Suspense to Keep You Guessing: Shattered (Alaskan Courage, Book 2) by Dani Pettrey

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shattered
(Alaskan Courage, Book 2)
by Dani Pettrey
Copyright 2013
Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 9780764209833
What's the Story?
When her prodigal brother Reef's return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon's career in jeopardy.

When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself--and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada's rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.


My Thoughts:
Shattered the second book in the Alaskan courage series picks up where Submerged left off, this time with Landon and Piper in the spotlight. They both must work together in a murder investigation to help clear Piper's brother, Reef's of suspicion. Landon and Piper grow closer even as the danger escalates and threatens to separate them permanently. Not only do they find the real murder but they discover just how deep their love for each other goes.

Every second of their story will have you on the edge of your seat. It was all over the place, but since it's a suspense novel it worked. The story zigged when I thought it was going to zag. I had no clue who the killer was going to be the entire time I was reading and the chemistry between Landon and Piper sizzled as I knew it would from having read Submerged. This story definitely did not disappoint which is surprising since most sophomore books...well... aren't that impressive. Pettrey definitely has a talent for mystery and intrigue. Get that fire extinguisher out because there are sparks galore in this one ladies and gentlemen.

Shattered is a book I can safely recommend to everyone who enjoys Christian fiction. Even if you're not a fan of suspense you should probably give this one a try just because the romance is so incredibly sweet. Dani Pettrey is most definitely a must-read author in the fiction genre.


My review of Submerged.

To learn more about Dani visit HER WEBSITE, follow her on Pinterest or on Facebook.

~ My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ~

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I am an influencer for the author but I would not have posted this review if I could truthfully say I enjoyed the book. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 

Happy Reading!


Cover Love: Love's Awakening (The Ballantyne Legacy, Book 2) by Laura Frantz

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I just came from Facebook to post how excited I am about the cover for Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz! Laura is one of my all-time favorite writers so anytime there's the slightest detail about any of her upcoming books released I get a little excited... ohhh what am I saying? I get REALLY excited! To share in the excitement I'm posting the new cover and blurb for Love's Awakening, the next book in the Ballantyne Legacy. I'd love your thoughts on the cover. Personally, it's my fave so far because I'm in love with the mint green dress and Ellie looks like the twin of one of my favorite bloggers! I love finding the real-life "twins", be they people I know or celebrities, who match up with characters on the covers of my favorite novels. How 'bout you?

Without further ado here's the beautiful cover and a short blurb!

Love's Awakening
(The Ballantyne Legacy Book 2)
Copyright 2013
Revell Publishers:
ISBN: 9780800720421


Pre-order from Amazon:
Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, Ellie finds that her parents are away on a long trip and her siblings don't seem to want her to stay. When she opens a day school for young ladies, she begins tutoring the incorrigible daughter of the enemy Turlock clan. The Turlocks are slaveholders and whiskey magnates, envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly tangled with the Turlocks, she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future--and Jack Turlock, a young man striving to free himself from his family's violent legacy. How can she betray her family and side with the enemy? And will Jack ever allow her into his world?

Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love, loyalty, and the makings of a legacy. With rich descriptions of the people who settled and civilized a wild landscape, Frantz weaves a tapestry of characters and places that stick with the reader long after they turn the last page.

Be sure to join Laura on her WEBSITE HERE and congratulate her on the gorgeous, stunning, elegant cover for Love's Awakening.


Happy Reading!


January Clash Winner and Giveaway!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The Winner of Clash of the Titles' 
January New Release Clash is:


Mystery of the Heart by Jillian Kent

A heartfelt congratulations to Jillian!
***

Announcement!
In celebration of winning the Clash of the Titles, Jillian Kent will be offering a giveaway at her blog beginning Tuesday, February 26th and running through Saturday, March 2nd. Winners will be announced on Sunday, March 3rd. Please follow this link ( http://jilliankent.blogspot.com/ ) beginning Tuesday for details.
***

COTT sends out a special thank-you to the following authors for taking part in this fun week:

Rhonda Gibson, author of Groom by Arrangement
and
Pam Hillman, Author of Claiming Mariah

ABOUT Mystery of the Heart - The Ravensmoore Chronicles :
Lord Eden is intrigued by Lady Mercy Grayson’s secret, but how can he hope to gain her heart if he is forced to betray her?

Lady Mercy Grayson longs to be a physician like her older brother, Lord Ravensmoore. However, society would never tolerate a female physician, let alone one who is a noblewoman. So Mercy takes matters into her own hands, disguising herself as a man to get through medical school. But when a colleague grows suspicious, Mercy is in danger of losing more than her dreams.

Returning home from a secret voyage for the regent, Lord Eden agrees to give Mercy passage back to London. As their attraction to each other grows, they face circumstances, decisions, and treachery that could forever change the course of their lives.


WHAT VOTERS HAD TO SAY ABOUT "Mystery of the Heart."

*Beautiful mystery ! is a love inspirational and encouragement. Thank you.
*It's wonderful to know there are books out there that honour the Lord without being dull and boring. Keep up the good works.
*I love the premise behind Mystery of the Heart. Can't wait to read it!
*I loved the first two books in this series and am looking forward to reading Mystery of the Heart.
*I read the other two Ravensmoore books and couldn't wait for the third book to come out. I love Jillian Kent's books. She has a great way of finding a bend of romance, intrigue and always has an ending that you don't expect.

ABOUT the author, Jillian Kent’s first novel in The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Secrets of the Heart, debuted in 2011 and held readers captive winning four stars from Romantic Times and first place in the 2012 Wisconsin RWA Write Touch Contest. Also, in 2012, Chameleon, the second book in the series found its way into readers hands and hearts with an, “I dare you to solve the ending,” challenge from the author. Mystery of the Heart, book three in the series is already grabbing the attention of readers who love a  romantic adventure.

Secrets of the Heart
"A feast for fans of historical romance, and a superb debut from Jillian Kent."
—James Scott Bell, author of Try Darkness and Presumed Guilty

A delicious Regency House of mirrors, Jillian Kent’s Chameleon is an enthralling mix of Sherlock Holmes meets Jane Austen.  —Julie Lessman, author of Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series.

"Jillian Kent's, Mystery Of The Heart, is a riveting tale of intrigue, courage, romance and faith. I was hooked from the first page, when the heroine washes up upon the shores of Regency England half-drowned, only to be taken captive by the mysterious Lord Eden. This is a story to be savored and shared."
- Serena Miller, author of, The Measure of Katie Calloway, 2012 Rita Award for Best Inspirational Romance.

You can find Jill at all of these places.

www.jilliankent.com

http://jilliankent.blogspot.com/
                     
@JillKentAuthor  Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/JillianKent

Happy Reading!



Romance and Mystery with COTT: January New Releases

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Until Wednesday, February 20th, at midnight, Clash of the Titles will be featuring three, brand spanking new inspirational novels. Each of the below novels has been on bookstore shelves for less than a month. Which one is calling your name? Take a moment to browse, then, using the voting box below, (sorry, voting is closed now) let us know which you're most likely to read first. Happy browsing!

Groom By Arrangement by Rhonda Gibson
 
Eliza Kelly thought her humiliation was complete when she identified the wrong train passenger as her mail-order groom. Jackson wonders if Eliza's mistake was his good fortune, between caring for an orphaned youngster and protecting Eliza, Jackson feels whole again, if only he can persuade Eliza to marry him, her reputation will be saved…and so will their long-buried dreams of forging a real family.

Mystery of the Heart by Jillian Kent


Lady Mercy Grayson longs to be a physician like her older brother, however, society would never tolerate a female physician, so Mercy takes matters into her own hands, disguising herself as a man to get through medical school. Lord Eden is intrigued by Lady Mercy Grayson’s secret, but how can he hope to gain her heart if he is forced to betray her?

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold.

Happy Reading!


Blog Tour + Giveaway: To Trust a Thief by Michelle McLean

To Trust a Thief (E-book)
by Michelle McLean
Copyright 2013
Entangled Publishing
ISBN: 9781622668663
What's the Story?
Minuette Sinclair's parents are in trouble and her fake fiancé is too. A legendary lost necklace might be their salvation, and Min is determined to find it and use it to buy her family and fiancé out of their misfortunes. Master thief Bryant Westley is also looking for the fabled necklace. He knows Min's got information he can use so he poses as her dance instructor and tries to seduce it from her. What he doesn't count on are his feelings for her. He offers to partner up in the search - even though she is a distraction he can't afford. Things become more complicated when Min realizes that her convenient engagement means more to her fake fiancé than her and that she's fallen in love with Bryant. Bryant realizes that he can't double cross the young lady he's come to love. Can they find the necklace together and admit their love before it's too late?


My Thoughts:
It's not often that I read a general market romance but every so often one catches my eye and I grab it. To Trust a Thief by Michelle McLean is one of those books that can be enjoyed by almost anyone who likes a bit of mystery mixed in with their light-hearted love stories. If all of McLean's books are this interesting I will definitely be a fan for life.

Minuette "Min" Sinclair is stuck. In order to help her family escape complete ruin she must find a family heirloom rumored to be worth thousands of pounds. Finding the ornate necklace is a needle in a haystack but that isn't Min's biggest problem. Bryant Westley, a rogue and a thief, also is searching for the hidden treasure and knows that Min is the "enemy". Working together to see what each is up to seems to be the only plan that works for  both Min and Bryant. Little do they know that while hunting for treasure they will find true love.

While a few part of the story frustrated me including some descriptors that didn't belong in the 19th century I really enjoyed this book. I must say that I was also a little upset when one of the main characters who I really liked was killed off. If the author was going for surprise she definitely pulled that off! I can't remember the last time a general market romance had me so emotional over a character! Min is your traditional spunky heroine and Bryant is ever the rascally hero but the story was interesting, intriguing and definitely worth keeping and re-reading on a lazy day.

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~

Content Note:  Although this looks like a "bodice ripper" it's not. No sex. Some mild language and violence.

**********

About Michelle:
 Michelle McLean is the author of historical and paranormal novels, including TO TRUST A THIEF (Entangled Scandalous Jan 2013), a historical trilogy, BLOOD BLADE SISTERS (Entangled Scandalous 2013), and a zombie fairy tale retelling WISH UPON A STAR (Entangled Ever After Oct 2013). She is also the author of the educational non-fiction book HOMEWORK HELPERS: ESSAYS AND TERM PAPERS.

Michelle has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and tends to be a bit of an overly organized mess with an insatiable love of books and more weird quirks than you can shake a stick at. She is also a contributor on The Naked Hero, and the Operation Awesome, Scene 13, and Scandalous book blogs as well as maintaining her personal blog.

If she's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. Michelle resides in PA with her husband and two young children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.

Michelle’s Links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/michellemclean
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michelle.m.mclean
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4253087.Michelle_McLean
Website/Blogs: http://www.authormichellemclean.com
http://thenakedhero.com/
http://operationawesome6.blogspot.com/
On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17267147-to-trust-a-thief

Buy Links: 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/To-Trust-A-Thief-ebook/dp/B00BFQDH8A/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1358727396&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-trust-a-thief-michelle-mclean/ 1045656940?ean=2940016034812 Books on Board: http://www.booksonboard.com/index.php? BODY=viewbook&BOOK=1457235&TITLE=To+Trust+a+Thief&AUTHOR=Michelle +McLean

Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/to-trust-a-thief/id595225849?mt=11

Praise for TO TRUST A THIEF: 
“This book has everything--chills, mystery, romance, and heartbreak. I loved every single page.” –Cole Gibsen, author of KATANA

“Michelle McLean's debut historical romance is a wonderful read. Filled with romance, mystery, intrigue and characters I could really care about, this is a fun read.” – Christine Fonseca, author of the Lacrimosa trilogy

**********

GIVEAWAY:
To enter to win an e-book copy of To Trust a Thief just leave a comment on this review with your email address disguised something like this (steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com. Book will be sent to winner from publisher. I am not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes. US residents only. Ages 18 years + . Contest closes for entry@ 11:59pm EST, February 28, 2013. Winner will be selected using random.org and notified via email on or around March 1, 2013. Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize from date notification email is sent or another winner will be drawn.

WINNER: Amy R.S.


Happy Reading!



*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 




Fun, Light-hearted Fiction: Picture Perfect (Weddings By Design, Book 1) by Janice Thompson

Monday, February 18, 2013

Picture Perfect
(Weddings by Design, Book 1)
by Janice Thompson
Copyright 2013
Revell Books
9780800721527
The Story? 
She’s trying to focus on her future. How can one man make everything feel so . . . fuzzy?

Hannah McDermott has a successful photography studio. She’ll soon be featured in Texas Bride magazine. And she has a celebrity client whose Galveston ceremony will be her ticket to the top spot on wedding coordinator Bella Neeley’s list of recommended photographers. But it could all come crashing down around her because of one man: archrival and photographer extraordinaire Drew Kincaid.

As the competition between Hannah and Drew heats up, Hannah is surprised to find that it’s not the only thing getting more intense. She can’t get the handsome man out of her thoughts-or even out of her line of sight-and the job of her dreams is turning into a nightmare. Will everything she’s worked for slip out of her hands? And can she see past her pride to find a picture-perfect love?

With contagious humor and a cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives you crazy bridal-business drama, sweet romance, and a satisfying dose of laughter.


My Thoughts:
Ever since I read the Weddings by Bella series many moons ago I've been in love with the Rossi clan and I was sad to see those characters go by the end of book 3. I am so excited that Janice Thompson has decided to bring them back in this brand new series. While they don't have quite as much "page time" in this series the fun, quirky Italian family is back and they're better than ever! Along with some old familiar faces this book introduces us to a new face, Hannah McDermott, Irish woman and photographer extraordinaire as well as a few others. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that D. J. Neeley the hunky cowboy from the first series makes a cameo BUT he's no longer the only hunk on the scene. Drew Kincaid, Hannah's gorgeous; oh-so-sweet competition will steal your heart. This series is off to a great start, although reading all these books where food is such a big part of the story is not going to be good for my waistline. Hannah, her family along with Drew and others are entertaining and fun. Hannah's struggle with having to be #1 in everything from high school till adulthood but being denied it by a nemesis is something that we can all relate to -- think a toned down, grown-up Mean Girls. Picture Perfect has it all, some laugh-out-loud moments and that curl-your-toes romance. I was so pleased with this story and hope that the next book will be just as cute!

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~


“Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

To learn more about Janice and her books visit her website: http://janiceathompson.com/blog/




*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 

Happy Reading!

Valentine's Day Greetings + 2 Books You Might Want to Read

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hi all, since it's almost 11pm here chances are you've already enjoyed a night out with your sweetie or if you're a single gal like me, you're ready for a night in with one or two of your book boyfriends! Since I don't have a someone special right now I thought I'd treat myself to a day of rest and relaxation with my Kindle. Boy, did I get a lot accomplished! I read two books straight through with a break in between for some sustenance (Nutella toast for lunch & sub sandwich and a slice of DQ ice cream cake for dinner). Needless to say I'm in pain now but both books were worth a little eye discomfort. So, if you're looking for a way to unwind after a night out on the town or you're just snuggling under the covers by yourself please check out the reviews below and make sure you read the fine print! Both books are on sale today only (Feb. 14, 2013) for $0.99 each!

Fine print:
On Sale!

$0.99
February 14, 2013
only.
Bon Appetit (French Twist, Book 2) by Sandra Byrd

Book Two in the French Twist Series: Pastries, Paris and romance - Lexi's adventure has just begun!

Lexi Stuart is risking it all. Saying au revoir to the security of home, her job, and could be boyfriend Dan, Lexi embarks on a culinary adventure in France to fulfill her life dream of becoming a pastry chef.

As she settles into her new home in the village of Presque le Chateau to study and work in a local bakery, her twenty-something optimism meets resistance in the seemingly crusty nature of the people and culture around her. Determined to gain her footing, she finds a church, meets a new friend, and makes the acquaintance of a child named Celine–as well as Celine’s attractive, widowed father, Philippe. Even Patricia, the gruff pastry cook, shows a softer side as she mentors Lexi in the art of baking.

As Lexi lives her dream, the only thing she has to do is choose from the array in life’s patisserie display window: her familiar home, friends, and family in Seattle or her new life in France. Lexi discovers that as she trusts herself and leans more on God the choices become a little clearer– and making them, well, c’est la vie!


My Thoughts:
Following on the heels of Let Them Eat Cake, Book 2 in the French Twist series Bon Appetit is just as good--if not better! Picking up almost immediately where Let Them Eat Cake leaves off we once again follow Lexi, this time in France. If you're like me you expect a book set near Paris to be fun and this book definitely is. It still has that chick lit feel so there isn't loads of romance. I could definitely see the change in Lexi which is must in a series that follows a character book to book. I love to see characters grow and evolve, if they don't things getting rather boring rather quickly. The relationships that Lexi establishes are intriguing to say the least. I can honestly say I have no idea if Lexi is ever going to find Prince Charming. Unpredictability isn't something you come across everyday when reading Christian fiction so that's why I adored this book!

****************

Piece de Resistance (French Twist, Book 3) by Sandra Byrd

Fine print:
On Sale

$0.99
February 14, 2013
Only.
Book Three in the French Twist Series. 

Having earned her chef’s hat, Lexi Stuart bids au revoir to her glamorous and deliciously satisfying pastry mentorship outside of Paris and returns to her hometown of Seattle, Washington. There, she finds life unexpectedly complicated.

She’s put in charge of a high-end catering bakery called Bijoux, which should be her dream job, but there’s a catch: She has to make this lavish bakery into a successful business in just a few, short months, which will require more than her ability to make an amazing wedding cake. In over her head and at a loss for creative marketing ideas, Lexi isn’t sure what the recipe for success needs to be.

Stir in a complicated relationship with her French beau Philippe and his daughter, Celine, then add a dash of romance with down-to-earth lawyer Dan, and life suddenly contains more ooh la la than Lexi can handle.

With the fate of her career and her love life hanging by a thread, the phrase “piece of cake” has never been more daunting. Lexi learns that she must trust the dreams in her heart as well as the God who put them there.


My Thoughts:
I have two words for this series--tres magnifique! Piece de Resistance is the icing on the cake of the French Twist series. In the style of the first two books Sandra Byrd weaves a tale that's both uplifting and inspirational while keeping a fun, and sometimes flirty, feel. Having followed Lexi through 2 books you would think you would be able to see things coming but still I was more than 1/3 of the way through the story before I could decide whether Lexi would choose bachelor #1 or bachelor #2. I loved how Ms. Byrd kept me guessing and that both men were extremely likable characters. It is definitely more of a romance than Let Them Eat Cake or Bon Appetit but not unrealistically so so it still maintained the true-to-life feel. I loved this book and series but be warned, you may find yourself craving petits fours or men who wear suspenders after reading. ;-)

From Pinterest via BBC



*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher/author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*


Happy Reading!


Fun Christian Chick Lit: Let Them Eat Cake (French Twist, Book 1) by Sandra Byrd

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake
(French Twist, Book 1)
by Sandra Byrd
Copyright 2012
Kindle E-Book
What's it about?
Book One in the French Twist Series. 

Lexi Stuart is at a critical crossroads. She’s done with college but still living at home, ready to launch a career but unable to find a job, and solidly stalled between boyfriends.

When a lighthearted conversation in French with the manager of her favorite bakery turns into a job offer, Lexi accepts. But the actual glamour is minimal: the pay is less than generous, her co-workers are skeptical, her bank account remains vertically-challenged, and her parents are perpetually disappointed. Her only comfort comes from the flirtatious baker she has her eye–but even may not be who he seems to be!

So when a handsome young executive dashes into the bakery to pick up his high profile company’s special order for an important meeting–an order Lexi has flubbed–she loses her compulsion to please. Something inside Lexi clicks. Laissez la révolution commencer! Let the revolution begin! Instead of trying to fulfill everyone else’s expectations for her life, Lexi embarks on an adventure in trusting herself and her God with her future–très bon!


My Thoughts:
I love sweets so when I first heard about this French Twist series a few years ago I was immediately intrigued. I'm so happy to have finally had the chance to read the first book, Let Them Eat Cake. Woven into the story are well-placed recipes for sweets and treats like coconut cake and "Boyfriend Bait" and that's not good if you're easily tempted to try these mouth-watering delights for yourself as I am! Reader beware, this book will not help your waistline one bit! Lexi is definitely a talent in the kitchen and I love how it's reflected with the inserted recipes.

I loved Lexi's journey from being stuck in a cubicle, to perfecting her recipes, to dreaming about a job in Paris.  Even though it's Christian fiction this very much reminds me of the film Sabrina. If there's any romance for Lexi as it looks like there's going to be, hopefully it's just as sigh worthy as one of my favorite classic films.

Let Them Eat Cake ends with quite the cliffhanger. It will be interesting to see just how Lexi adjusts to her new life and how she copes away from her family and new found friends. Trust me, if you enjoyed her story as much as I did you will want to have book 2, Bon Appetit on hand to read immediately. Let Them Eat Cake is free on Kindle now through February 14, 2013, so if you want to take a chance on this great book you can!

 ~ My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ~


Meet the author:
After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I, will publish in April, 2013. 

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens. 

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra has also published many nonfiction articles and books. She is also passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more, or to invite Sandra to your bookclub via Skype. 

Connect with Sandra on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sandrabyrd 

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*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher/author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*


Happy Reading!


Litfuse Tour & Review: Safe in His Arms (Under Texas Stars, Book 2) by Colleen Coble

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Safe in His Arms
(Under Texas Stars, Book 2)
by Colleen Coble
Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN: 9781595549143
What's the story?
Sometimes it takes a stranger to see you as you really are.

Under Texas Stars, Book 2

Born and raised on sprawling Texas land, Margaret O’Brien prides herself on her competence as a rancher. But her father believes she’s made for more than just dawn-to-dusk work. He wants her to have the love of a good man, to raise children, to build a life. But Margaret gave up such dreams years ago. She’s convinced no man would have her, that the ranch is her life now.

So when Margaret’s father hires Daniel Cutler as a new foreman, she’s frustrated and suspicious. Then an overheard conversation links him with a gang of bank robbers, and she’s downright worried. Daniel swears he’s not involved, but Margaret’s not convinced. She knows the man still has secrets. But would a criminal be so kind and talk so convincingly of his faith? As a series of tragic “accidents” threatens all she holds dear, Margaret must decide what to trust: her own ears, her best judgment . . . or what her heart keeps telling her.


My Thoughts:
It's been a while since I read the original version of this book when it was first published as Red River Bride as part of the Heartsong Presents line and back then it was one of my favorite romances. After having read the rewrite of the first book in the series Blue Moon Promise, I was extremely excited to get my hands on this book. I'm so glad to have read it even though it didn't appeal to me as much as when I read it the first time all those years ago. It still had that fairy tale romance feel where the plain Jane wins the affections of a handsome cowboy which I happen to love but there was just too much going on for me to say I loved the book. There were some randomly placed events towards the beginning of the book that came out of nowhere and didn't really add to the overall story and then it seemed like the story didn't want to end! There were not one or two but multiple too-hard-to-believe events taking place in a short amount of time. I do still like the story and I absolutely adore Margaret but in this case I think the shorter, original story is my favorite. If there are to be more rewrites I'll probably check them out since they are quick, light reads that I can flip through in a few hours. Hopefully they won't be as chaotic as this was! I don't know if I can handle more births, deaths, tornadoes and robberies! Still, this has all the classic Colleen Coble story elements of a bit of mystery thrown in with the romance, likeable characters and a great setting so if you're a fan of this author I say give this book a try.

~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~

See what others are saying about the book HERE.


Meet the author:
Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

Visit Colleen at www.colleencoble.com

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.* 


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Clash of the Titles: "The Q Manifesto" --A Christian Thriller You Don't Want to Miss!

Monday, February 11, 2013



Clash of the Titles presents...


 The Q Manifesto by Alan Schleimer.

A new Dead Sea Scroll stuns the world. Is it a forgery or the end of Christianity?

Not long ago, experts announced that an ancient papyrus referred to Jesus Christ as having a wife. It caused quite a stir before being quickly discredited. But what if an even more explosive papyrus was found that showed the gospels were faked and that document passed every modern test for legitimacy? That is the premise for The Q Manifesto. 

The story centers on Jay Hunt, who quit a lucrative Wall Street career to become a backcountry tour guide. Soon after, an ancient manuscript is uncovered that reveals the Gospels were an orchestrated fiction. Though its revelation stuns the world, Jay ignores it until his father, a retired Dead Sea Scrolls expert, gets in over his head investigating the scroll. Chased by assassins, Jay soon learns that the world’s only chance to survive Armageddon depends on him deciphering a cryptic trail of clues in his quest for the truth.


An Unlikely Prospect as an Author
Alan Schleimer wasn’t always a writer. In fact, he says that he was the least likely candidate to become a published author. About ten years ago, he was enjoying a career in the corporate world. The former energy trader and business development professional with a finance MBA claims he struggled writing a two-paragraph business letter. “I kept getting these cool ideas for a book. I thought some day, if I ever retired, I would write it. Well, I noticed that these ideas came more frequently while I was spending my quiet time meditating. Eventually, I became convinced it was a calling from God, and I began writing full-time. The story that started it all was a Christian fiction fantasy. It was a great learning process filled with numerous rookie mistakes. I took writing classes and attended writing conferences until deciding to write the kind of fiction I liked to read—mystery/suspense/thrillers.”

Police Academy
Besides studying writing, Alan is a graduate of Sugar Land’s Citizen Police Academy. He describes it as “A great program for anyone, but it was an ideal introduction for me to police procedures. You can read about police work, but the Academy brings to life the daily risks and snap judgments police officers must make to keep us safe.” Besides his Academy participation, he has studied martial arts, finance, and what he calls the divine source of all truth—the Bible.

Evidence that the Police Academy and other studies have enriched Alan’s writing is reflected in one reader’s review, which praised it as a “magnificent debut whose stunning depths, pivotal settings and tangible descriptions manifested themselves in imagery akin to an HDTV movie.” His storyline was cited as a “masterfully crafted, full-immersion thriller written with intelligence, heart and virtue, brilliantly plotted, and played out at machine gun pace.”  Pleased that his book is categorized as Christian fiction, Alan prefers to think of it as a family-friendly wild ride with a message of hope and a challenge to anyone’s faith.


Awards
The Q Manifesto was named the top inspirational/religious novel of 2012 by the national website Daily Cheap Reads. Previously the story garnered the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis award in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre. Schleimer’s debut novel is a suspense thriller and has been compared favorably to Dan Brown’s "Da Vinci Code" for its masterfully-executed twists and turns. 


Connect with Alan
The Q Manifesto is available as an eBook at Amazon and by month’s end at most online booksellers in a print edition. You can connect with Alan through his website www.alanschleimer.com and “Like” him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlanSchleimer.Author.



April W Gardner, award-winning author www.aprilwgardner.com Clash of the Titles

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Celebrate Valentine's Day with a Free Book + Divine Delights Giveaway!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

If you're like me you plan to spend Valentine's Day at home reading but even if you do have plans with that special someone you can still take advantage of a great Kindle freebie February 10 - 14th. Sandra Byrd is offering the first book in her romantic French Twist series, Let Them Eat Cake, free on Amazon! Even if you don't have a Kindle e-reader you can download the free Kindle App on your computer and take advantage of this great deal! If you've already read Let Them Eat Cake and enjoyed it you can pick up books 2 and 3, Bon Appetit and Piece de Resistance, for a special price of $0.99 each -- that's a $4 savings if you buy both books! So even if you don't have a Valentine's Day sweetie you can still enjoy some romance in the form of a good book. Look for my reviews of all 3 books throughout the week right here on this blog. Don't forget to "Like" the books on Amazon!


FREE on February 10 - 14, 2013



SALE: $0.99 on February 10 - 14, 2013



SALE: $0.99 on February 10 - 14, 2013

Visit Sandra on her website!

GIVEAWAY BONUS:
If you grab the button (located on the left sidebar of this blog) for your website, follow Sandra (@SandraByrd) and spread the word on Twitter, or Facebook about the Let Them Eat Cake Valentine's Promotion by February 14, you can enter to win a delicious petits fours prize from Sandra Byrd and Divine Delights. The Rafflecopter below has all the details and rules. Giveaway open to US residents only.





a Rafflecopter giveaway






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COTT's December Release Champ

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The Champion of the December New Releases Clash is:

A Promise to Protect, by Liz Johnson




Her novel takes the honors but it went up against some formidable competitors:
The Song of the Tree, Lotis Key

Mind of Her Own, Diana Brandmeyer

Counterfeit Cowboy, Lacy Williams

The Knitting Fairy, Jaime Marsman
Thanks to all for showing up and playing with COTT this week. The voting was amazingly close for a few days, and we had well over 200 voters. Congratulations to our readers and supporters!
A few of the comments from the survey say:

I absolutely love inspirational fiction. Thank you all for your books... I seem to always find one that speaks to my needs.

Keep on creating and inspiring.



ALL of the titles sound fabulous! It was a tough decision. Thank you for writing such awesome books!


Anything about our Seals is a definite buy!

Sometimes it seems unfair to have to choose. All the books look interesting. But I picked the one that I would pick up first.

What a wonderful list of books! Great job, everyone!

The books all look very interesting and well worth checking out. It was very difficult making a choice and all 5 authors should be encouraged for doing a great job.

Liz Johnson is one of my favorite authors. I love how she develops her characters in such a way that I not only want to know what happens in the story but I am emotionally invested in the characters.


About the Book:
Navy SEAL Matt Waterstone knows about keeping people safe. When his best friend’s sister is attacked, Matt promises no harm will come to Ashley Sawyer–not on his watch. But Matt’s not the only protective one. Ashley will do anything to safeguard the residents of the battered women’s shelter she runs. She’s sure she can handle the threats she gets in return. What she can’t handle is the way Matt scales the walls around her heart. Yet when she falls prey to a crime web more sinister than she’d realized, trusting Matt could be the only way to survive.
Buy the book on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble

About the Author:
Liz Johnson graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations and works as an editorial and marketing manager at a Christian publisher. She is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Promise to Protect is her fourth novel with Love Inspired Suspense. Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her two nephews and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings.

Keep up with Liz's adventures in writing at www.lizjohnsonbooks.com, Twitter @LizJohnsonBooks, or http://www.Facebook.com/LizJohnsonBooks.

Upcoming book news: Ashley's brother, Tristan, gets his own story in SEAL Under Siege, which will release in September of this year.

Happy Reading!



Super Bowl Ads: 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chances are that you've all seen or at least heard of some of the best, most popular Super Bowl ads by now. I don't know about you but I know they're the only reason why I watched the big game last night. I couldn't have cared less if the Ravens or the 49ers won but the commercials were worth watching. Some of the tweets from companies like Nabisco (Oreo) and State Farm taking advantage of the "Super Bowl Black Out" were amusing too. All in all it was worth spending a Sunday watching a team I loathe (come on I'm a Steelers fan, did you really think I could root for the Ravens?) just to get a few good laughs or in a couple cases a good cry. Some were cringe-worthy, here's looking at you GoDaddy and Beck's Sapphire. Bleh. Below are my favorites. What did you think of the ads? Did any of your favorites make the list?

These are the ones that got the belly laughs at my house...

Doritos- Goat 4 Sale
(I had nightmares about a screaming goat.)




Toyota- Wish Granted
(Chocolate IV anyone? Sign me up!)




Oreo- Whisper Fight
(Double Stuf are the only Oreos I eat so creme gets my vote!)




Got Milk?
(Two words -- The Rock!)




Wonderful Pistachios
(The commercial was just plain nuts.... Yes, I went there.)





My two favorite 2013 ads didn't make me laugh but tugged at the ol' heartstrings...Kleenex please!

Jeep/ USO- Whole Again
(Thank you servicemen and women!)




Budweiser- The Clydesdales Brotherhood
(Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.)




Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite movie trailer too, Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Benedict Cumberbatch. *le sigh*





Delicious December New Releases--Clash in the New Year with COTT!

Friday, February 1, 2013


Over the following week, Clash of the Titles is featuring five, brand spanking new inspirational novels. Each of the below novels has been on book store shelves for about a month; each is a slightly different genre. Which one calls you? Come back and see which book is this month's champion!

The Song of the Tree by Lotis Key





Despite promises of eternal joy given by the Tree of Life, a privileged young woman loses everything in a brutal war. Her husband disappears; her family is murdered; her home is burned to the ground.


Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer





 Who knew making dinner could change your life? Louisa Copeland certainly didn’t.



Counterfeit Cowboy  by Lacy Williams





From the moment Jesse Baker collides with Erin O'Grady on a Boston train platform, he faces a dilemma. For once, Jesse doesn't want to lie about who and what he is.



A Promise to Protect  by Liz Johnson






When his best friend's sister is attacked, Navy SEAL Matt Waterston promises no harm will come to Ashley Sawyer—not on his watch. Threats are a regular part of Ashley's life as the director of a battered women's shelter, but when she and Matt uncover a crime ring more sinister than anyone imagined, trusting Matt could be the only way to survive.



The Knitting Fairy by Jaime Marsman


Librarian Molly Stevenson rather expected her new job at Crabapple Yarns to be deadly boring… but somehow she just didn’t expect the “deadly” part to be quite so literal. After all, what could possibly be more sweet and innocent than a yarn store and a bunch of ladies knitting?

***SORRY, VOTING IS NOW CLOSED***

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Happy Reading!