Time to READ

keepcalmreadWhat am I reading these days . . . AM I reading these days?

I was going to re-read Grace Livingston Hill’s The Substitute Guest. Nope.

I pulled a few Christian Fiction Christmas novels off the shelf my last day before Christmas at the library. Did I read those? Nope.

Ouch.

The massive number of Christmas events and celebrations are over, New Years is coming this weekend, and what have I read?

Edits, mostly.i-love-my-editor

Don’t get me wrong, I love editing my own work. It is a joint-effort between my editor, Pam, and I, and I am constantly amazed at the things she points out and suggests that make me smile and face-palm all at the same time.

But rather than talk about what I HAVEN’T read, I’ll tell you what I’ve just started. It’s Sandra Robbins’ Love Inspired Suspense, Stalking Season, part of the Smokey Mountain Secrets series. I’ve had it on my TBR pile for a while, and I’m FINALLY starting to see some time to really enjoy reading.

Here’s a blurb:

stalkingseasonsandrarobbinsAfter moving to the Smoky Mountains at Christmastime, Cheyenne Cassidy is ready for a fresh start—until danger from her past follows her to her new home. Cheyenne believed the stalker who killed her parents was dead, but somehow he’s back and determined to kill her. And her only hope for survival is relying on Deputy Sheriff Luke Conrad. The lawman wants to help Cheyenne face down the obsessive madman, but he can’t protect her if he doesn’t know the full story. And Cheyenne has no choice but to trust him with a secret she’s never revealed about her stalker. Armed with the knowledge of her tragic past, Luke will put his life on the line to keep her alive…but will that be enough to save her?

Sandra is an awesome author, and a member of my own writing group. If you haven’t read her novels, both historical and suspense, you’re missing something! She has another series, the “Firebrand” series, it is amazing, as well. Here is a blurb for that series:

The Firebrand Brotherhood began as an elite group of ex-military individuals who performed missions for the CIA.sandrarobbins_targeted-200x300 Now retired, they have opened The Firebrand Training Center to train military and law enforcement personnel. Enemies who will stop at nothing want vengeance on the brothers, and they intend to annihilate the leaders of Firebrand and those they love.

 Book 3 of this series is in my I HAVE TO READ THIS AS SOON AS I CAN GET MY HANDS ON IT pile.

So, the moral of this story is, don’t beat yourself up if you CAN’T seem to find time to read between hurrying hither and yon. Apparently the Farmer’s Almanac is calling for lots of snow in my neck of the woods in the next few months.

I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions, so I can spend the time I would have been researching diets or exercising doing what I love most . . .

READING!

Read on, readers!

Regina

SPRING, WHEN A READER’S HEART . . . SOARS!

I am overwhelmed by the number of new books coming out! Every time someone asks, “have you read . . .?”, I just shake my head and say, “I’m at least 4 books behind on my TBR pile as it is!” Lorna’s When Love Calls is VERY high on that list, BTW – and check out the contest at the bottom of the post for YOUR chance to win a copy!

Anyway, I’ll get to them, eventually – that’s one of the perks of working in a public library with a growing Christian Fiction section!

Today I want to focus on the four books that I’ve anticipated for a LONG time – One of which, I’ve read, and four that I want to read ASAP!

Here they are, in order of their release . . .

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Picture Perfect, by Janice Thompson, came out in February, and as an avid fan of her “Weddings by Bella” series, I was thrilled to see Bella back with her family and business in full swing, and ready to help out some other professionals in the wedding biz! Here’s a blurb:

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.

I am told that there will be MORE Bella books coming!

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I met debut author Patrick Carr at my first-ever ACFW conference – his, too – and liked him immediately. Not only does he have a quirky sense of humor, but, bless his heart, he has taught middle and high school, just like my husband. A minion of author Kaye Dacus, he and our own Dawn Ford will be the reason I delve into Speculative Fiction!

Here is a bit from Carr’s February release, A Cast of Stones:

The Fate of the Kingdom Awaits the Cast of Stones

In the backwater village of Callowford, roustabout Errol Stone is enlisted by a church messenger arriving with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Eager for coin, Errol agrees to what he thinks will be an easy task, but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he’s joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom’s dynasty nears its end and the selection of the new king begins–but in secret and shadow. As danger mounts, Errol must leave behind the stains and griefs of the past, learn to fight, and discover who is hunting him and his companions and how far they will go to stop the reading of the stones.

Pssst . . . Patrick’s 2nd book in the “Staff and the Sword” series comes out this summer!

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Sandra Robbins’ March release of Mountain Homecoming is next on my list. Usually a writer of suspense, Robbins took historical romance to heart and placed it her beloved Tennessee Smoky Mountains.

In the second book in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series, acclaimed author Sandra Robbins spins a tender tale of God’s faithfulness throughout the generations.

Rani Martin, Simon and Anna’s only daughter, is a beautiful and spirited young woman living deep in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. She has plenty of ideas about the man she’ll marry someday, but none of them could have prepared her for the return of Matthew Jackson.

Matthew left Cades Cove as a child after his father’s death. Now he’s come back to build a new life for himself, and it’s his dearest wish that Rani be a part of that life. But the people of the Cove won’t let him forget the sins of his father, and Matthew can’t forget the darkness of his own past.

Is there a place for Matthew in the Cove? And can the light of Rani’s love overcome his pain?

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Last, but CERTAINLY not least, is the highly-anticipated May 1 release of Kaye Dacus’ Follow the Heart: A Great Exhibition Novel. For those of you who have followed her contemporary “Brides of Boneterre” series and her historical “Ransome Trilogy,” you know that to read Kaye’s books is to find humor, suspense, and tender romance, no matter what the era.

A bit from Follow the Heart:

Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, Follow the Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.


Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money.

At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America.

Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess.

While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake?

Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?


If you want more in-depth info about this series, check out Kaye’s blog at http://www.kayedacus.com!

Happy Reading, Happy SPRING!

***Contest Reminder***


Every time you  leave a comment on posts dated April 8, 2013 through April 19, 2013, you’ll be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of When Love Calls plus a $10 Starbucks card! Contest ends Friday, April 19, 2013 at midnight. Winner will be posted on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

Also, be sure to hop over to Lorna’s Facebook Fan Page and *like* it. She’s having a Likefest. As soon as she reaches 800 Likes, her publisher will have a giveaway for a complete set of her books!

FALL DELIGHTS

When I knew that this round of blog posts had to do with books we were anticipating for fall, little did I know that I would have the privilege of reading them EARLY! I can fully endorse all three of the books on this list – 2 of which I have read, and one of which is sitting on my nightstand as we speak!

 

Last week I read Laura Frantz’ September release, Love’s Reckoning, Book 1 of the Ballantyne Legacy series.  I have longed for Laura to delve into series books because I can never stand for her books to end. This one ends – but there is promise of SO MUCH MORE! You will sigh. You will laugh. You will be angry. And you will speak with a Scottish brogue for a few days after putting it down. On top of all that, you will keep thinking about it, and about what can possibly come next!

Here’s what the back cover says –

On a bitter December day in 1784, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship quickly and move west. But because he is a fast worker and a superb craftsman, Liege endeavors to keep him in York by appealing to an old tradition: the apprentice shall marry one of his master’s beautiful daughters.

Eden is as gentle and fresh as Elspeth is high-spirited and cunning. But are they truly who they appear to be? In a house laced with secrets, each sister seeks to secure her future. Which one will claim Silas’s heart–and will he agree to Liege’s arrangement?

In this sweeping family saga, one man’s choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.


Also to be released on September 1, I just received the advance copy of Shelley Shepard Gray’s Found, Book 3 of the “Secrets of Crittenden County” series, and I cannot WAIT to dive in. A contemporary Amish mystery, the entire series – set in my own home area of Crittenden County, in Kentucky – takes place in about three week’s time. You can imagine that getting my hands on the conclusion hasn’t come a moment too soon!

If you’d like to visit Crittenden County and meet Shelley, she will be appearing at the Crittenden County Public Library on Saturday, September 8, 2012!

Here’s what the back blurb has to say –

A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a new-found love survive?

As the search for Perry Borntrager’s killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He’s good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry’s sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family’s store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.

Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother’s body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can’t believe that the one person she’s finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother’s death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County?


And I’ll veer off of Fall offerings for a moment to bring you an amazing book by Love Inspired author Sandra Robbins, a member of my Ken-Tenn Writers’ Group! She has taken a beloved slice of the Smokey Mountains and created characters that I want to get to know! Released August 1, this book should be available wherever Christian Fiction is sold.

A little about this book –

In the first book in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series, acclaimed author Sandra Robbins weaves a tale of love, loss, and God’s faithfulness in every circumstance.

Anna Prentiss has never wanted to be anything but a nurse. Before she can start school in New York, however, her brother sends her to Cades Cove, deep in the Smoky Mountains, to spend a summer apprenticing to the local midwife. Anna is determined to prove herself and then head to the big city.

But nothing could have prepared Anna for the beauty of the Cove, or the community and friendships she finds there. And she certainly wasn’t prepared for Simon Martin, the handsome young minister, or the feelings he arouses in her. Has God’s plan for Anna changed? Or is she just starting to hear Him clearly?

Enjoy!