Saturday, December 05, 2009

Fools Rush In

What do you get when you take an Italian family that is more Italian than the mafia and more fun than the best party you ever attended and mix in a Texas cowboy and his country family? You get one of the most fun books you’ll read for a while. The Rossi’s are all Italian from the Pizza making Uncle Laz to Aunt Rosa’s homemade pasta. You’ll fall in love with this larger than life family and Bella, who runs a wedding facility. Then enters a young bride and groom who want a cowboy wedding and sends Bella into a frenzy to find the right DJ. Enter Dwayne Neeley from Splendor. The sparks fly between these two as they work together to pull off a wedding as Texas as the Alamo. Janice has created fun-loving characters who grab your heart and take you on a wild ride that will leave you laughing with tears in your eyes. The setting of Galveston is perfect for mix of Italy and Texas. It’s fun, it’s fresh, and it’s filled with characters and scenery that will make you feel like you are right in the middle of it all. This is one wedding you won’t soon forget. Dino and Frank are the center of a controversy between Aunt Rosa and Uncle Laz. Which one is your favorite and what is your favorite song by Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Interview with Amber "TIff" Stockton

Tiffany Amber Stockton is an author, online marketing consultant, and web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart, and their baby daughter in Colorado. They also have a vivacious Border Collie mix named Roxie. Amber has sold eight books to Barbour Publishing with more on the horizon. Other writing credits include five short stories for Romancing the Christian Heart, and contributions to Grit for the Oyster and 101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage. Her goal in writing is to convey the message that God is always present, even during the most difficult circumstances. Read more about her at her web site:

1. How has being published changed your life?

It has given me a new leash on life, so to speak. Now that I’ve sold and am starting to establish readers, I’m receiving feedback on how my books have touched their lives. It’s an amazing testimony to read how the words I’ve written have spoken to someone who has read them. God has given me this gift, and I’m thrilled beyond words to have the opportunity to use this gift to His glory.

2. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

Well, that all depends. If you’re asking why I write historical fiction, it’s because I’ve always been fascinated by history and the people who have gone before us. But history class bored me to tears. So, I love telling those stories through the eyes of people who lived it. Bringing it alive to my readers and perhaps helping them gain a better appreciation or understanding is a welcome challenge.

Now, if you ask why I write romance, that’s because I enjoy the process of taking God’s love for us and turning into a ‘happily ever after’ story. If you believe in God and His promises, you know that no matter how bad things get, there is hope, and things will get better. Romance, for me, allows me to demonstrate that hope. I depict characters enduring what might appear to be impossible situations. By going through them and rising above them, especially in regard to relationships, the characters glimpse that hope and experience the happy ending.

3. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

Oh, that’s easy. July 28, 2007 when I married the love of my life, Stuart. The next is the day we celebrated the birth of our first child. We are proud parents to an 8-month-old little girl, and life is fantastic. The next happiest day would be when I sold my first book in December of 2006.

4. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

Trust. The past few months have been a bit rough with the economy and seeing a lot of my design business decline. People are cutting everywhere they can, and a web site is an expense that can wait for most. Plus, income as an author is sporadic. But, regardless, God always provides, even if it’s just a few extra dollars to get us through the next day. I have a tendency to be concerned about paying bills, but God is telling me to trust Him. He’s got it all under control and He will provide. My security is not in my job. It’s in Him. And it’s a daily process for me.

Thank you, Amber, for a glimpse into your life. I've enjoyed all of your books and know your readers will be thrilled with Copper and Candles and your newest one, Patterns and Progress.

Copper and Candles

From the moment Felicity Chambers and Brandt Dalton run into each other literally and wind up with the wrong lunch pails, their lives become a collision course that will bring them both to a new understanding of who they are. Felicity is the daughter of a wealthy family and is involved in charity work that takes her into a candle factory as a lowly worker. She is helping Lucy Gibson, a widow expecting a child and unable to work, and Felicity is determined that Lucy will not lose any wages because of her health. Brandt is working in one of his father’s factories as a regular laborer so that he can learn the business from the bottom up. Since neither one knows the other’s background, the growing attraction between these two reveals the attitudes of the wealthy toward the working class in 1879’s Detroit. Author Amber Stockton has done a wonderful job of showing the contrast between the two levels of society as well as giving us two characters who love the Lord and want to do what is best for the people with whom they come into contact in the factories. Amber weaves a story fraught with deception but filled with love and concern for others. When the deception drives Felicity and Brandt apart, God shows once again how bad things work for good when people follow His will and are obedient to His calling.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Becoming Lucy

I'm so pleased to announce the publication of Becoming Lucy, the first book in the series, Winds Across the Prairies from Strang Publications. It will be on the bookstore shelves on January 5, 2010.
Other books in the series include Morning for Dove and Finding Becky. The fourth title is yet to be determined.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

In The Familiar Stranger, author Christina Berry takes the reader on a journey in a marriage that is on shaky ground. Dark secrets from Craig Littleton’s past threaten to ruin his life completely even though he is on that road to destruction before an accident lands him in the hospital with only a fuzzy memory of his past. As his wife Denise helps him to recover bits and pieces of memory, those secrets are revealed. Now they must make choices that will either bring forgiveness and trust or tear the marriage apart forever. Berry’s characters are finely drawn and evoke both sympathy and anger as they travel the path God has set out for them. Will that path lead to a restored love and marriage, or has deceit destroyed all hopes of reconciliation?

This book was sent to me by the author for the purposes of a blog tour. Please leave your comments or questions for Christina. Her next interview will be with
Delores Liesner &

The Familiar Stranger

Single mother and foster parent, Christina Berry carves time to write from her busy schedule because she must tell the stories that haunt her every waking moment. (Such is the overly dramatic description of an author's life!) She holds a BA in Literature, yet loves a good Calculus problem, as well. Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, releases from Moody in September and deals with lies, secrets, and themes of forgiveness in a troubled marriage. A moving speaker and dynamic teacher, Christina strives to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!
Here is an interview with Christina Berry. I met her at the conference and she is a delightful young woman.
How did you come up with the story?

In the summer of 2006, two stories appeared in the newspaper. One was a huge, national story; the other a smaller, local-interest item. I wondered what it might look like if those two stories conceived a child. Boom! I had the entire plot for The Familiar Stranger. It will be interesting to see if readers can figure out which stories inspired the book.
What challenges do you face with your writing? What comes easy to you?

As a single mother of young children, and currently serving as a foster parent, time is my biggest challenge. I have to make sure my family knows they come first, but to balance that with treating writing as a career.

Strength-wise, while the idea of writing or editing may seem hard, I usually get quite a lot done in a short amount of time once I start. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. That applies to our writing. A little momentum can go a long way!
What takeaway value do you hope readers receive after reading your novel?

The recent changes in my life—losing my husband, facing finding a “real” job, selling my home—have done nothing but solidify what I hope to be the theme of the book and my life: Live Transparently—Forgive Extravagantly. If reading The Familiar Stranger makes even one man or woman be more honest with his or her spouse or delve into trust issues in a healthy way, I’ll consider it a success. Maybe there’s a hurting heart that can find a new path to forgiveness because of the story.
Whose work do you admire and how has it influenced you as a writer?

Most of my favorite authors have voices I never dream to come close to: Nancy E. Turner, Jane Kirkpatrick, Leif Enger, Francine Rivers, or Randy Alcorn, to name a few. The writers that really influence my stories are ones that examine the real grittiness of life like Roxanne Henke, Bette Nordberg, and James Scott Bell.
What made you start writing?

Buried deep within my closet, one might find some angst-filled poetry from my teenage years and a very spooky seven pages of the novel I started in high school. Though I was in love with the idea of being a writer, it wasn’t until I finished college and stayed home with my first child that I actually decided to write a book. Truthfully, my mom told me we were going to write one together, and being the obedient daughter I am …

How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

My mother, Sherrie Ashcraft, and I began writing in the summer of ’99. We figured the accountability of having a co-writer would make us actually do what we’d always dreamed of but never put action to. It took a long road of learning how much we didn’t know, tons of re-writing, brooding over rejections, making connections, pitching at conferences, and directional prayer to make our writing salable.

In the summer of 2007, when Mom was busy caring for her dying mother-in-law, I got the itch of a new story idea. Undiscovered was written by February 2008, edited by June, won second place in the ACFW Genesis Contemporary category, and was renamed The Familiar Stranger and contracted by Moody Publishers in October.

One decade from naïve first scribbles to debut novel!
Why do you write?

Because story ideas and lines fly around in my head and if I write them down, I get a little peace and quiet. J
How important is faith in your books?

My faith undergirds every scene that I write. My hope is that it comes across to the reader in a very organic way, never as preachy or self-righteous. However, my characters’ spiritual arcs are a huge part of the storyline.
Thank you, Christina.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Love Finds You in Bethlehem New Hampshire

Love finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire is a delightful Cinderella story of a girl who lived on the streets of New York depending on handouts and whatever she could find to exist each day and an artist in the town of Bethlehem. Tom Haskins has never lived anywhere else nor has he traveled far outside of town. His friends think he needs a wife so when he advertises for one and has a response, he’s delighted. However, when Sara McGee arrives, she is nothing like he envisioned, and he is sorely disappointed. Lauralee Bliss has woven a heart-warming story around these two young people along with wonderful secondary characters you will come to love. When Sara and Tom set out in search of love, extraordinary things can happen along the journey as they discover God’s purpose for their lives. Set in the mountains of New Hampshire, Bethlehem is a town where things aren’t always as they seem, and once again we learn how God sends certain people into our lives to work out His larger plan. Get ready to curl up with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy this odyssey of love and fulfillment.

The odds of winning this book depends entirely on the number of participants and is open only to residents of the U.S.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Menu For Love

Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus is all about communication and letting your feelings be know. Mere has been in love with Major for a number of years and he with her, but neither will admit it to the other. His mother creates a problem for him that causes him to keep his distance for fear of rejection by Mere. She thinks he’s just not interested. Then enter Ward the contractor who will restore Mere’s recently purchased home and dates Mere several times. Kaye has created a great story around the cast of characters we first met in Stand-In Groom. One thing for sure, eat before you read or you’ll be running to the fridge or pantry for a snack with nearly every chapter. Kaye has a good handle on what it takes to be an event planner or a chef and weaves her plot around the events Mere plans and the sumptuous menus by Chef Major O’Hara. Another thing I liked…they are John Wayne fans and his movies play a key role in getting Mere Guidry and Major O’Hara together. How Kaye accomplishes this will bring a smile to your heart.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Review of Maggie Rose

When Maggie Rose Kane leaves her home in Michigan to work in an orphanage in New York, she embarks on an adventure that will show her love, courage, and perseverance. Luke Madison is a reporter who has a tragic loss that consumes his life until his editor assigns him to write a story about the Sheltering Arms Orphanage. His skepticism soon turns to admiration for those involved with the home. Author Sharlene MacLaren has created realistic characters in her loving adults and delightful children who tug at your heart and won’t let go. They pull Luke Madison in and show him what true love and commitment is all about. You won’t regret taking this journey to faith and love as Luke and Maggie Rose learn the power of God’s love no matter what the circumstances of life may be. In addition, Sharlene adds just enough suspense and danger to keep readers turning the pages.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Love Finds You in Poetry Texas

Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas is another delightful, fun filled story from Janice Hanna (Thompson.) When Belinda Bauer decides to be the matchmaker in Poetry, she chooses the town poet to help woo her prospects to the town, but she sets off a series of events that have all the couples ending up with the wrong partners, that is they were not the partners she chose, but they are all perfect for each other. Her desperate attempts to find a wife for Georg Kaufman end up in situations that keep you chuckling and turning the pages. Janice's characters are a little larger than life, but so delightful that you will fall in love with them yourself. When Belinda finally fulfills her goal to find a wife for Georg, what a surprise she has in store.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Here's the cover for my historical romance to be released January of 2010. I'm really pleased with it. Hope you like it too.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Snow Melts in Spring

Deb Vogts novel, Snow Melts in Spring, will keep you turning pages and guessing until the end when the final decision is made. Gil McCray is haunted by his past and estranged from his father, but he returns to his hometown after retirement from professional football to see about his horse that has been injured in an accident. Mattie Evans is the vet trying to save the horse and in the process heal the break between Gil and his father. True to life characters making decisions that affect more than the person making it give this book a story that will delight, frustrate, and amuse the reader. The descriptions of the settings are such that I want to find this place in Kansas. Don’t miss this fast-paced story that heals hurts and changes lives. Enter a comment for a chce to win a free copy of this wonderful book.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Interview with Betsy St. Amant

Interview questions for Betsy St. Amant

1. Where did you get the idea for your main character for you story? I’ve always loved penguins growing up, and I collect them still. When I decided to use New Orleans as the setting for my novel, it seemed right that Gracie, the heroine, would be the penguin keeper at the Aquarium of the Americas!

2. What gave you the idea for the plot? The plot really developed once I had my setting and characters locked in place. I knew I wanted to write a love story of two friends finding each other again and getting a second chance at love, but wasn’t sure after that. The story originally had a strong music thread, like the movie MUSIC & LYRICS with Drew Barrymore. But after the story was contracted and I went through revisions, the music thread was lessened, and the plot really snapped into place then.

3. Who chose the title Return to Love? My publisher, Steeple Hill, chose the title. They usually do with their Love Inspired novels, although occasionally you hear of an author who got to keep their original title. My working title was Reclaiming Harmony but after we did the revisions, it no longer fit the story.

4. What was the most difficult thing about writing this story? Time! Definitely time. I was pregnant with my first baby, had a deadline on the manuscript with heavy revisions, was moving into a new house and living with my sister temporarily after our old house sold…it was chaos, pure chaos. But it turned out for the best! I have multiple contracts, a beautiful new house in the country, and a precious baby girl who is going to be a year old in July! =)

5. What was the most fun? I had a blast “visiting” New Orleans again in my heart and in photo album. I wasn’t able to travel to the city for research this time but went there several years before (it’s where my husband proposed!) and also had a great time talking with the Aquarium of the Americas workers and researching the penguins.

6. What advice would you give to those desiring to write romance? Dig deep! Don’t be afraid to feel as you write. If you distance yourself from the story, your readers will feel distant too. Dredge up old memories you need to. Make the story and the tension real. Your readers will feel it.

7. What is your favorite thing about writing? The creative process. Getting to know characters and even getting to know more about myself as I put tidbits of Betsy into my heroine or secondary characters. Its fun! =)

8. How long have you been writing? I have been writing since I was about 7 years old but got serious with my dreams when I turned 18. I started working on my first completed manuscript then, and attending conferences and making a true effort to learn the business and the craft of writing. I’m so thankful to Gayle Roper who pointed me toward the ACFW! I’d still be writing in circles if not for her.

9. How long did it take to get your first book published? Midnight Angel, a romantic suspense through The Wild Rose Press, was published in 2007 and was my first novel. My first contract with Steeple Hill Love Inspired was offered in 2008. So, let’s see, if you count back from when I was a seven year old with a dream….then, a lifetime? =)

10. Any words of wisdom for new writers? Never give up. I know everyone says this in author interviews, but it’s so very true. If you send a submission to an agent or editor, you risk rejection. But if you don’t send it, you’re as good as rejected every time. So keep at it!

Return to Love Review

Gracie Broussard is a penguin keeper who loves her little birds, but when Carter Alexander returns she must face another love she has buried deep in her heart. Carter is certain of his feelings for Gracie, the girl he’s known forever, but she doesn’t trust him or her heart. Set against the background of an aquarium, Gracie plans a gala to raise funds for expansion and dedication to Carter’s father. Betsy St. Amant has woven a love story that is both charming and revealing. She has the reader second guessing her characters as to their decisions, and it’s not always the right choice. Sometimes what we see isn’t actually what it appears. Hop aboard the trolley and enjoy the ride to romance with Gracie and Carter

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Breach of Trust

DiAnn Mills latest novel lives up to the readers expectations of an adventure. Breach of Trust is a suspense filled story that will keep the reader turning the pages to find what will happen next. Paige Rogers is a former CIA agent turned librarian. She thinks the past is buried and forgotten, but when the agent she believes betrayed her trust decides to run for public office, she can’t let him succeed. From the moment she sets out to expose him for what he is, the life that had become her refuge is no more. Once again she finds herself in life-threatening situations, but Paige is determined not to let her fears keep her from what she feels is true service to her country. She will risk everything in this one last attempt to right old wrongs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Love Finds You in Humble Texas

Anita Higman has given the reader a nice little dilemma to chew on with Love Finds You in Humble, Texas. Two sisters, totally opposite from one another, fall for the same man. Trudie is the one with low self esteem who can’t understand why Mason is interested in her. Lane is the sophisticated one who falls for Mason after a makeover on her sister who has a blind date with Mason. Thus begins a journey of two women as they change and grow. The characters are well-defined and the plot moves right along to the conclusion and the choices each has to make.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hold on to your hat and get ready for another great adventure with Mary Connealy. It all begins when Grant meets the orphan train in Sour Springs, Texas and plans to take the last two orphans home with him. One problem, Hannah Cartwright is determined he can’t take them to what she believes will be a life of slavery. She is appalled to learn how man y orphan children Grant has taken in the past few years. Hannah decides to stay in town as the new school teacher in order to keep close tabs on the two new children, especially since the little girl Libby is Hannah’s own sister. Hannah knows only cruelty and a hard life as an orphan herself and can’t believe Grant’s intentions are anything but evil. Again Mary uses children to bring delight to the soul and a smile to the lips. Libby and Charlie will capture your heart as they prove their loyalty to their new father in the end and save the day. If you enjoyed Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon, you will fall in love with the delightful characters Mary created for Gingham Mountain.

Love Finds You in Last Chance California

Love Finds You in Last Chance, California takes the reader back to the days of horse ranching in the far west when men were greedy for more land and the promise of gold. Miralee creates characters who show the spunk and spirit that made our country great. Alexia Travers is a strong-willed, stubborn woman who refuses to give up when her father dies unexpectedly, and she finds herself burdened with a mortgage and unpaid bills. Justin Phillips and his son Toby arrive to help, but mysterious things begin to happen. Can Alex trust her new ranch hand? The secondary characters add warmth, humor, and wisdom to this story of determination to keep the ranch working. The mystery of who is trying to sabotage Alex is skillfully woven into the story and keeps the reader guessing. Just enough other elements of surprise are thrown in to keep me turning the pages to see who wants Alex to fail. As Alex and Justin clash over what should be done on the ranch, Alex wonders if she can trust him, and Justin fights the feelings for her that can only get in his way. How these two work together to uncover the facts of her father’s death and who is threatening the ranch makes for an exciting story of adventure and love I think you will truly enjoy.