Friday, 29 April 2011

The Map Across Time by CS Lakin ~ EJ's Take


An ancient curse plagues the kingdom of Sherbourne, and unless it is stopped, all will fall to ruin. The King, obsessed with greed, cannot see the danger. But his teenage twin children, Aletha and Adin, know they must act. A hermit leads Adin to a magical map that will send him back in time to discover the origin of the curse. Once back, Adin must f
ind the Keeper, who protects the Gate of Heaven, but all he has is a symbol as a clue to guide him. Unbeknown to Adin, Aletha follows her brother, but they both arrive in Sherbourne’s past at the precipice of a great war, and there is little time to discover how to counteract the curse.

One unexpected disaster after another forces the twins to make difficult choices. Adin’s only hope to correct the past is to return to the future to manipulate events so his quest can succeed. Through his trials and failures, Adin learns that nothing can stop heaven from accomplishing its goal, and that all events work for the good of those who trust heaven. An epic fairy tale with surprising twists, embracing the enduring power of love and faith.

EJ's take:~

The Map Across Time is the second of three novels in the Gates of Heaven series. Though without many connections to the previous book, The Wolf of Tebron, I found it engaging and full of excitement, and ultimately, better than its predecessor. The tale of twin royals, Aletha and Adin, in search of the mysterious firebird and the answers to lifting the curse on the kingdom of Sherbourne, is enthralling and a very worthwhile read. The two must make difficult choices in their actions, determine who to trust, as well as facing trials that may separate them forever. The many twists that are cleverly woven throughout, bring a whole new meaning to the word 'fairytale'. The closure of the novel left some confusion for me, but in a world where time-travel is possible, there is no real surprise that it is the case. I would suggest adding this book to your personal collection. How does it end? Only time will tell.

With thanks to Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for EJ's review copy

Guest reviewer:~ my daughter, EJ

Relz Reviewz Extras

of Someone to Blame

Visit CS Lakin's website and blog

Buy her books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Dawn of a Dream by Ann Shorey


Luellen O'Connell is stunned and confused when her husband of just one month tells her he is leaving--and that he has another wife. Deeply wounded by this betrayal, Luellen decides to follow the dream she had set aside of obtaining a teaching degree. But her wayward husband left something behind when he abandoned her. Can Luellen overcome the odds and achieve her dream? Can she hide her secret, or will it destroy her dreams forever?

A moving story of tenacity and perseverance in the face of opposition, The Dawn of a Dream will inspire readers to discover and follow their own dreams.

My take:~

The third book in Ann Shorey's At Home in Beldon Grove series, The Dawn of a Dream, is my favourite of the trilogy. I enjoyed Luellen's tenacity in her efforts to become a teacher at a time when it was difficult to say the least, even without the additional pressures she faces following her husband's desertion. She is far from perfect and her decision making isn't always well considered. Such a character stands out in an historical novel, a genre where angelic, passive women are over represented! Luellen's brother Franklin and his friend, Ward Calder, both Army men, provide interesting insight in to the life of soldier during the time period and offer a contrast to the community of Beldon Grove and Luellen's student lifestyle. The Dawn of a Dream has all the elements historical romance readers enjoy with a uniqueness of character I thoroughly enjoyed.

With thanks to Revell for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of The Promise of Morning

Character spotlight on Ellie & Matthew

Review of The Edge of Light

Character spotlight on Molly

Visit Ann's website and blog

Buy Ann's book at Amazon or Koorong

Book trailer for Ronie Kendig's Wolfsbane

Ronie Kendig's third Discarded Heroes novel, Wolfsbane, hits shelves in July and I can't recommend it highly enough! Ronie is a supremely talented storyteller and I'd love to see you all reading her books.

Women who have enjoyed Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon and Susan May Warren's suspense will love Ronie's books as she takes it up a notch and more! Similarly, men who love the action of Maj. Jeff Struecker, Mel Odom and Robert Liparulo's thrillers will be more than impressed!

Here's a snippet from my endorsement of Wolfsbane:

"True to her tagline, Rapid-Fire Fiction, Ronie Kendig intensifies the tension, action and emotional heartache in her latest Discarded Heroes thriller, Wolfsbane. Unafraid to pen flawed and vulnerable characters, Ronie brings together a tarnished hero and a shattered woman, both fighting bitterness and desperate for redemption and forgiveness."

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

RBC Book Club interview with Sarah Sundin ~ Part 2

Be sure to read Part 1 of my book club's interview with Sarah Sundin and then come back here for Part 2.

Sarah's second Wings of Glory novel, A Memory Between Us, was our March selection. Look for her debut novel, A Distant Melody and the final story in the trilogy, Blue Skies Tomorrow, releasing this August.

RBC:~ I have often wondered how authors come up with their ideas or concepts for books. What sparks the idea and how do you grow the plot for your books?

Sarah:~ The spark of an idea can be anything. The idea for the very first book I wrote (never to be published) came from a dream. Some of my ideas have come from “what if” questions raised in other books I was writing, movies I’ve seen, people I’ve met, news stories I’ve read, or historical incidents—often a combination of these. For me, characters are the next link. The story spark leads to character ideas, and those eventually lead to plot. Each writer—and each story is unique. The early phase of story development is very nebulous. I kind of play with the idea and characters in my head and see what comes up. If the idea won’t let me go, I know I’m on to something.

I enjoyed the novel especially the reference to Psalm 23 verse 4. Was that the premise for writing this novel or how did you frame that verse into your writing?

That’s one of the weird things about being a writer. When I read the Bible or listen to sermons, I often find myself thinking, “Oh! That’s exactly what Ruth needs to hear.” I’m sure my pastor thinks I’m very spiritual when I scribble notes in the sermon, but often it’s a story idea. Shh. Don’t tell him. I believe Psalm 23 sparked one of those moments for me. It was exactly what Ruth needed.

Were you able to share your research with other members of your family? Was it an opportunity for them to share?

Sadly, my great-uncle died in 2000 before I started writing this series. I would have loved his input, and I think he’d get a kick out of it. His daughters are thrilled that I was inspired by his stories.

When you started writing did you envisage a trilogy?

I have two unpublished “starter” novels. May they rest in peace. My first published novel, A Distant Melody, was originally meant to be a standalone, but while doing research, I became enamored with the Eighth Air Force and wanted to tell the full story to V-E Day. Since my hero had two pilot brothers, I decided to write a trilogy, with each book focusing on one brother.

About this time, the character of Lt. Ruth Doherty came to me. When I mentally put Ruth in the same room with Jack, sparks flew!

What was it like doing the research? Was there a lot of information available or was it a challenge?

I enjoy research, but I have to be careful not to get sucked into the research black hole. I need enough research to make the story accurate and realistic, but at some point, I have to stop and actually write the story. There was a lot of information about B-17s and the Eighth Air Force, but I had to wade through it all. However, researching Army nursing and Army hospitals was more difficult and frustrating. There’s much less information.

Both Jack and Ruth had a reasonable amount of internal dialogue happening that was not always apparent to each other or their friends and colleagues. Did you find it difficult to keep true to where they were at without slipping up when each thought was then revealed?

Oh, this is my favourite part of writing! It even has a name—“subtext”—all those things we think but don’t say, the hidden meanings. A lot of it comes out in the rough draft, but I tune it up in editing, and make sure the characters reveal things at just the right time.

Do you prefer to write fiction set in different time periods?

I wrote two contemporary novels (badly) before starting the Wings of Glory series. My next series is also set during World War II, and I have a vague idea for another series set during the war. I could see myself writing a contemporary story again at some point, but as for other time periods, not for a while. I’ve got a great basic body of research for WWII, and the thought of researching another era is exhausting. However, I’ll never say never. A super story idea could take me anywhere.

Why did you choose World War II?

Besides the cute clothes and men in uniform? First of all, there are so many dramatic stories and settings—a novelist’s dream. This was a time when ordinary men had to do extraordinary things, and when women first explored non-traditional roles—while remaining ladies. Plus, I’ve always been fond of that generation, my grandparents’ generation. As a pharmacy resident at a veterans’ hospital, I had the honor of caring for many of these men. As a rule, they were cheerful, kind, and chivalrous, with the solid strength of someone who has been tested—and passed. What more could you want in a hero?

I enjoyed being taken back to 1944 and was wondering how you did your research into England during this time

The best part was visiting England. Thanks to my husband’s frequent flyer miles, I've had three opportunities. In addition to seeing London, we went to Bury St. Edmunds and walked through the ruined abbey. I took lots of notes and absorbed everything I could. Even being there in person couldn't substitute for good old research though. I read lots of books about England during the war, and found some great websites, especially for the town of Bury St. Edmunds and the airfield there.

Often in crises, relationships are formed but don’t last after the crisis has ended. Can you tell us what you think about that?

I’ve noticed that too. I was surprised when reading oral histories from the war describing great friendships forged in the fire—where they had lost touch with each other after the war. Perhaps when peace and prosperity returned, the friendship itself became a reminder of the trauma and was too painful. Sometimes we just have friendships for a season of life, and when that season is over, the friendships pass. It makes me sad, though.

When relationships are formed in extreme circumstances do they have a different quality to those formed in ‘normal’ life?

Absolutely. So many of those friendships did survive the war, despite great geographical distances. When someone’s been there with you in a great crisis, you know they can be trusted. There’s a scene in the last Lord of the Rings movie, The Return of the King, that epitomizes this. The four hobbits have returned to the Shire after their astounding adventures and visit the local pub. All around them, life goes on as always, unchanged. But the adventurers sit by themselves and exchange a long look. They’ve been tested. They’ve each been proven. They’ve changed and they’re better for it. And no one else will ever truly understand them the way these friends do.

Please share something of your faith journey.

I was raised going to church every Sunday, learning my Bible stories, and memorizing my verses—but what I learned that only good little girls went to heaven. So I did my very best at being a good little girl. When I was ten, we switched to a different church. The first time we went was for a performance of their high school choir. Those kids glowed with the love of Jesus. When they presented the gospel message, I finally understood. It wasn’t about me being good, but about Jesus dying for me. I accepted Christ that day and grew through my school years.

However, when I went away to college, I decided to take a “vacation” from God and have some “fun.” It took me four stupid years to realize “fun” was miserable. I turned back to God in slow, faltering steps. Now I truly saw why I needed a Savior. Since then it’s been a long climbing journey. Like Ruth, I had to learn to shove off shame over my past so God could use me. I’ve discovered a deep love for God’s Word and developed the gift of teaching He gave me. He gave me the assignment to write, and I’ve learned so much through obeying Him. And I know He has a long way to go with me.

I hear you have sold a new series to Revell, Wings of the Nightingale ~ congratulations! Can you share a little about what we can look forward to?

I’m really excited about this series, and thrilled that Revell offered me another contract. Wings of the Nightingale rose directly out of A Memory Between Us. The research into flight nursing for Ruth’s story fascinated me. Five hundred women served as the world’s first flight nurses, a truly pioneering job for women at the time. I couldn’t cover it as deeply as I wanted in Ruth’s story, but the research prodded the idea of a trilogy about three friends who are flight nurses. I had a few ideas for romances flitting through my head, and they fit the setting well. The Wings of the Nightingale series will cover the Mediterranean Theater, from North Africa, through Sicily and Italy, and into southern France. It’s a lot of fun so far.

Thank you so very much, Sarah :) I hope we haven’t overwhelmed you!

You’re welcome :)

Relz Reviewz Extras

RBC Book Club interview with Sarah ~ Part 1

Review of A Distant Melody

Character spotlight on Allie & Walt

Visit Sarah's website and blog

Buy Sarah's books from Amazon or Koorong

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Character Spotlight ~ Tricia Goyer's Marianna Sommer with giveaways


Prolific author, Tricia Goyer, is well known for her historical novels and non fiction yet with her latest novel she turns her hand to Amish fiction, the first of a new series.

Enjoy this insight into Marianna. Over to you, Tricia:~

Brief physical description
Marianna Sommer is a petite Amish young woman with light brown hair and grey eyes.
Actor/famous person
Rachel McAdams.
Strengths and weaknesses
Strengths: She's dedicated to her family and the Amish way of life. She has a loving a caring heart. She's great in the kitchen and she has a fun sense of humor and quick wit—which many “Englischers” don't expect.
Weaknesses: She cares about what others think more than she should. She also battles between how she's been raised and what her heart it telling her to be true about God and others.

Your inspiration for the character
Marianna was inspired by Amish friends of mine. Spending time with them I found them fun, surprising and yet thoughtful, too. Sometimes we think that simple people are boring, but that's not the case with my friends or Marianna either.

Background to the s
Every great novel starts with a bit of fact. This story started with more than that.
A few years ago I was asked if I'd ever consider writing an Amish novel. The truth is, I hadn't. But the first seed of an idea was planted and my mind started to feed and water it. That's how novels usually start.
Later that day, I remembered that my daughter had a friend, Saretta, whose parents were raised Amish. They moved from an Amish community in Indiana to Montana, and that is how we met. I also remember my daughter telling me Ora Jay and Irene lost two daughters in a buggy accident.
Hmmm, I thought. I'd love to hear their story. Maybe someday, if I see them again, I'll ask.
The next day, my daughter Leslie and I went out for some mom and daughter time. We went to a bookstore to browse and get coffee. As we looked over the bargain rack guessed who walked in … Saretta. We hadn't seen her for six months at least and there she was.
“Saretta,” I told her. “I think I'm supposed to talk to your parents—hear their story.”
“Sure, I'm sure they'd love to talk to you!”
Less than a week later Ora Jay and Irene sat in my living room. They told me about being Amish, about losing their daughters, about their move. They also talked about their faith. They shared what the meant to be Amish. They shared how their faith had grown after moving to Montana. They shared many ways God had changed their lives and their hearts. I listened amazed. Their story added more water—the Living Water—and sunshine to the seed of a novel planted in my hearts.
After talking to Ora Jay and Irene, I met many other Amish women from the West Kootenai Community. I was honored as they shared their lives with me.
While this story is still a work of fiction, I've tried to be as true to the lifestyle and faith of this Amish community. As you may know, each Amish community is different, depending on the place and rules of the church. While I may not have gotten everything right, I've tried hard that my words reflect truth. I trust they do.
Thanks Tricia :) Lovely to have you visit again.
Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana
Character spotlight on Julia Cavanaugh
Visit Tricia's website and blog

Buy Tricia's books at Amazon or Koorong

Monday, 25 April 2011

Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate


Adventure is the last thing on Andrea Henderson's mind when she moves to Moses Lake. After surviving the worst year of her life, she's struggling to build a new life for herself and her son as a social worker. Perhaps in doing a job that makes a difference, she can find some sense of purpose and solace in her shattered faith.

For new Moses Lake game warden Mart McClendon, finding a sense of purpose in life isn't an issue. He took the job to get out of southwest Texas and the constant reminders of a tragedy for which he can't forgive himself. But when a little girl is seen with the town recluse, Mart and Andrea are drawn together in the search for her identity. The little girl offers them both a new chance at redemption and hope--and may bring them closer than either ever planned.

My take:~

Lisa Wingate has changed things up a little in her latest novel, Larkspur Cove. Still charming, still engaging but with a more serious flavour than her series set in Daily, Texas, as she tells the story in the first person voices of Andrea and Mart in alternating chapters. Andrea is desperate to redefine her life as a solo parent following her husband's betrayal and subsequent divorce. Game warden, Mart McClendon, discovers his solitary life challenged by Andrea's appeal and compassion. Larkspur Cove is a tender and mature love story, played out against the backdrop of a colourful community and a young girl's tragic life. A thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying read.

With thanks to Bethany for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Talk of the Town and Word Gets Around

Visit Lisa's website

Buy Lisa's books at Amazon or Koorong

Sunday, 24 April 2011

RBC Book Club interview with Sarah Sundin ~ Part 1

Sarah Sundin's A Memory Between Us was my book club's March selection and we had the pleasure of a lengthy Q&A with Sarah via email. Sarah was very generous answering each of our questions about her book, writing, research and faith.

Our discussion about the book was interesting as we chatted about the time period, the characters, prejudices and how we would cope living in wartime condition

Both Sarah and I hope you enjoy Part 1 of our interview :)

RBC:~ I noticed on your bio that you teach lessons from the 40's woman and your novel reflects a passion for this era. How does this influence your life, faith and relationships around you?

SARAH:~ The more I study this era and what the men and women faced, the more impressed I am with them. They were dedicated to home, family, and community. They worked hard and were people of integrity. They persevered through difficult times. Their example makes me evaluate my own life and see where I fall short.

I did enjoy your novel and the challenges facing each of the characters. I had a soft spot for May who epitomises perseverance and hope despite hardship and wondered how you developed her character?

When I was young, I think I read too many books about poor little orphan girls. May arose from the simple story need for a friend for Ruth, someone for Ruth to interact with and to help Ruth grow. Both women faced great hardship, but Ruth chose to pull away from people while May chose to reach out. Ruth lost her faith, but May kept hers. But the fact that May was orphaned, hurt, and rejected gave her clout with Ruth. What surprised me while writing the story was how their friendship became balanced, and how Ruth was able to help May also.

There is a lot of detail in this story – can you talk about how you approach your research?

Historical inaccuracies in fiction annoy me, so I tried to make my stories as accurate as possible. I have to confess, I have over two hundred books and websites in my bibliography. Yes, that’s sick. I started with basic texts on World War II, then got more detailed. Bibliographies are a great resource—when a book is mentioned in multiple bibliographies, it warrants attention. My local library has found some obscure books for me.

How long have you been interested in that period of history / the military / did anything in particular start your interest?

I’ve always had a moderate interest in World War II. When I had the idea for A Distant Melody, the first book in the series, I knew it had to happen during World War II. Then my husband and I watched a documentary on the US Eighth Air Force, and I was hooked. Since my great-uncle was a B-17 pilot with the Eighth, I had access to his stories and letters. I started my basic research and became enthralled with the era.

How long was this story plotting away in your head before you decided to get serious and write a novel about it?

I had the basic idea for this story in 2002, while I was writing A Distant Melody. This story grabbed me, and I took a few months to dash off about a hundred pages and do some preliminary research. Then I set it aside, finished and polished A Distant Melody, completed the research, then sat down to write the rough draft in 2004.

What was your process for writing this novel?

Since I didn’t have a publishing contract at the time, I had the luxury of time. I spent a full year doing research and my “pre-writing”—outlining, character analyses, etc. Then I wrote the rough draft, then edited it thoroughly. It took quite a while to sell the series, so it went through many edits. I’ve lost count.

Your descriptions of the planes are impressively detailed. Could you tell us about the research you did for this story?

There are a lot of excellent books and websites about the Eighth Air Force, including wonderful oral histories. Since I’ve never flown a plane, I first read a “How to Fly a Plane” book to get the basics. I also used a copy of the actual B-17 pilot’s manual and the Army Air Force training film, and ran the flying scenes past a pilot friend. Two organizations tour the United States with beautifully restored B-17s, and you can walk through them for a nominal fee. Wow! When you crawl through the narrow passageways, duck through the doorways, and poke your head into the top turret—and then imagine doing it as a full-grown man with heavy high-altitude flying gear in subzero temperatures under fighter attack—it gives you a new level of appreciation for what the airmen went through.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get into writing?

Be teachable and soak up all the good instruction you can. Read books on writing craft, and then read your favorite authors and analyze how they did it.

Join a local writers’ group or an on-line critique group.

Don’t submit to agents and editors until you’re ready. That means a complete manuscript, positive feedback from experienced writers, and enough knowledge of the publishing industry to know how to submit properly. You want your first impression to be stellar.

Lastly, when you’re ready, submit and keep submitting. Keep polishing your craft, and keep praying for the Lord’s guidance.

What made you want to get into writing?

I didn’t. Although I always read voraciously, I never considered a writing career. Instead I chose a practical career in pharmacy which allowed me to work on-call and stay home with our three children. Then in 2000, I had a dream with such intriguing characters that I felt compelled to write their story. That first novel will never be published, nor should it, but it got me started.

What was your favourite scene(s) to write?

I have so many in this book. Any time I put Jack and Ruth in the same room, the banter flew. I just transcribed their dialogue. I think one of my favorite scenes is when Jack & Ruth visit the ruined abbey in Bury St. Edmund. In that scene I got to write fun banter, a sweet tender part, a deeply romantic part, a painful flashback, and a hysterical rant! That was a good writing day.

Which character did you connect with most as you wrote the story?

It has to be Ruth. She fascinated me. On the surface she is so strong she doesn’t need another human being—and she has a great sense of humor. But underneath she has deep hurts and shame. It was fun for me to tease out what made her the way she is and to watch her change and grow.

Ruth is a complex character. What or who was your inspiration as you told her story?

Just my own strange imagination, I’m afraid. She’s not based on any real person or incident. However, as a little girl, I was fascinated by stories of orphans in peril, so maybe that’s where it started. Ruth came from an idea about a poor girl who makes a shameful decision to feed her family. I wondered what kind of girl would make such a decision, what consequences she would face, and what she’d be like when she grew up. And there was Ruth—strong, confident, clever, independent, prickly—but vulnerable inside.

How have your great-uncle’s wartime experiences impacted on you personally, and your extended family?

I grew up listening to my grandfather relating his brother’s wartime stories as well as his own (he was a medic in the US Navy). We all took pride in his background. The more I’ve researched, the more I admire what he went through.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

My children are 12, 15, and 18, with the oldest one away at college, so I do most of my writing during the school day. First I run through e-mails and social media sites for about an hour, and then I settle down to write until the kids come home from school. I do more on-line work while they’re doing homework. Thanks to the laptop, I do a lot of work on the go. Also I do things like this interview on the laptop in front of the TV while my family watches their shows.

Do you plan out the entire story before you start writing?

I do. I’m definitely an outline-oriented writer. I fill out lots of character and plot charts, and have each chapter loosely outlined before I start the rough draft. However, often the story will still surprise me, especially the characters. Then I modify my outline if necessary.

If A Memory Between Us was made into a movie which actors would you like to see in the various roles?

I’d cast Maureen O’Hara as Ruth, and a young Clark Gable as Jack—more from It Happened One Night than Gone With the Wind, but without Gable’s dimples and ears.

What do you find the enjoyable aspect to writing and the most challenging?

I love so many aspects of writing—research, planning, writing the rough draft, even editing. I’m not as fond of publicity, but it’s a necessary evil.

Are you working on a project at the moment?

Several. I’m still doing publicity for A Distant Melody and A Memory Between Us. I’m working on my publisher’s final edits for the third book in the series, Blue Skies Tomorrow, I’m about halfway through the rough draft of the first book in my next series, plus I’m planning out the next two books in that series. The author’s life is a juggling act.

I hope you have enjoyed this interview with Sarah ~ look for Part Two later this week!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of A Distant Melody

Character spotlight on Allie & Walt

Visit Sarah's website and blog

Buy Sarah's books from Amazon or Koorong

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Character Spotlight ~ Rachel Hauck's Belle Jamison & Burke Benning

Belle & Burke

Rachel Hauck's ebook, This Time, was one of her first novels and is a sweet romance readers will love. Hope you enjoy this insight into her characters.

Over to you, Rachel:~

Brief physical description

Belle: All America, wholesome, one who carries the wind of the plains in her soul.

Burke: The male Belle! Athletic with kind eyes and tender soul.

Actor/famous person

Amy Adams for Belle and Tom Brady for Burke

Strengths and weaknesses

Belle: Her strength is loyalty. She’s loyal to her father, her friends and her ranch. But it’s also her weakness. She’s loyal to a love that abandoned her twelve years ago.

Burke: His strength is his ability to change. His weakness is being so good at everything!

Your inspiration for the character

Belle and Burke were two people who live somewhere in my soul. This Time was one of my first books and I think when an author starts out, she’s really writing the larger pieces of herself.

d to the story

My husband was helping to coach high school football and one Friday after work, I went to one of the games. It was just turning fall and even though I live in Florida where seasons don’t vary much, I became nostalgic about my childhood in Oklahoma.

The genesis of this story began!

Thanks Rach for sharing about two of your earliest characters :)

Relz Reviewz Extras

Reviews of Dining with Joy, The Sweet By and By, Love Starts With Elle, Sweet Caroline and Diva NashVegas

Interview with Rachel

Visit Rachel's website

Buy Rachel's books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Book trailer for Mary DeMuth's The Muir House

Mary DeMuth is known for her raw and authentic novels so I am looking forward to the release of her latest, The Muir House, releasing from Zondervan in May, 2011.

Enjoy the trailer:~

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Tomorrow's Garden by Amanda Cabot


Harriet Kirk is certain that becoming Ladreville's schoolteacher is just what she needs--a chance to put the past behind her and give her younger siblings a brighter tomorrow. What she didn't count on was the presence of handsome former Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood--or the way he slowly but surely claims her fragile heart. But can Harriet and Lawrence ever truly put the past behind them in order to find happiness?

My take:~

Tomorrow's Garden is the final instalment in Amanda Cabot's Texas Dreams trilogy, set in the French/German town of Ladreville, a community steeped in European ways striving to make sense of their American home. Amanda infuses her story with a determined heroine and a compassionate hero, both dealing with past tragedies that impact their behaviour, recalcitrant siblings, inquisitive neighbours and danger in the form of a jilted suitor. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to warm to Harriet and felt the book foundered a little in the middle, which impacted my enjoyment of the story. That said, I appreciated how Harriet's defiant brother Jake is drawn, as he struggles authentically with his new found circumstances. While Tomorrow's Garden is not my favourite Cabot story, it may be yours so if you love a sweet romance be sure to look it up.

Available April 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

With thanks to Revell for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Scattered Petals

Character spotlight on Priscilla & Zach

Review of Paper Roses

Character spotlight on Sarah & Clay

Interview with Amanda

Visit Amanda's website

Buy Amanda's book at Amazon or Koorong

Monday, 18 April 2011

Coming soon from Gina Holmes, Jerry B Jenkins & Tyndale House

Love, love, love these covers from Tyndale House!

Looking forward to reading both stories too.

How about you?

Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes

From the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans comes a powerfully moving story that tests the limits of love’s forgiveness.

Like many marriages, Eric and Kyra Yoshida’s has fallen apart slowly, one lost dream and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal finally pushes them beyond reconciliation. Just when it looks like forgive and forget is no longer an option, a car accident gives Eric the second chance of a lifetime. A concussion causes his wife to forget details of her life, including the chasm between them. No one knows when—or if—Kyra’s memory will return, but Eric seizes the opportunity to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving.

September, 2011

The Betrayal by Jerry B Jenkins

Detective Boone Drake has just masterminded the most massive sting in Chicago history, bringing down the heads of not only the biggest street gangs in the city but also the old crime syndicate. The story is the biggest in decades, and the Chicago Police Department must protect the key witness at all costs.

Despite top secret plans to transfer the witness ahead of his testimony before the grand jury, an attempt is made on his life. And the person suspected of leaking this information may be one of the CPD’s own.

September, 2011

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