Archive | October, 2014

Review: Handcarved Christmas

29 Oct

Handcarved Christmas

Handcarved Christmas by Cynthia Hickey

Laura Worth answers an advertisement for a bride and leaves Missouri to meet her groom in Montana. When she gets there, she realizes her husband-to-be, Ben Cooper, has no knowledge of having sent for her. She is devastated, even more so when she breaks a precious heirloom. Ben’s heart goes out to the beautiful woman and he marries her in answer to his mother’s dying wish. As Christmas approaches, the two wonder whether their marriage will hold the love and intimacy God intended it to have. Will Ben win the heart of his unexpected gift?

Thoughts:

Handcarved Christmas is a beautiful story, brimming with love! Cynthia Hickey deftly expresses the emotions of her characters when an unexpected gift becomes a great blessing. Touching and tender, this enchanting tale stirred my emotions and stole my heart!  I loved Handcarved Christmas and highly recommend this novella!

Purchase your copy of Handcarved Christmas from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

 

Cynthia Hickey

Multi-published and Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 260,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at http://www.cynthiahickey.com

 

GIVEAWAY!

On Monday, I shared an interview with Cynthia Hickey.  She has graciously offered a copy of A Doctor’s Heart to one lucky US reader, so be sure and leave a comment on the interview post to be entered! 

Winners!

27 Oct

An Apple for Christmas

The winner of a Kindle copy of An Apple for Christmas is:

D K Stevens

 

The Hardest Peace

The winner of a copy of The Hardest Peace is:

Judy B

 

Congratulations to the winners!  Thank you all for visiting and participating in the giveaways! 

Interview: Cynthia Hickey + GIVEAWAY

27 Oct

Cynthia Hickey

Multi-published and Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 260,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at http://www.cynthiahickey.com

Welcome to Buzzing About Books, Cynthia!

When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?

I started writing seriously in 2007 and got my first book contract. I haven’t stopped since and now have over 30 books in either ebook or print form

What is your writing process like?  Do you write daily?  Are you a plotter or a pantster? 

I am a pantser, with a very small outline. I write Monday thru Friday from 8 to 2, and sometimes on Saturday if I have a deadline approaching. This is my job, which I love, and I treat it as such.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?  Least favorite?

My favorite is finishing a new book. I would have to say marketing is my least favorite

What is one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered in your research? 

My Harvey Girl series through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents line was very interesting in the fact that these ladies of old played such a big part in taming the west. Many of these women who worked the restaurants along the Santa Fe Railroad married at the end of their six-month contract and moved west.

Please tell us about your latest release, Handcarved Christmas.  Handcarved Christmas

Laura Worth answers an advertisement for a bride and leaves Missouri to meet her groom in Montana. When she gets there, she realizes her husband-to-be, Ben Cooper, has no knowledge of having sent for her. She is devastated, even more so when she breaks a precious heirloom. Ben’s heart goes out to the beautiful woman and he marries her in answer to his mother’s dying wish. As Christmas approaches, the two wonder whether their marriage will hold the love and intimacy God intended it to have. Will Ben win the heart of his unexpected gift?

Who or what inspired this special story? 

I thought it would be a lot of fun to have two people who knew nothing about each other, form a loving marriage from a surprise Christmas gift.

In Handcarved Christmas, an unexpected gift becomes a great blessing.  Have you experienced such a gift in your life? 

Not really, but wouldn’t it be fun?

The heroine, Laura Worth, treasures a precious heirloom.  Do you treasure any special heirlooms?    

I have a large volume of Little Women with handpainted pictures within the pages. I treasured this book as a child and it holds a prominent place on my bookshelf.

What special traditions or celebrations do you and your family enjoy during the holiday season?

We hang a stocking for Jesus. Before we can dig into our stockings or open presents, we must give Jesus something only we can give Him.

Is there anything else you would like to share?  What will you be working on next? 

I am working on a new series for Harlequin Heartsong presents dealing with natural disasters in America’s history and how love finds you despite adversity.

Thank you so much, Cynthia!  Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

http://www.cynthiahickey.com

 

GIVEAWAY!

A Doctor's Heart
Cynthia has graciously offered to give away one copy of A Doctor’s Heart!  Leave a comment, including your email address, to be entered to win.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends Saturday, Nov. 1 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:
◦ Let me know you follow this blog
◦ Sign up to follow this blog if you are not a follower
◦ Share this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email

Be sure and leave a comment letting me know what you have done to earn additional entries.

Seasons of Grace Sweepstakes

24 Oct

TopbannerSeasonsofGrace

 

In bestselling author Lauraine Snelling’s new novel, To Everything A Season, the tight-knit town of Blessing, North Dakota faces change and challenge at every turn.

In the middle of the maelstrom is young Trygve Knutson. He’s devoted to his family and his community, but he sometimes dreams of other horizons–especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.

Miriam is in Blessing with one goal: to complete her training as a nurse, and get back to Chicago to support her siblings and her ailing mother.  But the town of Blessing has a way of drawing in the most reluctant visitor, and soon Miriam’s attachment to Trygve and his family has her questioning her entire future.

To celebrate the release of this heart-warming novel, Bethany House and author Lauraine Snelling are pleased to present the SEASONS OF GRACE Sweepstakes.

This sweepstakes features three special prizes, each closely connected to the book:  One prize to sweep you back into history, one prize to enable you to give to someone else, and one prize to help you celebrate a little of the story’s romance, in your own home.

HOW TO ENTER:

Go to http://www.laurainesnelling.com/html/giveaways.html and complete the entry box, between October 14 and November 3. 

This giveaway starts October 14, 2014 and ends November 3, 2014 @ 11:59 pm (PST). Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Tuesday November 4, 2014, and announced at laurainesnelling.com.

 

GRAND PRIZE:

RED RIVER RAILWAY ADVENTURE

grandprizeSeasonsofGraceIn To Everything A Season, new visitors, old friends, and important supplies are transported to town on these rails, and the arrival platform is a place of warm greetings and new beginnings.

Our Grand Prize winner will have the chance to experience some of the same warmth and excitement with an authentic taste of the golden age of railroad travel:

A $200 value Scenic Steam Train Ride for Two (Location and dates available nationwide and will be specific to the winner’s state).

SECOND PRIZE:

DINNER DELIVERY FROM INGEBORG

secondprizeSeasonsofGraceIn the story, the inventive Ingeborg Bjorklund is well-known for her cooking, bread baking, and cheese making, and now she’s pondering another new idea to help her hometown: a delivery service!

Like the hard-working people in Blessing, many of our friends and family members carry heavy workloads and health burdens, and could use a helping hand and a comforting meal.

While we may not be able to deliver Ingeborg’s cooking, our Second Prize winner will win the next best thing, to be used for themselves, or as a gift to brighten the day of a friend facing chemo, a military spouse, a lonely senior citizen, or other worthy recipient:

$175 meal delivery gift card for MagicKitchen.com – Provide a full Thanksgiving meal for 6, or an extended selection of meals for 1 or 2. Gluten free, low sodium, and dialysis-friendly meals available.

THIRD PRIZE:

STEAL AWAY DATE NIGHT PACK

thirdprizeSeasonsofGraceThe peaceful farming community of Blessing faces an unexpected threat when robbers target banks and businesses in towns nearby. As the town comes together to find a solution to the thieving problem, Ingeborg notices another kind of stealing going on: the new nurse in town, Miriam Hastings, has completely stolen the heart of her nephew, Trygve.

Soon Trygve and the dark-haired nurse with the sad eyes are regulars at the Blessing Soda Shop, sharing thoughts and dreams over Rebecca Valders’ famous fizzy concoctions.

Our Third Prize winner can share their own thoughts and dreams, and enjoy a taste of Blessing’s Soda Shop at home, with the Steal Away Date Night Pack.

This $100 value package includes: The UnGame Couples Edition, the Soda Stream Fountain Jet Home Soda Starter Kit, and the Homemade Soda Recipe Book.

 

Book Summary:

3dbookTrygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons–especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.

Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She’s been promised a position in the Chicago women’s hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.

When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve–and her chance at love–for good?

Book Info & Sample Chapter:

http://www.laurainesnelling.com/html/songofblessing.html

 

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Review: An Apple for Christmas + GIVEAWAY

22 Oct

An Apple for Christmas

An Apple for Christmas by Darlene Franklin

Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?

Thoughts:

An Apple for Christmas is a wonderful novella! Darlene Franklin has penned a story as sweet and delicious as the apples she has written about. The endearing characters delighted and charmed me, as did the engaging storyline!

I loved An Apple for Christmas and I highly recommend this novella!

 

Darlene

Connect with Darlene on her author page at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/ or find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin

Purchase your copy of An Apple for Christmas for only $0.99!

 

GIVEAWAY!

On Monday, I shared a lovely interview with Darlene Franklin.  She has graciously offered a Kindle copy of An Apple for Christmas to one lucky reader, so be sure and leave a comment to be entered! 

Commenting here and on Darlene’s interview post will earn you 2 entries in the giveaway!  The giveaway ends Saturday, October 25 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Interview: Darlene Franklin + GIVEAWAY

20 Oct

 

DarleneWelcome to Buzzing About Books, Darlene! Please share a little about yourself.

My greatest claim to fame is that I write full-time from a nursing home. I live in Oklahoma, near my son and his family, and continue my interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. I am an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. I have written over thirty books and has written more than 250 devotionals.

When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?

After I was divorced, 23 years ago now, I felt compelled to write about the things God was teaching me. Once I got into the habit of writing every day, I never stopped.

What is your writing process like? How has it changed in the last few years?

I tend to have a warm up routine. I check any recent interviews and blog spots for comments, emails to answer, sales trends to follow . . .in other words, I waste a lot of time. My computer rests on a movable table in my room. Turn on light and computer and television and get to work.

When I entered the nursing home 2 years ago, I had to adjust my daily goals. I have less time to write, and so I take longer to write a book. I do play fewer online games than I used to.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?

My favorite part? Brainstorming ideas. Seeing the finished product. The satisfaction that the process worked and I have another good book on my hands.

The least favorite is the writing itself. It is long and hard and boring. At times, it is agonizing. In the book I’m currently writing, I’m reliving my days of raising troubled teens as a divorced mother.

What is one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered while doing research?

I was in the Colorado History Museum researching the history of Italians in Colorado when I heard elephants bugling. When I tracked down the exhibit, I learned that circus elephants who spent their winter months in Denver helped with clearing the streets after the worst storm in state history. That scene made it into my story, Dressed in Scarlet.

An Apple for ChristmasPlease tell us about your latest release, An Apple for Christmas.

An Apple for Christmas is Book 4 in the Christmas Traditions series. Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?

What inspired this delightful story?

I have been writing about Vermont for years – nine books in all, from the Revolutionary War to contemporary. I don’t expect to write any more books set in Maple Notch. But I love the setting (I’m a native New England), so I looked at Vermont industries in the 1890s and was surprised to learn they were leaders in apples nationwide. So I wrote my apple story.

In An Apple for Christmas, I enjoyed the characters’ names and their meanings. How did you decide which names to use?

Choosing Mac(intosh) for the hero was the easy part. I originally chose the last name “Brown” but then decided that Cortland was a fine last name which also happened to refer to apples.

Choosing the girls’ names was harder. Today there are several apples with female names. However, few of them were in production in the 1890s. Margil and Pippin were among the few I could confirm were grown in the United States in that period.

I could nearly smell the scent of apples as I read, especially during the scene where Margil was cooking in the kitchen! What are some of your favorite apple treats?

McDonald’s apple pies. Apple pie of any kind. Apple crisp. Caramel apples, except I can’t chew them anymore.

Is there anything else you would like to share? What will you be working on next?

Thank you for asking. I am finishing up my 8th Maple Notch story, Runaway Love. It should come out from Harlequin Heartsong Presents next August. After that, I will write the final book of the series, Homecoming.

In December, my novella Miss Bliss in the Bear will appear in The Preacher’s Bride Collection. This year, people seem drawn to Colorado Melodies and The New England Romance Collection.

Thank you so much, Darlene. Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

For now, the best places are my author page at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/.

They can also find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin

An Apple for Christmas is available on Amazon

 

GIVEAWAY!

Darlene has graciously offered to give away one Kindle copy of An Apple for Christmas!  Leave a comment, including your email address, to be entered to win this delightful novella.  This giveaway ends Saturday, Oct. 25 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:
◦ Let me know you follow my blog
◦ Sign up to follow my blog if you are not a follower
◦ Share this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email

Be sure and leave a comment letting me know what you have done to earn additional entries.

The winner is …

20 Oct

Sadie's Gift

The winner of an e-copy of Sadie’s Gift is:

mommachristi319

Congratulations!

Thank you all for visiting and participating in the giveaway!  Sadie’s Gift is available for $0.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble