigued from the start. How would Siri Mitchell bring two characters, who were poles apart in beliefs and nature, together by the end? How do you get a Quaker to not only become involved in the war goings-on, but act as a spy as well?

For the answers to these questions, you will have to read The Messenger yourself. What seems impossible, slowly becomes possible as the story progresses, written with a deft hand. It will suffice to say that I loved every minute of this book and found it hard to put down. If you love historical romance, you will love it too.

About the Author:

Siri Mitchell, author of She Walks in Beauty and A Heart Most Worthy, has written nine novels, two of which were named Christy Award finalists. A graduate from the University of Washington with a business degree, she has worked in many levels of government and lived on three continents. She and her family currently reside in the DC Metro Area.

For more information, go to www.sirimitchell.com

How many stars???

I have decided I don’t like the star reviewing system. There, I said it.

Image by Cecile Graat

For one, it is totally subjective. It is based not only on my opinion of what good writing is, but also on my taste of what a good book is. Therefore, a book that I totally love to bits, might be thrown across the room by someone else because they are bored with it.

And then there is another problem I have found. I don’t even trust my own star reviewing system, so why should anyone else take any notice? I’ll tell you why. I read a bunch of books, some I really love, some I shrug my shoulders at, and occasionally I put one down. I give them a number of stars accordingly to their likeability in my eyes.

However, then I read a book that blows me out of the water, steals my heart and tramples on it a bit, before putting it back in to live another day. This book should clearly be a five-star! But now does that mean I need to go back over all the other books I’ve read and lower their rating? Then people would be clear that I like this book above all others … until I find another which takes its place.

So, I’ve decided I don’t like giving stars, at all. I think if I can get away with it, I will not use them. Unfortunately, some sites require them to post a review. I suppose I will just read reviews with a suspicious eye from now on, and base my choices on the back cover blurb, not on someone else’s opinion.

What are your thoughts on reviews and giving stars?

Melanie Dickerson – The Merchant’s Daughter

From the Back Cover:

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

Amanda’s Review:

Wow! What can I say? This has to be my best read so far in 2012. The Merchant’s Daughter was, for me, a heart-pounding, toe-curling, sleep-stealing experience. I knew within a few pages of reading I did not want it to end.

Speaking as an author for a moment, this novel made me forget all about style, grammar, spelling, structure — basically everything to do with writing. I was so caught up in the story, that was all that existed. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Dickerson did an excellent job of  setting this story in a medieval time, and although she used modern dialogue, it definitely carried that Olde World feel. The Merchant’s Daughter is a re-telling of the beloved fairy tale (and my favourite of them), Beauty and the Beast. Dickerson did not let me down at all in her version of this wonderful story. I loved every minute and every detail.

If you love a fairy tale, a romance and/or a medieval story, you cannot miss this book.

About the Author:

Melanie Dickerson is the author of 2010’s The Healer’s Apprentice, her debut novel which won Best First Book at the National Readers’ Choice Awards and came in fourth at the Family Fiction Awards. The novel was also a Christy Award, Maggie Award, Carol Award and Golden Quill finalist, and earned the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit. She lives in Huntsville, Alabama, with her husband and two daughters. www.melaniedickerson.com

C J Chase: Redeeming the Rogue

From the back cover:

Her Ally… … or Her Enemy?

With a chip on her shoulder and a pistol in her pocket, Mattie Fraser comes to London determined to find answers. What fate befell her brother after he was forced to join the British navy? Military official Kit DeChambelle knows something, she’s sure. But can she trust him—or anyone— as a conspiracy of silence surrounds her?

Kit knows altogether too much—about the guilt that drives Mattie, and the peril she faces. The battle against Napoleon is over, but for Kit, peace is elusive. In helping this brave, stubborn woman, he may be endangering her further. Especially if she learns about the orders he’s received, placing them on opposite sides… …

Amanda’s review:

I had read a few good reviews about this novel and it sounded like the kind of book I love to read. So, when  a friend offered to loan it to me, I jumped at the chance. This story ticked all the boxes for me — history, romance, with a touch of mystery and suspense. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about how I could get back to it, wondering what was going to happen next.

CJ Chase took her characters to a place where I wondered how she was going to turn it around. How could Kit and Mattie find love after all they had been through, both in their pasts and their adventures together? And yet, they did, and so beautifully, it left me with a satisfied sigh.

And then there was Julian, Kit’s brother, who intrigued me no end. I discovered today, that his story will be told in CJ Chases’ next novel, The Reluctant Earl, to be released in 2013. You can be sure I will be keeping an eye out for that one! If you love historical romance, you will love Redeeming the Rogue.

For more information on CJ Chase, see www.cjchasebooks.com.

This Time for Keeps – K Dawn Byrd

From the Back Cover:

India McGuire’s peaceful life is shattered when on the night of her engagement to David Richards, she comes face to face with Chase Porter, a long lost love. India must come to terms with her overpowering feelings for Chase and choose between David, the neighbor who says he loves her, and Chase, the man who broke her heart.

Chase’s plans of leaving quietly turn to disaster when he finds that it’s impossible to disappear without seeing India one last time. Feelings begin to surface that he believed buried forever and he finds himself fighting to win her back even as David struggles to hold onto her.

India longs to follow her heart, but she’s been hurt too deeply. Who will she choose? The neighbor who can provide stability or the man she vowed to love forever who may once again heed to the call of the open road?

 

Amanda’s Review:

This Time for Keeps kept me guessing for much of the book. Just as India McGuire has an engagement ring slipped onto her finger, there is a knock at the door. The man she had loved so long ago, whom she had never gotten over, stood before her. 

As India’s thoughts vacillated between the two men, I was never quite sure who she would choose – not for a long time, anyway. That doubt kept me turning the pages along with the questions over her fiance’s character – was he really the honourable man he made himself out to be?

All in all, a great read. I recommend this book to those who love a good romance and appreciate the opportunity for second chances.

 

About the Author:

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance and romantic suspense with four books published through Desert Breeze Publishing so far. Recently, she tried her hand at young adult fiction and found that she really enjoyed writing it. Four new young adult releases are scheduled for 2012. Three books are part of a new college-age mystery/romance series, scheduled to release January, June, and December. The fourth is Shattered Identity, the sequel to Mistaken Identity, and will release in April.

K. Dawn Byrd is an avid blogger and gives away several books per week on her blog at www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com, most of which are signed by the authors. She’s also the moderator of the popular Facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128209963444.

When not reading or writing, K. Dawn Byrd enjoys spending time with her husband of 15 years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman

From the back cover:

When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-Fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy—literally—while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town—as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off—Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better…but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

Amanda’s Review:

This is the kind of historical romance I really love to read, because it has a bit of mystery thrown in. Who is doing all the robberies in Chestnut? This question kept me guessing for quite a while. The development of Jake’s and Livy’s characters as they are drawn to each other is wonderful to follow. I especially loved Pam Hillman’s use of metaphors. They added so much colour to this novel – I found myself waiting to catch the next one she used, only to be delighted again. I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical romance.

About the author:

Pam Hillman has placed in dozens of writer’s contests with six different manuscripts in the last seven years, including winning the Golden Heart, one of America’s most prestigious contests for unpublished novelists.
Born east of the Mississippi and a hundred years too late, Pam still boasts of wrangling calves, milking cows and putting up hay, first as a child growing up in Mississippi, and later with her own personal hero, Iran, on their own farm.
Pam’s love of the old west and her personal knowledge of country life brings authenticity to her work and depth to her characters, something that has been recognized many times in the industry through writer’s awards. For more information see: www.pamhillman.com.

Published in: on 14th October, 2011 at 3:27 pm  Comments (2)  

The River of Time Series – Lisa T Bergren

WATERFALL SUMMARY:

While most American teens would kill for an Italian vacation, the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. And they’re not happy to be back. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds…until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century. Gabi emerges in the middle of a dream–or nightmare?–with hot Italian knights in a fierce battle. And so begins her quest to return home…while wondering if she wants to at all.

 CASCADE SUMMARY:

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Fiorentini will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

 TORRENT SUMMARY:

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.   But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

 

AMANDA’S REVIEW

This series of young adult novels enthralled me, and even moreso my daughter, who has read them through four times each within the past two months. The action keeps you turning pages until the very end.

The thing I loved the most about these books had to do with the first person viewpoint. Because Gabi, the leading lady, was a modern teen, all of her internal dialogue was in that very modern sarcasm-filled way that young people talk these days – even though she outwardly tries to fit in with the medieval life. Phrases like “ya think,” “duh,” and “hot-as-all-get-out” are delightfully interspersed amongst all the medieval goings-on. Simply wonderful.

I recommend this book, not only to young adults, but adults as well – especially if you like a bit of history, medieval warfare, adventure, intrigue, and of course, romance. These books have it all.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over thirty books that have sold more than two million copies combined. She’s written fiction of all sorts (romance, historical, contemporary, suspense, YA), nonfiction and children’s books. She divides her time between writing, editing, traveling and co-parenting her three children (16, 13, and 8) with her husband, Tim. The Bergrens reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 http://www.LisaBergren.com (author web site)

http://www.theworldiscalling.com (the Bergrens’ travel web site)

Facebook: “Lisa Tawn Bergren” and “River of Time Series

Twitter: @LisaTBergren