Archive | March, 2015

Interview: Debbie Lynne Costello + GIVEAWAY

30 Mar

Debbie Lynne- Author pageWelcome to Buzzing About Books, Debbie Lynne!  Please share a little about yourself.

I live in upstate South Carolina with my very own hero who I have been married to for almost 35 years. Wow! I can’t believe that number because I feel like I should only be 35. I must have been a child bride.  We have four children and a daughter-in-law who we love dearly, along with 2 awesome grandchildren. I have raised Shelties for almost 20 years. We own 2 Arabian horses and 2 Tennessee Walkers, a miniature donkey, German Shepherd, and two Shelties. Riding horses is a time when hubby and I get to spend some fun time together. We usually get about 3 rides in a week. I love the three R’s. Reading, Writing, and Riding.

Debbie Lynne Collage

When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?

I thought to pursue writing when I went to college for journalism. But that wasn’t in God’s plan. I married my high school sweetheart who was in the Air Force and then 15 months later we started our family. Then about 8 years ago, my kids were grown or teenagers and I decided to start my career.

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

Honestly, my writing schedule used to be clockwork but then life happened with sick parents, deaths, grandchildren, and other things and I’ve had to rearrange my priorities. I am a pantster! Although, I am trying to be better about doing some plotting. My plotting usually comes half way through my story.

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

My favorite part is writing the last chapters! They are so much fun. My least favorite, Hmmmm, can I call marketing part of the writing process?  LOL!

DebbieCostello_SwordOfForgiveness_800px

Please tell us about your debut novel, Sword of Forgiveness.

It is set in late 14th century England. A young woman who is relieved that her cruel father has died has no desire to marry again and get treated as chattel. She wants to live out her days as a single woman and care for the people of her father’s castle. When she receives a note from the king she realizes her dream of remaining single is crumbling before her. But to make matters worse when she meets her husband-to-be he accuses her and her household of killing his parents. Brithwin must prove her innocence or she just may face a fate worse than death.

What inspired this medieval romance?

Actually it was my husband who said to me, “You should write a book.”  That inspired me.

In researching this early time period, what was one of the most interesting things you discovered? 

Debbie Lynne- 21797I think one of the things I never expected was that some castles had water closets. I never thought of medieval time period as being advanced enough to have indoor plumbing. Okay, plumbing might be a little far-fetched but still…

Did you encounter any surprises while you were writing Sword of Forgiveness?

Writing characters is a funny thing. Maybe that’s why they are called characters, because they are always acting out! I will have a plan for my character and when I start writing it he just won’t do what he is supposed to do. He wants to do something else. It’s like these people we create become alive in our heads! I know! Scary. Huh?

Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share?

One of my favorite scenes is shortly after Royce and Brithwin meet and they very much at odds with each other. Brithwin has her bath water drawn and she goes upstairs to discover that Royce has stolen her bath.

Sword of Forgiveness is such a complex story with so many beautiful threads.  Will you tell us a bit about the spiritual thread in the story?

The spiritual thread is Forgiveness. Sword of Forgiveness has 3 different types of forgiveness in it. It deals with forgiving others who have hurt you, forgiving yourself for things you have done in your past, and accepting God’s forgiveness.

What do you hope readers will take away from this story?

I think every person at some point in their life has struggled with some type of forgiveness. My hope is that somehow Sword of Forgiveness will touch people’s lives that are struggling with some type of forgiveness.

What will you be working on next?

I have 2 things on the horizon. I have a 19th century story set in Charleston, South Carolina with Royce and Brithwin’s many times great-grandson as the hero. Royce and Brithwin’s son ends up marrying a lass who lives on the borderlands. He settles in Scotland with his wife. Duncan is a direct descendant from him. That story should be out in 3 to 4 months. I’m also writing the sequel to Sword of Forgiveness. The working title right now is Sword of Truth/Trust/Faith. I’m not quite sure.

Thank you so much, Debbie Lynne!  Where can readers connect with you?

https://www.facebook.com/debbielynnecostello
https://twitter.com/DebiLynCostello
https://www.pinterest.com/debbielynne1/
http://www.debbielynnecostello.com
http://www.theswordandspirit.blogspot.com
http://www.hhhistory.com

 

Sword of Forgiveness

Debbie Lynne has graciously offered to give away one copy of Sword of Forgiveness!  Print or Kindle copy available to a winner in the continental US.  If an international winner is drawn, a Kindle copy will be given.

To enter, ask Debbie Lynne a question in the comments below AND let her know which title you would like to see on Book 2. Any of them could fit the theme.

Sword of Truth
Sword of Trust
Sword of Faith 

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:
◦ Follow this blog, Buzzing About Books, or let me know if you are already a follower
◦ Share this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email

Be sure to include your email address and let me know what you have done to earn additional entries!

Friday Freebies

27 Mar

A Question of Destiny (2)

A Question of Destiny by Anita Higman

FREE: Amazon

Lucy O’Brien is about to be given ten millions dollars and a chance to live a life she never imagined. Will this new found wealth be Lucy’s undoing, or can she rise above the temptations within high society and choose to become a nobler version of herself? And will the solitary Andrew Whitfield—a man who watches over Lucy as she adapts to her new lifestyle—cause her to close the door on her dreams or be the key that opens the rest of Lucy’s destiny?

 

Hurricane Allie

Hurricane Allie by Rachel Hauck

FREE: Amazon

Even natural disasters can’t stop love! Wedding bells are chiming for Allie Stetson and Kyle Landon. As Allie rushes through wedding preparations days before her wedding, Kyle makes a last minute trip to New York to secure a new client. Meanwhile, a hurricane bears down on the coast days before their wedding. Is it a bad sign the storm is named Allie? Stuck in New York, Kyle struggles to find a way home. Meanwhile, Allie scrambles to find Plan B. Her perfect wedding is ruined but not even the forces of nature can stop a wedding that was meant to be.

 

Prize of My Heart

Prize of My Heart by Lisa Norato

FREE:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son–his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child’s whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder’s daughter, Lorena Huntley.

Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own–until the day another’s evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.

As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all–love.

 

Anything for a Mystery

Anything for a Mystery by Cynthia Hickey

FREE: Amazon

Stormi Nelson, best-selling romance author, moved into her huge Victorian house in the private community of Oak Meadows Estates. When her agent tells her that her characters are becoming too cardboard and that she needs to get out and mingle with people, she comes up with the idea of a Neighborhood Watch Program. The only problem is … she’s the only member. On her first night of patrol, she stumbles over a dead body, meets a hunky detective, who happens to be her neighbor and clearly frustrated with her, and her mother, sister, niece and nephew arrive to shake up Stormi’s peaceful life. As she is immersed ever deeper into the mystery surrounding a neighbor’s murder, she decides to change writing tactics and write a romantic mystery based on her experiences. What follows is a frolicking good time as Stormi finds herself the nosiest neighbor of them all. Can she find the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Review + Sale: Love’s Unfading Light

26 Mar

Love's Unfading Light

Love’s Unfading Light by Naomi Rawlings

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1HB8vJa

Lake Superior, 1880
Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to pay off her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again.

Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks.

But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence … and being obligated to a man again?

My thoughts:

Love’s Unfading Light is a captivating tale of history and romance! Naomi Rawlings paints a vivid picture of life in Eagle Harbor, Michigan, bringing the story and its characters to life. My heart ached for Tressa Danell and her struggles, as it did for Mac Oakton and the scrutiny he faced. I loved these special characters and their emotional and spiritual journeys!

Love’s Unfading Light is a compelling story and a highly recommended read for fans of historical romance. I can’t wait for the next book in the Eagle Harbor series!

A complimentary copy of Love’s Unfading Light was provided to me by the author. I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and offer my honest opinion.

 

Now through Saturday, the e-book is on sale for $1.99!

Love's Unfading Light sale

 

Naomi RawlingsA mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. Naomi writes bold, dramatic stories containing passionate words and powerful journeys.

To learn more about Naomi and her books, please visit her website.

Blog Hop Winners!

25 Mar

Carrie has announced the blog hop winners from each stop, as well as the grand prize winner!

 

The winner drawn from this stop is…

Sharon Clark Paavola

Congratulations, Sharon!

Carrie's Cover Collage

Other blog winners include:

Perspectives by Nancee –  Melissa Battles

Stuff & Nonsense – Natalie Monk

Lane Hill House  – Betti Mace

The Sword and Spirit – Christine Bures

Overcoming with God – Gracie Yost

Colonial Quills – Wendy Newcomb

And the grand prize goes to….

Lisa Stifler

Congratulations, winners!!

 

Thank you all for participating in the blog hop! 

Review: A Harvest of Hope

25 Mar

A Harvest of Hope

A Harvest of Hope by Lauraine Snelling

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | DeeperShopping

Miriam Hastings has her future plans in place…
But Trygve Knutson is intent on changing them.

Just a few short weeks into her year-long training at the Blessing Hospital, Miriam Hastings is called home to Chicago, where her mother is gravely ill. With siblings to care for, Miriam pleads to be allowed to finish her training in Chicago. Her nursing supervisor grants her a brief reprieve but extracts a promise that Miriam will return to Blessing and fulfill her one-year commitment.

While in Chicago, Miriam has tried to get Trygve Knutson and Blessing out of her mind, but his letters make that impossible. Trygve is busy building a house, hoping he can convince Miriam to return to North Dakota and marry him. Torn between Trygve’s love and her family’s needs, she doesn’t know what to do.

When Miriam finally returns to Blessing, she buries herself in her work. But no matter how hard she tries to put it off, she has some life-changing decisions to make about her future, her family… and the man who is never far from her thoughts.

What will it take to convince her to stay?

 

My thoughts:

A Harvest of Hope is a much-anticipated continuation of the Song of Blessing series!  I highly recommend reading book one, To Everything a Season, before reading A Harvest of Hope.  Several important events occur in the first book and set the stage for this second story. 

Lauraine Snelling does a wonderful job of bringing the characters and community to life, and I was eager to return to this quaint community in North Dakota.  I really enjoyed the historical details, as well as the complexity of the characters and their stories.  The drama continues, as does the romance between Miriam and Trygve, creating an emotional narrative.  Blessing is a lovely place to visit and I look forward to continuing this compelling series!   

Please note: This series is a continuation of Lauraine’s earlier stories of the Bjorkland family and the community of Blessing.  If you are a long-time fan, you will certainly welcome the opportunity to revisit these special characters and this unique community.  For those who are not familiar with these stories, you may find the large, diverse cast of characters to be a bit overwhelming at first.  A Bjorkland family tree has been included in the beginning of the book for reference. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me through the Bethany House Blogger Reviewer program.  I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and share my honest opinion.

  

Lauraine Snelling

Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of over seventy books, with sales of more than 2 million copies.  She also writes for a wide range of magazines, and helps others reach their writing dreams by teaching at writers’ conferences across the country.

Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a watchdog Basset named Winston.  They love to travel, most especially in their forty-foot motor coach, which they affectionately deem “a work in progress”.

To learn more about Lauraine, please visit her website.


Review: The Promise of Palm Grove + 5 Book Giveaway

24 Mar

The Promise of Palm Grove

The Promise of Palm Grove by Shelley Shepard Gray

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1aQJuw2
 

Leona must decide: Does she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.

Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancé.

Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her—and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.

 

SiestaBeachvia The Promise of Palm Grove Pinterest board

My thoughts:

Ready for a vacation?  I just returned from a wonderful visit to the sun-kissed community of Pinecraft, Florida, courtesy of Shelley Shepard Gray and The Promise of Palm Grove.  I highly recommend this book vacation!

The Promise of Palm Grove is a delightful story of friendship and romance!  I reveled in the wonderful details and descriptions that brought the setting and characters to life.  The drama that unfolds is captivating, as is the whole atmosphere of the story.  The endearing cast of characters warmed my heart, and I hope to revisit them in future stories.  I loved The Promise of Palm Grove and am eager to continue the Amish Brides of Pinecraft Series!

P.S.  Even after this charming story ends, the fun continues!  In addition to an author’s note and discussion guide, a pie recipe, Shelley’s top five must-see spots in Pinecraft, scenes from Pinecraft, and a sneak peek of Shelley’s next book, The Proposal at Siesta Key, are included in the back of the book.  I loved this bonus material!  

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me through Litfuse Publicity.  All thoughts expressed are my own.  

 

Landing page:
http://litfusegroup.com/author/sgray

Promise Palm Grove Shelley Shepard Gray
Don’t miss Shelley Shepard Gray’s new series, Amish Brides of Pinecraft, and the first book in the series, The Promise of Palm Grove! Romantic Times said, “Vibrant descriptions and details bring the plot to life in this heartwarming tale of new beginnings and renewal.” Does Leona follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

Enter to win a copy of The Promise of Palm Grove—five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced March 30 on Shelley’s blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shelley S GrayShelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find Shelley online: website

$0.99 Sale- Seagrass Pier

22 Mar

Seagrass Pier

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble