Archive | April, 2015

Interview + GIVEAWAY: Catherine West | Bridge of Faith

29 Apr

Catherine West copy (2)Welcome to Buzzing About Books, Cathy!  Please share a little about yourself.

Thanks for having me! Hmm, let’s see. Well, I guess the first fun fact about me is that I live on an island. Bermuda is a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic, about 700 miles off the coast of South Carolina. I was born and raised here, and I absolutely can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m married to the love of my life, and we’ve raised two amazing children together. Our daughter and her husband live in Bermuda, and our son is about to graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston! When I’m not writing, I’m spending time in the garden, going for walks, reading and swimming.


When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?

I’ve always loved to write. I guess I got serious about it maybe 20 years ago, yes it’s been that long!! I’ve had a few ups and downs along the way, but I think I’ve finally figured out that this is really the path I’m meant to be on.


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

When I am working on a book, yes, I try to write daily. If I can get four or five hours in, that’s a good day. It really depends on outside factors. If the story is going well, then it’s a breeze and I can’t wait to get to the computer. If I’m stuck, then I kind of have to make myself write. LOL. But usually it’s more fun than anything. I am NOT a plotter. I kind of feel like if I was, this would be easier. I’ve tried. I’ve read every book on plotting and I still don’t enjoy it. It doesn’t come naturally at all. So I’ve accepted that, and I muddle my way through my books and fix it all at the end.  🙂


Where do you do most of your writing?  Please describe your writing space or share a picture.   

On the couch. LOL! Actually I do have a lovely office, and once I get seriously into my next book, I’ll be in there a lot. But this was my writing space over the winter – 


Cathy West's writing space


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

I’m not a fan of editing, so I suppose that’s my least favorite! My favorite part is really watching the story come together. While I always have a vague idea of how it’s all going to turn out, I never really know how we’ll get there until it’s down on the page, and sometimes I’m totally taken by surprise. I love it when that happens! I don’t understand it, but I love it.  🙂


How much of yourself do you see in your characters? 

Oh, I’m sure there is probably a little of me in all of them. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not! LOL.


Please tell us about your novel, Bridge of Faith.

Bridge of Faith 3-D


Two lives taken down different roads – one enduring love – one shot at starting over.
 If only they believed in second chances.


Julia Connelly is finally free from twelve long years in an abusive relationship. Now able to live the life she’s longed for, Julia takes her two children back home to Vermont, hoping for peace and healing. The last person she expects to see is the man she eloped with at eighteen—who then abandoned her two months into their marriage, with little explanation.

When an assignment in the Middle East ends in tragedy, popular news correspondent, Reid Wallace, returns to his hometown seeking answers and peace of mind.

Confronting his past was not in the plan.

Now he’s asking different questions. Like why the only woman he’s ever really loved still mesmerizes him. Why the haunted expression she wears reaches right into his soul.

And why her twelve year-old son looks just like him.

They say you can’t go home again. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.


What inspired this complex story?

Hmm. Nothing in particular comes to mind. I’ve always liked the idea of lost love and second chances. And I love Vermont, so the setting clicked for me. I think it’s important to write about real issues like spousal abuse, abandonment, divorce, all the real stuff of life, so when I figured out Julia’s story, I knew it would be something I had to write.


Did you encounter any surprises while you were writing Bridge of Faith? 

Not specifically. I did love watching Julia and Reid’s romance unfold. And some of her one liners came out of nowhere. Because I’m not sarcastic like that. At. All.  🙂  Actually, the real surprise is how people are relating to it now that it’s published. That’s the awesome thing about writing. You never quite know you’ve hit it until it’s out there. And I’ve been really pleased with the reception the book is getting so far.


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

Well, okay.  🙂  I love this one. Reid and Julia are slowly finding a way to talk to each other without yelling … sorta.

“Does this mean you forgive me?”

“Not in the least.” The dogs rounded the corner and she bent over to pat them. They soon raced off and she set her gaze on him once more. “I’m tolerating your presence for Mark’s sake.”

Okay, then. Reid contemplated counting to a hundred before speaking again. “Oh, I almost forgot.” He slapped a palm to his forehead and fished in the pocket of his jeans. “I have something for you.”

“For me?” Curiosity crept into her eyes.

Reid held out the new cell phone he’d purchased yesterday. “In case some moron on a motorbike tries to sideswipe you again.”

“Reid.” A blush colored her cheeks, but the smile he hoped for didn’t show. “I really don’t need that. And I don’t have the extra cash right now.”

He tipped his head, ready for the fight. “It’s already bought and paid for and the monthly charges are coming to me, so you can just say thank you.”

“Reid.” And there it was.

“Oh, wait … was that …” He staggered back, hand over his heart. “Was that an actual smile?”

“Shush.” She took the cell phone from his hand like it would blow up any second. “It looks complicated.”

“It’s pretty simple, actually.” He stood beside her and flicked a finger over the screen. “I’ve already programmed a few numbers. Cade’s, Deb’s, and there I am.”

“There you are.”

He’d used an old stock photo from the network, the one all the ladies apparently went nuts over. Looked pretty darn good too, if he did say so himself.

“This was taken a few years ago, huh?”

Ouch. Reid ran his tongue across his bottom lip and decided not to answer that.

“So how do I call you? If I need to. Which I probably won’t.”

“Just punch the button.” Reid demonstrated, and the other cell in his pocket began to ring. “See? Easy.”

“Okay.” Julia studied the phone, glanced upward, one eyebrow raised in question. “So whenever I want to call you, I just punch you in the face.”

“Punch away. But try not to look so ecstatic about it.”


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

That there is always hope. And through God’s grace, forgiveness is possible, even when we don’t want to give it.


What will you be working on next?

I have a few things going on. I’m concentrating on marketing, but I’ve also got some publishing news on the horizon which is super exciting, and that’s going to be keeping me very busy, I’m sure!


Is there anything else you would like to share? 

Just that, with God, ALL things are possible. Really. 



INSPY Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s latest novel, Bridge of Faith, is now available on Amazon.

Connect with Catherine:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google + | Amazon


You are such a delight, Cathy!  I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and share a Kindle copy of Bridge of Faith with one of my readers!!

Click here to read my review of Bridge of Faith.

Giveaway- Bridge of Faith.jpg

Enter to win a Kindle copy of Bridge of Faith by leaving a comment below. 

This giveaway ends Wednesday, May 6 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.  The winner will be drawn and announced on Thursday, May 7.  Good luck!!

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:

◦Follow my blog, Buzzing About Books
◦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.


Review: Bridge of Faith

28 Apr

Bridge of Faith 3-DBridge of Faith by Catherine West

Purchase a copy:

Two lives taken down different roads – one enduring love – one shot at starting over. If only they believed in second chances..

Julia Connelly is finally free from twelve long years in an abusive relationship. Now able to live the life she’s longed for, Julia takes her two children back home to Vermont, hoping for peace and healing. The last person she expects to see is the man she eloped with at eighteen—who then abandoned her two months into their marriage, with little explanation. .

When an assignment in the Middle East ends in tragedy, popular news correspondent, Reid Wallace, returns to his hometown seeking answers and peace of mind. .

Confronting his past was not in the plan. .

Now he’s asking different questions. Like why the only woman he’s ever really loved still mesmerizes him. Why the haunted expression she wears reaches right into his soul. .

And why her twelve year-old son looks just like him. .

They say you can’t go home again. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.


BOF graphic (5)



Bridge of Faith is a compelling story! When I started reading this book, I intended to read just a few chapters before bed. However, I soon found myself reading into the night and wanting to know how the story would unfold.

Julia Connelly and Reid Wallace are flawed characters and their dramatic story is real, gritty, and filled with emotion.  Catherine West has skillfully woven a complex love story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I certainly look forward to reading more from this talented author!

I appreciate the opportunity I was given to read a complimentary copy of Bridge of Faith and share my honest opinion.


Bridge of Faith graphic



Catherine West copy (2)Catherine West is an award-winning author writing inspirational stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. Her first novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, released in 2011, her second, Hidden in the Heart, in September, 2012. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at


Review + GIVEAWAY | CROSSROADS by Cathy Bryant

27 Apr


a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian contemporary romance

A former soldier battles for the soul of a prodigal…

After a devastating divorce, a bitter single mom and atheist starts her own real estate company in the nostalgic and picturesque town of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then her young daughter’s disturbing symptoms lead doctors to discover that her leukemia has relapsed. With her new life now turned upside down, Mara Hedwig struggles to keep her business afloat. And her daughter’s worsening condition forces her to rethink her beliefs about Carter Callahan and his God. Will Mara make the return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?

An ex-military operative struggles with the return to civilian life while coping with his rebellious teen-aged daughter. During a house-search, Carter meets Mara, a headstrong Realtor who wants nothing to do with his God. But when Mara’s little girl is diagnosed with leukemia, the clock begins ticking for him to convince Mara to return to a life of faith. Just as he seems to be making headway, circumstances beyond his control throw his efforts into a tailspin. Can Carter learn to rest in the sovereignty of God?

Buy from Amazon

Click here to read or download the first chapter of CROSSROADS. 



“Crossroads are like that, aren’t they?
They force us to choose.  To make a decision.”

CROSSROADS is an emotionally charged story! 

Cathy Bryant welcomes readers back to the community of Miller’s Creek in Book 6 of her Miller’s Creek series.  While fans of this acclaimed series are sure to welcome its newest addition, CROSSROADS can also be read as a stand-alone novel.

I always enjoy visiting Miller’s Creek and its residents.  Cathy Bryant’s writing is wonderfully descriptive and filled with such depth and emotion!  In this complex story, Mara Hedwig and Carter Callahan are strong characters who are struggling with major issues in their lives.  As they face tremendous challenges, both physical and spiritual, they reach a crossroads and must make some important decisions.  Their journey through these trials and tribulations is heart-wrenching and heartwarming.  I really enjoyed this compelling drama and touching story! 

My thanks to the author for the complimentary review copy of CROSSROADS.  I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and share my honest opinion. 



Cathy is graciously giving away a print copy of CROSSROADS to one lucky Buzzing About Books reader!  To enter, please leave a comment, along with your email address. 

This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends Monday, May 4 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.  The winner will be drawn and announced on Tuesday, May 5.  Good luck!!

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:

◦Follow this blog, Buzzing About Books
◦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.


Recipes from Cathy Bryant and CROSSROADS:

Not only am I a foodie, but I married a foodie. And as a self-confessed foodie, I see it as my responsibility to tantalize my reader’s taste buds with lots of food descriptions in the course of the Miller’s Creek novels. (In writer’s lingo, it’s called sensory detail.) 😉

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy some of the recipes that the characters in the latest stand-alone book CROSSROADS enjoy. Bon appetite!


Carter Callahan
Carter, the brawny soldier-turned-policeman and hero of CROSSROADS, uncovers the heroine’s penchant for seafood. He creates this special seafood dip for a picnic lunch the two share.

Carter’s Crab Dip

1 8-oz. cream cheese and 1 3-oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. mayonnaise
1/2 small finely chopped white onion
garlic powder and salt to taste
1/2 bottle of cocktail sauce on top (can substitute Tabasco sauce if you want the heat)
1 7-oz. can of crab meat
fresh or dried parsley
cocktail crackers

1. Blend the first six ingredients together well, and spread thin on a serving dish.
2. Spread the cocktail sauce on top as a sort of icing.
3. Garnish with fresh or dried parsley.
4. Chill in the refrigerator, and serve with cocktail crackers.


Mara Hedwig
 Mara, the bitter single mom, cynic, and heroine from CROSSROADS, knows full well that Carter Callahan is a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy. She fixes this meal when he and his daughter Chloe come over for dinner.

Mara’s Roast Beef

1 (3-1/2- to 4-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 can beef broth
1 bay leaf
3 to 4 peppercorns
1 t. dried and crushed rosemary
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. garlic powder
12 French sandwich rolls, split
Provolone cheese
sautéed onion (if desired)

1. Place trimmed roast in a 5-quart slow cooker. Combine soy sauce and next six ingredients; pour over roast. Add water to slow cooker until roast is almost covered.
2. Cook, covered, on LOW for 7 hours or until very tender. Remove roast and reserve the broth for dipping, if desired. Shred roast with a fork.
3. Can be eaten alone or with sandwich rolls. If eaten with rolls, place the roast on the open-faced rolls, add sautéed onions (if desired), and Provolone cheese. Place in your oven on high broil, until bread is toasty and cheese is bubbly.

Yield: 12 servings (or one hungry policeman).


Hope you enjoy these delightful delicacies from Mara and Carter, the hero and heroine of CROSSROADS.  To find out more about the book, please visit:

For more mouth-watering recipes from the back-roads Texas town of Miller’s Creek–where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons–snag this free PDF download of the Miller’s Creek Cookbook:




What: CROSSROADS Book Launch Party

Where: Facebook (from the comfort & convenience of your own home)

When: April 30, 2015 ~ 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Central time)

Why: To celebrate the book launch of CROSSROADS (a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian Romance by Cathy Bryant)

LOTS of Fun, Games and Prizes!

Prizes Include: Miller’s Creek pens, tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, digital books, autographed print books, Amazon gift cards, and
an Amazon Kindle Fire HD6!
Click here to RSVP and enter the Kindle Fire drawing.

CROSSROADS Kindle Giveaway


Cathy BryantAmazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant writes Christian fiction set in the heart of Texas. Her popular romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the fictional town of Miller’s Creek, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons. All the Miller’s Creek novels have been on the Amazon Best-Seller list and are rated at 4.5 stars or higher on Amazon. Her debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Since then five other stand-alone novels have been added to the series, one of which was a reader-nominated 2013 Grace Award nominee (PILGRIMAGE OF PROMISE). Readers have compared her work to that of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks.

A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. She’s written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books in collaboration with other Christian authors, and for online sites. She also has released a Bible study book, THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS. In addition to her writing, she enjoys thrift store shopping, romping in the great outdoors, and mini-farming. To learn more about Cathy and her books, visit her website at or make contact with her in these places:

|Facebook| Twitter | Pinterest | GoodreadsAmazon | YouTube | Google+ |


E-book Sale: Heroines Behind The Lines

26 Apr

Joceylyn Green Sale

Interview: Melissa Tagg | From the Start

25 Apr

I adore Melissa Tagg’s books and am so excited to welcome her to Buzzing About Books! 


Welcome, Melissa!  Please share a little about yourself.

Thanks for having me, Britney! Well, I’m a former reporter turned author and grant-writer and communications coordinator and avid watcher of YouTube videos. I love classic movies, Gilmore Girls and the band NEEDTOBREATHE, and I am convinced I have the coolest family in the entire world.  Oh, and I live in Iowa. It’s happy here.


Just for fun, which do you prefer:

Cake or Pie? Does ice cream cake count? ‘Cause if so, cake all the way.

Hotel or Campground? While I am not opposed to the occasional campout, generally I prefer hotels.

Physical book or E-book? I definitely read both, but there’s something about physical books…

Salty or Sweet? I love it all, but probably sweet…no salty…no totally depends on my mood.

Dog or Cat? This one’s easy…dogs all the way. Cats kinda creep me out.

Television or Movies? Generally movies—classic movies. But I have been known to obsess over a few TV shows… 

Iowa graphicCity or Country?

I’m an Iowa girl, so I should probably say country. Actually my favorite is small-ish towns that are located super close to big cities. Best of both worlds.


Fly or Drive? Drive! I’m thankful to be able to get places quickly by flying when I need to, but I loooove road trips.

Homemade or Take-out? If someone else is making it, homemade.

Morning Bird or Night Owl? Both! Seriously. Originally I was a total night owl, but I’ve sorta trained myself to become a morning person in the past few years. Now I love early mornings.

When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?

I got serious about writing in 2009 when I attended my first My Book Therapy retreat. Hands-down the best thing I ever did for my writing! Susan May Warren is an amazing writer and a master storycrafter so learning from her through MBT was amazing. In 2010 I attended my first big writing conference and started pursuing publication. And then all the doors flung open in 2012.

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

How much I write and when really just depends on the time of year and when my deadlines. I do generally write at least something every day—but it’s not always fiction. Sometimes it’s a blog or an article. When I’m deep in deadline mode, I tend to get up early to write before work and then also squeeze in a couple hours in the evening. I do a LOT of Saturday writing.

But my favorite is when I can set a long weekend aside for writing marathons…that really works well for me.

I’m right in between plotter and pantser. I always come up with the main plot pieces and spend a lot of time getting to know my characters before diving into the book. And then usually I plot about a third of the book at a time…but I’ve found that if I try to get too detailed in my plotting, I hem myself in and end up frustrated later when the characters suddenly do what I didn’t expect. So I’m learning to be much more flexible with my stories while holding on to those core story elements.

Where do you do most of your writing? 

I write all over my place, actually! I do have a room I use just for writing and when I’m in a serious spurt, I write there. But I also love to sit in bed and write…or at my kitchen table…or on my comfy couch. I’ll camp out at coffee shops sometimes.

But my absolute favorite place to write is my mom and dad’s sunroom. They live about an hour away from me and they’re so gracious to open their home to me whenever I need a writing campout.

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

My very favorite…finishing the book. LOL! I love that “whoa, it’s done” moment. My favorite part of writing itself is dialogue. I looooove writing character dialogue. And of course, I adore hearing from readers’ once the book is out there in the world.

Least favorite is probably the blank page…that can be scary sometimes. Too, deadlines can feel pressuring. Actually probably the hardest thing I deal with writing-wise is the temptation to compare myself to everyone else or constantly worry I’m not good enough. That’s something I’m guessing many writers have to battle throughout their careers.

How much of yourself do you see in your characters? 

Sometimes much more than I’d like! In my first two books, my main characters definitely had pieces of me in them. In this third one, Kate Walker is so, so very much like me. And that’s probably why a) the story felt so hard to write and b) I was much more nervous about sending it out into the world.

I actually wrote a blog post just recently about all the ways Kate Walker is like me..

Please tell us about your latest novel, From the Start.

From the Start is about a jaded scriptwriter of romantic movies and an ex NFL quarterback. They both end up in Iowa working on a writing project together…and of course, there are sparks.  🙂  It takes place in a fun little made-up town with a train depot, a cool historic bank building that’s been turned into a restaurant, a river running right through the middle of town. It’s hugely real in my mind. LOL!

Like my other books, it’s a romantic comedy, but I think it delves a little deeper as it deals with issues of Colton’s painful past, foster care, cancer and calling.

What inspired this heartfelt romance?

Truthfully, on this one I honestly don’t know. In my first couple books, I can really pinpoint the thing that first sparked the story in my mind, but this one just seemed to evolve in a really disjointed way, to be honest! I do know I loved the idea of writing about a romance writer who didn’t believe in romance.  🙂  And I wanted Colton’s career to be something big and lofty and in-the-spotlight.

Other than that, I think the issues I was wrestling with personally last year really inspired and influenced the story. And my love for classic movies also found a way in. 

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

I have several favorite scenes! But definitely one of my very favorite scenes is early in the book when Kate and Colton first meet…in Kate’s childhood bedroom. And I’ll leave it at that.

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

In From the Start, both Kate and Colton have a very clear picture in their heads of what their lives should look like. And every decision they make in the first half of the book is an effort to make those pictures in their heads a reality. But they both learn, slooowly and at times not-so-smoothly, that God might be weaving together a completely different picture.

I think that’s a theme we can all connect with…because I have a feeling no matter how wonderful our lives may look on the outside, we probably all have that pesky unfulfilled dream or that nagging voice whispering that we’re missing out or a failure we can’t seem to let go of. And so we push back and try to make our dream come true on our own or do ALL the things so we couldn’t possibly miss out or strive and strive for success to cover up that one failure…we try to paint our own pictures and we get frustrated when they turn out smudged and imperfect. And all the while, God is there, saying “Give me the paintbrush, Melissa. Give me the paintbrush and you’ll see what a beautiful picture I can paint with your life.”

Which is my very roundabout way of saying I hope readers take away that sense or understanding that God is at work…that we aren’t living on our own. There’s such peace and confidence in that truth.

What will you be working on next?

I’m just beginning rewrites on my fourth book—woohoo! It’s called Like Never Before and it’s the second full-length novel in the Walker Family series. It features political speechwriter Logan Walker and newspaper editor Amelia Bentley, both of whom appeared in From the Start.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

Oh I should mention: If people would like to get a taste of the new series before committing to a full novel, they can check out my free novella, Three Little Words. It takes place in the same town as the whole series and you’ll get an early peek into the Walker family.

Where can readers connect with you?

Pretty much anywhere and everywhere online.  🙂  But here are my favorite hangouts:

Instagram: melissatagg
Twitter: @Melissa_Tagg

Thanks so much, Britney!


Thank you so much, Melissa, for answering my questions!  It’s a pleasure to learn more about you and your writing process!! 


From the Start

About the book:

Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that’s ever happened to them?

Purchase a copy:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | DeeperShopping

From the Start graphic

Read my review of From the Start:

Friday Freebies

24 Apr


Prelude by JoAnn Durgin


What’s a guy to do when he comes home to stay and the girl he wants can’t wait to leave town?

On April 24, 1962, U.S. Air Force Captain Samuel J. Lewis returns home to small Rockbridge, Texas. Six years older, Sam is the boy who moved four houses down when Sarah Jordan was ten. A teenager who nicknamed her Tomboy and teased her like an older brother. That boy is now a handsome military man who makes her heart race, but what does she know of love or life?

After his years away, Sam finds himself drawn to Sarah. The sassy, funny girl he used to tease has grown up into a beautiful charmer with wit and intelligence who challenges him like no other woman. Sarah’s frequent reminders that she’s leaving Rockbridge to attend nursing school, along with her encouragement to date other girls in town, unsettle him.

During the eventful summer of 1962, their friendship grows deeper and blossoms into love. Sam knows he can’t hold Sarah back from achieving her dreams. When an unexpected financial gift gives her the needed funds to enter nursing school, they face saying good-bye earlier than expected. Are Sam and Sarah destined to be together or go their separate ways?

The exciting prequel to the popular contemporary Christian romance series, The Lewis Legacy Series, Prelude is the love story of Samuel J. Lewis and Sarah Jordan, parents to the core character of the series. Prelude lends insights into the Lewis family history in this heartfelt story of family, friendship, and love. A story of never letting go of our dreams, and how faith, sacrifice, and trusting our lives to the Lord’s guidance will always triumph over our human fears and temptations.


One Lane Bridge

One Lane Bridge by Don Reid

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

What J. D. needs is a little peace and quiet. He is trying to run two restaurants, keep his daughter from dropping out of college, and satisfy his lonely, aging mother. Cash begins to disappear from one of the restaurants, and he and his wife argue about how to deal with the problem.

One tranquil evening, J. D. takes off on a ride in the country to clear his mind. Top down, setting sun, wind in his hair … leak in the radiator. When he walks up to an old farmhouse to ask for water, he finds a family living in poverty, and vows to help. When he returns with groceries, he can’t find them or the house—although he’s not lost. While J. D. struggles to make sense of this mystery, his behavior creates doubt in his marriage, and even his best friend thinks he’s crazy. And when he solves it, his life is changed forever.

Finding Mr. Write

Finding Mr. Write by Carol Moncado


Jeremiah Jacobs moved to the Ozarks for a fresh start. He knows no one and has no plans to get romantically involved with anyone. Ever. He’s already had his heart ripped out once and once is enough. Besides he has contractual obligations that prevent him from talking about work – and what woman would want to be involved with a man who has to keep his job a secret? When he attends his first local writers’ group meeting, he finds the leader so intriguing, his instant attraction to her threatens to complicate his currently uncomplicated life.

Dorrie Miller has never been good enough. Not for her father or any of the guys she’s dated in the past. She’s pushed beyond her father’s disapproval to have a good career while pursuing her dream of becoming a published novelist. The Christian Authors Network – Dedicated to Inspirational Distinction, or CANDID, is hosting their annual conference in Indianapolis and who’s rumored to be in attendance? The super reclusive, super-star author, Mya Elizabeth Linscott.

The hunky new member of her local CANDID group, Jeremiah, wants to carpool to Indy. Dorrie can handle not making a fool of herself for eight hours each way. Right? But she never imagined doing a favor for someone during the conference would leave her accidentally married to the gorgeous guy she barely knows. How will she get out of this mess, married to a near stranger? Does she want to? Will her insecurities and Jeremiah’s secrets tear them apart? Or can she trust that, all along, God’s been helping her with Finding Mr. Write?



Review: The Inn at Ocean’s Edge | Kindle Fire Giveaway

23 Apr

The Inn at Ocean's Edge

The Inn at Ocean’s Edge by Colleen Coble

Purchase a copy:

Claire’s visit to a luxury hotel in Maine awakens repressed memories, threatening all she holds dear.

In 1989, Claire Dellamare disappeared from her own fourth birthday party at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine. She showed up a year later at the same hotel, with a note pinned to her dress but no explanation. Nobody knows where Claire spent that year—and until now, Claire didn’t even know she had ever been missing.

But when Claire returns to the Hotel Tourmaline for a business meeting with her CEO father, disturbing memories begin to surface . . despite her parents’ best efforts to keep them forgotten.

Luke Rocco lost his mother under equally mysterious circumstances—at the same time Claire disappeared. After a chance encounter reveals the unlikely link between them, Claire and Luke set out together to uncover the truth about what happened that fateful year.

With flashbacks swimming just beneath her consciousness and a murderer threatening her safety, Claire’s very life depends on unscrambling her past . . . even if her family refuses to acknowledge it. Someone-maybe everyone-is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light.

My thoughts:

The Inn at Ocean’s Edge is a complex, page-turning suspense! 

Memories begin to surface as Claire Dellamare arrives on the island of Folly Shoals.  As she steps into the Hotel Tourmaline, she realizes something terrible happened here.  What secrets are her family keeping?  Will the past stay buried? 

Colleen Coble kept me guessing with hairpin twists and turns!  Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the unexpected happened.  I loved the mounting suspense, drama, and danger and found myself turning the pages faster and faster with an eagerness to know how the mystery would unfold. 

The relationship between Claire and Luke Rocco was another element of the story that I really enjoyed.  I would love to read more of their story and hope to revisit them in future novels. 

The Inn at Ocean’s Edge is a wonderful blend of suspense and romance, and I can’t wait for the next book in this exciting series! 

I appreciate the opportunity to read The Inn at Ocean’s Edge and offer my honest opinion.  I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity.

Graphic- The Inn at Ocean's Edge

Landing page: 

The minute she steps inside the grand Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Claire Dellamare knows something terrible happened there—and only Luke believes her. Colleen Coble’s new book, The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, is a must-read for mystery and suspense readers. As Claire and Luke put together the pieces of a decades-old mystery, they discover that some family secrets refuse to stay buried. And some passions are worth killing for.

Celebrate the release of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart’s Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart’s Obsession
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen’s website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge! RSVP here!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on May 5th!

Review: A Horse For Kate | Horse Lovers Giveaway

22 Apr

A Horse for Kate

A Horse For Kate by Miralee Ferrell

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

A horse of her own would be awesome. But Kate figures that might be a long way away, especially since she had to give up riding lessons and move to her late grandfather’s farm. Besides, it would be a lot more fun to have a best friend to ride with. When Kate discovers a barn on their new farm that’s perfect for a horse, and a dusty bridle too, she starts to think that her dream might come true. Then she meets Tori at school, who is totally the best. So when they discover a thoroughbred that appears to be all alone, could it be the answer to her prayers? Maybe. If she can convince her dad … and figure out what’s going on with that horse.

My thoughts:

A Horse for Kate is a wonderful book! Not only is this story engaging and entertaining, but it also emphasizes strong Christian values.

I loved Kate’s personality, her love of horses, and her determination to have a horse of her own. I also enjoyed the relationships she shared with her younger brother and her best friend. Knowledge and awareness of autism is shared in this story, as are several valuable lessons, including the importance of honesty and obedience.

There are also several fun features included in the back of the book that I think young girls will love! The first is a note from the author, followed by a discussion guide. These discussion questions are framed as secrets for your diary and each one includes a note from Kate. A cake recipe is also included with step-by-step instructions on how to make a horse head cake like the one Kate’s mom made for her.

I am thrilled to know there are wonderful books like this available to young readers! I loved A Horse for Kate and look forward to more books in this special series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was received.


Do your children love horses?

They could win a $150 Horse Lovers Prize Pack!
Click here for contest details, rules, and entry form.


Miralee Ferrell- headshot

Miralee Ferrell is the author of eleven popular novels, including the bestselling Blowing on Dandelions. She and her husband live on eleven acres along the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state, where she loves horseback riding on the wooded trails near her home. She also enjoys playing with her dogs, Lacey and Sophie.  To learn more, visit Miralee’s website

The winner is…

22 Apr

The Butterfly and the Violin


Congratulations, Sydney!  You’ve won a Kindle copy of The Butterfly and the Violin

Thank you all for visiting and entering this giveaway.  Join me again next week for two more giveaways!!

Interview: Amber Stokes | Audiobook Spotlight

21 Apr


Unabridged audiobook narrated by Patrick Wilson Mahaney
1 hour and 55 minutes

Audiobook Purchase Links:
 Less than $7!
(You can listen to a sample on the following sites, as well.)
Amazon | Audible | iTunes

How does a star fall?
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly.

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he’ll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it’s far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won’t stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she’s crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can’t just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.

Add the audiobook version to your Goodreads shelf.

Read my review of How a Star Falls


Thank you, Amber, for graciously answering a few of my questions!

1.  How does a book become an audiobook?  Please share a bit about the audio process.

I’m sure there are many different ways to go about it, but I decided to use, which is connected with Amazon. It’s probably only because of the way they simplify the process and provide great distribution outlets that I even attempted to get How a Star Falls published as an audiobook.

The process begins by creating a profile for your book—offering a sort of “pitch,” if you will, to make your book an appealing project for narrators (or “producers,” as they’re referred to on the site). You also specify what sort of producer you’re looking for and what the tone/genre/etc. of the story is.

Once you’ve completed your book’s profile, the next step is to search for a producer. You can either wait for the producers to come to you and offer an audition, or you can seek out a producer and ask them to audition for you. I ended up seeking out a producer. (I’ll explain that a bit more in my response to the next question.)

The extent of the give and take following the producer selection likely depends on how much the author wants to be involved and how much the producer is willing to edit. The producer is required to send you a sample of the first 15 minutes, which must be approved before they can upload the rest of the audiobook.

For Patrick Mahaney (my producer) and I, there was some back and forth as I listened for sections that might have been missed and offered feedback on the intention/tone/voice of certain scenes and lines. But I wanted to give Patrick leeway in interpreting Derrick’s voice as only a guy can, and I hope I wasn’t *too* nitpicky. 🙂

After the producer uploads the final audio files to the site (and once a cover is uploaded by the author, as well), the rest is up to ACX and their team. They’re very particular about the quality of the sound, which is great. There was a bit of a delay on our end because of that need to re-upload the files once, but then once the files are approved, it’s a pretty smooth process to seeing the audiobook available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

That might be way more than you cared to know, but there you go!

2.  Did you choose your narrator?  If so, what criteria did you use? 

I confess that I’m not a super patient person, especially when it comes to starting a new project! I didn’t want to wait for a producer/narrator to come and find my book. (Who knows how long that would take, and if there would be any takers? At least, that’s how I felt.) So I searched ACX’s site for producers who were…

• Willing to do a royalty share—meaning that there would be no upfront payment, but instead we would split the net royalties down the middle.
• Male, as most of How a Star Falls is told from the hero’s POV.
• Able to narrate in the tone/genre of my story. (Patrick described his voice as “warm, mellow, high.”)

ACX offers the following filters for narrowing down a list of appropriate producers: Genre, Gender, Language, Accent, Voice Age, Vocal Style, Payments, Location, and Audible Approved. I believe I found Patrick by searching for an English-speaking, young-adult male producer who could work with romance books and was willing to split the royalties. Once I heard the samples of his voice (even though they weren’t in the exact genres I would choose), I could just imagine him conveying Derrick’s voice.

Being impulsive like I am, I offered him the project right out the gate. I only later realized it probably would have been wisest to ask for an audition first (and Patrick even mentioned that, haha), but hey, it worked out all right in the end. 🙂

3.  What was it like to hear your characters (outside your head) for the very first time?

Very cool—and nerve-racking, to be honest! It was so interesting to hear a guy bringing Derrick to life. But I confess I got super nervous before listening to certain scenes, wondering how Patrick would convey them and what on earth he thought of my writing. 🙂 But I’m really pleased with how it all came together and what the response has been so far to Patrick’s interpretation of Derrick. And now it’s hard to look back on parts of the written story without hearing Patrick’s voice, LOL.

4.  Do you plan to make your earlier books available in audio format?

That’s a great question! I’m not entirely sure. On the one hand, I had a lot of fun with this project, and I think I’d enjoy seeing another one of my books become an audiobook. But I’ve been thinking more along the lines of working with future novellas. It’s kind of neat having shorter audiobooks, and it seems like it would be a lot easier to work with stories where there’s only one POV for most of the book.

The problem with my first two historical novels is that, although they’re relatively short, there are several POVs in each. Bleeding Heart has five different POVs—four guys and one girl. So would I go with a male narrator, or a female narrator? (Not to mention one of my characters’ interesting accent…)

The book I would consider my gateway to appreciating the world of audiobooks is Legend by Marie Lu, a young-adult dystopian novel. That audiobook alternated between a male and female narrator, and I loved it. I’m just not sure if that’s even an option for my projects, and how complicated that might become, besides.

But all that to say, I think I’d enjoy providing audiobook versions for more of my books. We’ll just see whether that would likely entail working with previous releases or waiting to work with future releases. 🙂

5.  What can we look forward to next from you?

The answer to this question is a little up in the air at the moment. I was hoping to release my next novella this month (Where Trains Collide), but it looks like that release date will be pushed back. I’m guessing it will still be one of my next releases within the year, Lord willing—just a bit further down the road than I had originally planned.

I also plan to publish the third book in “The Heart’s Spring” series (Morning Glory) at some point, but I’ve (hopefully) learned my lesson and won’t mention any release dates just yet! I guess I just want readers to know I haven’t forgotten about it. 🙂

As for other projects, I’d like to write more short stories and novelettes/novellas. For now, I enjoy working with the shorter length, and it feels more doable to balance that writing with my job and this season of my life. We’ll see how it goes!

Thank you so much for hosting me and giving me the chance to share about this fun new project with your readers!


Amber Stokes - Star Gazer PicAmber Stokes works as a content writer (marketing services) for a Christian publisher. On the side, she self-publishes inspirational fiction depicting the seasons of life and love. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and to run her own freelance editing and publicity business for over a year. Happily, this new chapter of her career takes place in the Pacific Northwest—a part of the world she’s always considered home. Learn more about Amber’s books at

Social Media Links:

Twitter | Blog | Website | Pinterest | Goodreads | Google +

Narrator Bio:
atrick Mahaney is a comedian, writer, and performer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter.