Wednesday, 30 November 2011

News & Notes

I just adore Nicole Baart's writing and am looking forward to her February release, Far From Here, from Howard Books.  I love this video which shares some of Nicole's love of writing and some gorgeous glimpses of her beautiful family :)


I'm thrilled with the news that Elizabeth (Beth) White has signed a three book contract with Revell!  Here's Beth's announcement:

"I've accepted a three-book contract offer from Revell Publishing for my Gulf Coast Chronicles, a historical series beginning with *The Pelican Brides* set in French Colonial Mobile."

I own and have read all Beth's books and can highly recommend them - lovely contemporary romances for the most part with a few suspense and historicals thrown in for good measure!  She has also written one of my all time favourite male characters in her novella, The Trouble with Tommy in a collection called Sweet Delights.


To celebrate the release of Tracie Peterson's House of Secrets, Bethany House and the amazing PulsePoint Design team are offering a fantastic contest with an amazing prize:

One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive a $400 Pike Place Market prize package, featuring:

• Market Spice Tea Sampler Trio – 3 Flavor Variety
• Sleepless in Seattle 5-Pack Coffee Gift Set
• Seattle Space Needle Relax Du Mocha Cocoa 6 oz
• Washington Artisan Handwarmer Mug – Mossy Creek design
• Pacific Northwest Lemon Honey Creme – 11.8 oz
• Pacific Northwest Artisan Crackers – Parmesan Cayenne 5 oz
• Seattle-Made Garlic Obsession Dip 1 oz
• Washington Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon – 2 oz
• ‘Celebrate the Market’ Pike Place Kitchen Towel & Mitt Set
• Emerald City DVD (visual tour of everything from the Space Needle to the Pike Place Market)
• A personalized (you select the name) marble plaque, featuring Isaiah 43:18-19, Bailee’s favorite verse in House of Secrets
• A copy of Gems of Wisdom, written and signed by author Angie Breidenbach, a close friend of Tracie’s and the woman to whom House of Secrets is dedicated
• A signed copy of Eyes of the Heart, a devotional stories book by Tracie Peterson
• A hardbound copy of House of Secrets, signed by Tracie Peterson

To enter, click here!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander

Trapped by her father's demands that she copy masterpieces to sell as originals in his art gallery, Claire Laurent desires to escape and paint in her own name.  Desperate circumstances finally force Claire to flee New Orleans and leave her deceitful life behind.  Arriving in Nashville, with barely a penny to her name, Claire's French heritage captures the interest of Adelicia Acklen, a woman of great wealth and independence, wishing to assert her place in society.

As Claire moves into Adelicia's magnificent Belmont Mansion, Adelicia's lawyer, Sutton Monroe, does not hide his suspicions regarding Claire's motivation in seeking employment at Belmont.  Under the guise of showing her around Belmont and Nashville, Sutton spends time with the lovely Claire, causing him to reconsider his initial views.

When Claire's past returns to haunt her, Adelicia and Sutton must decide where the truth lies.
Tamera Alexander's highly anticipated beginning to her Belmont Mansion series is replete with intriguing historical and cultural details that add life and texture a tale of betrayal, mystery, romance and forgiveness.  Claire and Sutton are engagingly drawn and their tentative relationship unfolds naturally under Tamera's deft hand.  Nashville society, the antebellum mansion and the economic highs and lows that followed the civil war come to life, providing an entertaining lesson in American history and revealing the pressures and social upheaval that arise following national division.  An actual historical figure, Adelicia Acklen’s character and lifestyle unfold as she, and her home, become pivotal parts of this story.  As with her previous novels, Tamera excels with her attention to historical detail, well developed and genuine characters, tender romance and mellifluous prose.  Prepare to be swept away to another place and time in A Lasting Impression.

As seen at

With thanks to Bethany House & Litfuse for my review copy
Relz Reviewz Extras 
Character spotlight on Claire & Sutton
Reviews of Revealed, Remembered, The Inheritance, From A Distance, Beyond This Moment & Within My Heart
Interview with Tamera
Visit Tamera's website and blog
Buy Tamera's books at Amazon or Koorong

Monday, 28 November 2011

Character Spotlight ~ Beckett Rush & Finley Sinclair

The brilliant Jenny B Jones' latest YA novel, There You'll Find Me is available now from 
Thomas Nelson. 

Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen year old. She’s witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming audition at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother.
She decides to travel to Ireland following his travel journal. It’s the place he felt most alive – and she desperately needs to feel alive again. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane. Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She’s the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down – the loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to new – and dangerous – vices.

Then she comes across something that changes her perspective irrevocably. Is it enough to convince her that everything she’s been looking for has been with her all along?

Enjoy meeting Finley & Beckett ~ thanks Jen!

Credit: Getty Images
Rel: Brief physical description

Jenny: Finley is tall, with long, dark hair. It’s usually in a messy bun or ponytail. She’s beautiful, but in a low-maintenance way. She’s too busy composing music or doing homework to worry too much about her appearance. Yet the girl’s got undeniably good genes.

I picture her resembling Nina Dobrev from Vampire Diaries (which is appropriate given Finley’s own romance with a boy who knows all about fangs.)

Beckett is tall, has piercing gray eyes, and wavy blond hair in need of a haircut. Obviously he has to stay in shape to play the role of a vampire and to stay in the Hollywood game. I guess buff is not a bad quality in the fellow you’re trying not to crush on.

I think Beckett probably resembles Chris Hemsworth in his younger days. Before he went all Thor and all.

Rel: That would be when he was all Home and Away, playing the character of Kim Hyde in the Australian soap!!

Strengths and weaknesses 

Finley’s strength has been her (for lack of better word) strongest trait all her life, but in the loss of her brother, she’s finally met something that she can’t stand against. I think it’s interesting to take a hammer to a character’s core feature. Her strength ultimately becomes her weakness as life starts to suck Finley down like an undertow.

Beckett, a nineteen year old star of a series of vampire flicks, has the strengths that shot him straight to the top of Hollywood’s “It” list. He’s charming, gorgeous, charismatic, and just has that…something.

His weakness is that he’s trapped in a life he never chose, having began as a child star then rocketed to fame. Career decisions have been made for Beckett since he was a little boy, but this boy has grown up and wants something else. He just needs to figure out what that is and how to make it happen.

Quirk (if any)

Finley has a sense of humor. She often uses it as a defense mechanism. She’s enthralled by music, the power and beauty of it. She comes from a very famous, wealthy family, but Finley has been raised to be a very down-to-earth girl. Not being a prima donna herself, she doesn’t put up with any stuff from anyone.
Credit: stock.xchang

Beckett is quirky in that on the surface he is this famous, uber popular teen actor, but once Finley gets to know him, she finds a guy who reads deep nonfiction, takes online college classes on the sly, and breathes in Ireland like oxygen. He’s completely the opposite of what she expected. Finley discovers there might be more to his playboy, wild-child reputation than she reads in the tabloids. 

Your inspiration for the character

Finley made a brief appearance in Save the Date, my women’s romance from last spring. I like books that are a series in a loose sense of the word—not by a continuing story, but by characters being related or popping up here and there. As soon as I wrote Finley, I knew I wanted her to have her own story.

Beckett’s inspiration was Robert Pattinson. I am fascinated with celebrities. So much of their lives are completely orchestrated, from what they wear to who they marry. I wanted to take this Twilight heartthrob and totally flip that character on its ear. To me Beckett was my chance to pose the question: Do we see the real person in the tabs, movies, TV? I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all. I think we’d be shocked at the real lives and identities of some famous folk.

Background to the story

Finley lost her older brother two years ago. Though logic says she should have adjusted to her new normal by now, she just can’t shake her grief. She goes to Ireland, like her brother did at her age, and follows his travel journal, using observations of the beautiful country to create an original piece of music to get her into a renowned conservatory. But the grief follows her to the Emerald Isle, and she encounters new problems. Like the hottest teen actor making his vampire movies right there in Abbeyglen and a cranky old woman who falls into Finley’s life. Finley has a lot of troubles, and that balance is not her strength. She controls her life however she can…no matter the cost. 

Fabulous spotlight, Jen ~ appreciate it! 

Relz Reviewz Extras 
Character spotlight on Lucy & Alex
Character spotlight on Maggie & Connor
Visit Jenny's website and blog
Buy Jenny's books at Amazon or Koorong

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Coming in 2012 from Lorna Seilstad and Revell

You may recall seeing my recent post, sharing Revell's mid 2012 releases, which had Lorna Seilstad's synopsis but no cover art.  I amended my post but wanted to ensure you saw Lorna's upcoming book.

If you enjoy Deeanne Gist and Karen Witemeyer or your historical romance laced with humour, look for Lorna's Lake Manawa Summers series.

The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six year old. Widowed two years ago, Lilly leaves the shelter of her intrusive in-laws' home to stand on her own and provide for her young son by working for the summer as a cook at Lake Manawa. However, her in-laws find that life utterly unsuitable for their grandson, and when a row ensues, a handsome stranger--who designs roller coasters, of all things--intercedes on her behalf. Still, Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky (though charismatic) gentleman. Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.

Filled with delightful characters and the romance of summer, The Ride of Her Life is another supremely entertaining story from the witty Lorna Seilstad. Readers will laugh out loud and sigh contentedly as they spend the summer of 1906 in Lake Manawa.

May, 2012

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Heiress by Susan May Warren

In her Gilded Age retelling of the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau, Susan May Warren reminds readers of the sordid nature of greed, infidelity and betrayal in a time where opulence, entitlement and social standing were life itself.

Esme Price has been groomed to take her place in society and her parents intend to engineer her marriage to benefit their pocketbooks rather than Esme's heart.  When her heart is shattered by tragedy and then sisterly betrayal, Esme flees New York to seek a life of independence on the Montana frontier and experiences a life she couldn't have imagined.

Jinx's deception and betrayal of her sister garner her the man and lifestyle she thought she wanted but too soon she discovers that behind her husband's smooth facade lies a heart overflowing with anger and vicious intent.  A fateful encounter changes her life of privilege to an internal battle of heartache and devastating secrets.

Susan May Warren has penned a compelling tale of the changing fortunes of two sisters in Heiress.  In depth characterisation and fascinating historical detail mark this story from beginning to end.  Esme's journey from privileged society girl to an independent woman determined to carve out a career, despite opposition, is intriguing and moving.  As Jinx becomes trapped in an imaginable world of heartache through her own poor choices, Susan shines a light on the consequences of avarice, self indulgence and bitter desire.  Realistic and genuine, conservative readers may find the storyline confronting but those who seek an honest reflection of sin and the need for God's redemption will find Heiress enthralling.  The parallels with Jacob and Esau are intriguing and well thought out and reflect the same ugliness of the brothers' bitter dispute as a retelling should.  A number of editorial errors were surprising in this otherwise excellent novel.  Both the burgeoning newspaper and dangerous mining industries are explored, and the detail makes very interesting reading.  This first novel  in the Daughters of Fortune series will have readers highly anticipating more quality historical writing from such a versatile author.

As seen at
With thanks to Litfuse for my review copy
Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Jinx Worth
Reviews of Nightingale & Sons of Thunder

Visit Susie's website and blog

Buy Susie's books at Amazon or Koorong

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Coming in mid 2012 from Zondervan

A Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends  ~ hope your day is fabulous :)

Here's some more 2012 releases ~ this time from Zondervan.

What do you think?

Alex LaDuca travels to Miami to continue her investigations into the murder-and-money laundering activities of the Dosi cartel, an intrigue set in motion in Hostage in Havana. Sent there by the U.S. Treasury Department to speak with a recent Cuban defector, she soon realizes this key player may be no help at all.

A vast global money laundering scheme fueled by cocaine profits. A man who promises to put Alex “in touch with the deceased.”

A lethal trap by the Dosi cartel. A handsome actor back in New York who suggests that love and romance may soon return to Alex’s life … Alex attempts to navigate a Miami underworld that encompasses elements of the surreal and supernatural. But can Alex emerge from this world with her life—and her faith—intact? Can she get past the painful tragedy of her past and discover God’s plan for her future? Readers of general market thrillers, such as Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy will eagerly anticipate this second installment.

May, 2012

In the fifth and final novel of the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, three young women are about to change their lives. Lizzie Anne and Samuel have decided to get married, and Lindsay is about to be baptized in the Amish faith and is courting Matthew. While Katie Kauffman is happy for her friends who seem to have settled their futures, she is also finding herself something of a fifth wheel.

When Lindsay’s sister Jessica returns to Bird-in-Hand, she finds that Jake Miller has moved on with his life. He lost hope that Jessica would ever be satisfied to settle in rural Pennsylvania and takes comfort in becoming close friends with Katie. However, it’s not an easy road as Jake is Mennonite and Katie has just been baptized in the Amish faith. Her father forbids them to see each other, adamant that his daughter marry an Amish man.

A Season of Love is filled with surprising twists that will grip you to the very last words. As the stories of your favorite Amish community draw to a close, join Lindsay, her friends, and all the people of Bird-In-Hand for one last volume.

June, 2012

Coming Home is a novel about tremendous victory and unprecedented loss, a story of faith and a forever kind of love, love that will stay with you long after the last page. This stand-alone novel will serve as either a grand introduction or a beautiful conclusion in the saga of the Baxter Family.

The Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, a celebration like they haven’t had in years. But before the big day, the unthinkable happens. As the Baxter Family rallies together, memories come to light in the grief-stricken hours of waiting and praying, memories that bring healing and hope during a time when otherwise darkness might have the final word. In a season that changes all of them, the brilliance of family love overshadows even the valley of heartache as the Baxters draw closer to God and each other. Along the way, secrets are revealed and the truth about the Baxter Family history is finally made known. Ultimately, in this portrait of family love, the Baxters cling to each other and to God’s promise of forever.

 July, 2012

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Author Alert ~ Katie Ganshert

Credit: Mattox

I'm delighted to introduce Katie Ganshert, wife, mum and soon to be published author!
Katie's debut contemporary romance, Wildflowers in Winter, releases in May, 2012 from Waterbrook Multnomah, with a second story to follow in 2013. 

Here's the lowdown on Wildflowers in Winter

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her trailer park teen years. Until an unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

Be sure to check out Katie's fabulous website which has lots of fun information and opportunities to join in.  Katie shares her real-life romance and encourages her visitors to share their story!  I've shared mine ~ much fun :)

Katie has shared a favourite passage from Wildflowers in Winter, especially for my readers. 

“How’s she doing?” he asked.


“Care to elaborate on that?”

Bethany resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Why didn’t he ask Robin himself? Did he think she would break under such a simple question? Sarcasm crept to the edge of her tongue, but his hazel eyes, much brighter from his tanned skin, stared at her with imploring seriousness.

“She’s trying,” she said.

“She doesn’t sing in church anymore.”

“Maybe she realizes there’s nothing to sing about.”

Evan cocked his head, his stare reminding her of Storm’s. He didn’t just look at her, he looked through her—inside of her—and whatever he found seemed to make him sad.

She stiffened. “What?”

He stepped closer and stared so intently that for a second, she thought he might reach out and touch her cheek. “Someday, Bethany, I hope you find out that you’re wrong. There’s so much to sing about.”

Connect with Katie

Author Website:

Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Katie's website and blog
Buy Katie's book at Amazon or CBD

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher


In the high desert town of Frenchman's Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community's new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. But, there are those who never wanted her there to begin with. 

Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm's inexperience doesn't sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity's heart will be broken once again. 

A woman who hasn't known love. A man who lost the love he had. 

In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life's bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.

My take:~

Robin Lee Hatcher is a veteran in the world of Christian publishing and her experience and talent is clearly on display in Belonging, the first in her new Where The Heart Lives series.  A delightful historical romance, Felicia and Colin are well drawn, meaningful characters, striving to leave their pasts behind and forge new lives in Frenchman's Bluff.  Robin knows what her readers want and provides a sweetly unfolding romance, interesting secondary characters that provide added interest and conflict to the tale and accurate historical detail.  Belonging will engage and satisfy readers who love traditional Christian romance stories, written with a skillful hand and tender touch.

With thanks to Zondervan for my review copy

Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Fit to Be Tied
Character spotlight on Cleo Arlington & Sherwood Statham
Interview with Robin
Visit Robin's website and blog
Buy Robin's books at Amazon or Koorong

Monday, 21 November 2011

Character Spotlight ~ Lena Nelson Dooley's Maggie Caine & Charles Stanton

Lena Nelson Dooley's new McKenna's Daughters series has begun with the newly released, Maggie's Journey, available from Realms.


A girl who’s been lied to her whole life…

Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she was adopted. The daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed both by her real parents and by the ones who raised her. 

Maggie desires a place where she belongs. But her mother’s constant criticism and reminders that she doesn’t fit the mold of a young woman of their social standing have already created tension in their home. With the discovery of the family secret, all sense of her identity is lost.

When Maggie asks to visit her grandmother in Arkansas, her father agrees on the condition that she take her Aunt Georgia as a chaperone and his young partner, Charles Stanton, as protection on the journey. Will she discover who she really is and, more importantly, what truly matters most in life?

Enjoy meeting Maggie & Charles ~ thanks Lena

Rel: Brief physical description

Lena: Maggie Lenora - Maggie - 18 - petite, red curly hair, green eyes with golden flecks in them, porcelain skin

Charles Stanton - 24 - tall, close-cropped coffee-colored dark hair, that tended to curl. Large brown eyes with dark brows, dark complexion

Actor/famous person

I’ve attached two photos. I used Nicole Kidman for Maggie.

This photo of Nicole has her curly hair straightened some, but Maggie didn’t straighten hers.

Strengths and weaknesses

Maggie is spoiled by her daddy, but not her mother. She’s strong-willed and impetuous, very creative. She designs dresses, and she’s a very good sketch artist and painter.

Discovery of a family secret affected Maggie in very deep ways.

Charles is intelligent, but somewhat conceited at the beginning of the book. He had some hard lessons to learn

Quirk (if any)

Charles likes to bow to women in jest

Your inspiration for the character

Maureen Taylor
My characters come to me before the story emerges. I believe they’re inspired by God to reveal an interesting story

Background to the story

Identical triplet girls were born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Their mother dies after giving birth to them. Their father is devastated after losing the love of his life. He can’t imagine taking care of one baby by himself, much less three. He carefully chooses two families, for specific reasons, to give one of the babies. The girls grow up without knowing about their sisters. They each discover that they have sisters near their 18th birthday.

Thanks Lena!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico
Character spotlight on Maddy & Jeremiah
Visit Lena's website
Watch the book trailer
Buy Lena's books at Amazon or Koorong

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Guest post by Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer's Remembering You is available now from Guideposts.  Enjoy this guest post from Tricia about an amazing experience she had a part in.

35-year-old Ava Andrews' dream job is interrupted by an unusual request--fulfill her 84-year-old grandfather's last wish by joining him on a battle site tour of Europe. Ava is sure her boss will refuse her request. But, instead, he gives her a directive of his own--to videotape the tour and send it back as mini-segments for the show she produces. 

As if juggling these two things isn't hard enough, Ava is soon surprised again ... twice. First, Ava and Grandpa Jack arrive in Europe, only to discover the tour is cancelled. Unwilling to let down her grandfather or her boss, Ava and Grandpa Jack head out on their own. Then, while they're on their way, the pair soon meet up with Paul, her grandpa's best friend, and his grandson Dennis. The same Dennis who just happens to be Ava's first love.

Before she knows it, Ava and Dennis are swept down memory lane as they visit the sites that are discussed in the history books. And even though Ava's videotaping old soldiers, she can see their youth, their hopes and fears, and their pride in their eyes. Soon Ava learns the trip isn't just for them ... it's for her too--especially for her heart.

Guest post by Tricia Goyer

In the last ten years since I started interviewing veterans for my WWII novels, most have passed away. Some of them—realizing their days on earth were coming to an end—returned to Europe one last time with their family members to walk along paths they've never forgotten. Those trips inspired my most recent novel, Remembering You.

One of the most amazing experiences was when I received an email from a woman named Hana. She'd heard of my book and knew I'd interviewed some of the veterans. She asked if I'd interviewed any medics. Then she told me an amazing story. Hana was born on a cart just outside of Mauthausen. Her mother had survived being a prisoner of another camp and was transported to Mauthausen at the end of the war.

Hana was just three weeks old when the Americans arrived, and she was very ill. Because of the filthy conditions she got a skin infection and sores covered her body. No one expected her to live. Yet one of the medics saw the small baby and knew he had to do something. Even though it took most of the day, he lanced and cleaned all Hana's sores, saving her life. Over the years she'd wanted to find the medic, but didn't know where to start.

I was amazed by Hana's story and told her I knew one medic—maybe he remembered who that man was. I gave Hana the contact information and I soon heard the good news. My friend LeRoy “Pete” Petersohn was the medic who'd saved her life! The two were soon reunited! After all these years Hana was able to look into the eyes of the man who saved her and thanked him. After all these years Pete was able to meet the woman he saved. “Baby!” he called out when he met her.

Remembering You is a work of fiction, but the experiences of the men are true. The experiences of the main character, Ava, are also true-to-life. I was busy with life when God pointed me to an amazing story, and to even more amazing men. I'm so thankful I took time to listen and care. I'm so thankful I allowed these men to share what … and who … they remembered most.

Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of four and an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia's written numerous novels inspired by World War II veterans, including her new release Remembering You. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. You can find out more information about Tricia at

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper


She serves him breakfast at her café every morning … but he never seems to notice her.

Carrie Carter’s small café in Seaside, New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals … although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He’s recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children—and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her, to Carrie’s chagrin.

When Carrie’s dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries … and into her life. But when Carrie’s own painful past becomes all to present, her carefully constructed world begins to sink.

Will the fragile relationship she’s built with Greg implode from the weight of the baggage they both carry? 

My take:~

Gayle Roper has returned to the location of her excellent early 2000 Seaside novels with Shadows on the Sand, another intriguing tale of mystery, romance and faith.  Carrie is a great character whose independence and sheer determination has carved out a life for herself and her sister after a tragic childhood.  Greg Barnes has restored her trust in men but he fails to see her as anything other than the woman that serves him coffee every morning.  Their changing feelings are a joy to read as Greg's indifference turns into attraction and then something deeper.  As danger looms in the form of a cult leader bent on locating a runaway girl, Carrie's protective instincts and Greg's law and order past kick in as they work to solve the mystery.  Shadows on the Sand is a wonderful read, just what I've come to expect from Gayle so I hope more are on the way!

With thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for my review copy
Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of Fatal Deduction and See No Evil
Interview with Gayle
Visit Gayle's website
Buy Gayle's books from Amazon or Koorong

Friday, 18 November 2011

Coming soon from David C Cook

I am a big fan of the books David C Cook are releasing and it looks like 2012 will be another stellar year for them.  Here's a few to anticipate and I'll have more on the way.

These all look good but just have to say: LISA. TAWN. BERGREN.

Cal, Harlan, and Buddy grow up together in a small Virginia town in the years before the second World War. United by age, proximity, and temperament, they get into—and out of—all the trouble that boys manage to find. They even earn a nickname from a local restaurateur who gives the boys their first jobs and plenty of friendly advice. "Uncle" Vic calls them the Mulligans, because they always seem to find a way through a thicket of trouble—family problems, girls, college, war—to success. Cal and Harlan and Buddy have been blessed with second chances.

Now it’s 1959, and police lieutenant Buddy receives an early-morning phone call: his friend Harlan, a store owner, has been shot in a break-in. Cal, now a preacher, meets Buddy at the hospital, and together, as professionals and as friends, they begin to unravel what might have happened to Harlan.

January, 2012

Just a girl. The only one strong enough to break the cycle.

In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a "nothing mama," she struggles to find a place where she really belongs.

For answers, Millie turns to the Gypsies who caravan through town each spring. The travelers lead Millie to a key which unlocks generations of shocking family secrets. When tragedy strikes, the mysterious contents of the box give Millie the tools she needs to break her family’s longstanding cycle of madness and abuse.

Through it all, Millie experiences the thrill of first love while fighting to trust the God she believes has abandoned her. With the power of forgiveness, can Millie finally make her way into the free?

February, 2012

Leaving Lancaster by Kate Lloyd

Can a splintered Amish family reconcile?

More than anything else, thirty-something Holly Fisher longs for family. Growing up in Seattle without a dad or grandparents, she wonders what it would be like to have a heritage, a place of belonging. Holly is furious when her mother, Esther, reveals a long-kept secret: Holly’s grandmother and uncles are still alive and begging Esther to return. And Holly is shocked when she learns that the family she’s never known lives on a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, farm—as part of an Amish community her mother once abandoned.

Guilt-ridden Esther, terrified to see her mother and siblings, begs Holly to accompany her on a visit to Esther’s mother before she dies. But can their journey to a conflicting world heal their emotional wounds and finally bring them home?

Set in the heart of contemporary Lancaster County, Leaving Lancaster explores the power of forgiveness, family reconciliation, and love where least expected.

March, 2012

It’s the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington’s life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. After enduring crippling personal losses, she struggles to make it through, day to day. But then a stranger comes to call. And in one fateful afternoon, Cora discovers that a terrible secret has been kept from her…a secret that will radically change her future. 

Cora is invited to take the “Grand Tour” of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person’s eduction, to solidify an understanding of culture, history and personal refinement. As she travels from England to France, with kin she’s never known, Cora encounters the blessings of the family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning…

June, 2012 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Character spotlight ~ Tamera Alexander's Claire Laurent & Sutton Monroe

The highly anticipated first instalment in Tamera Alexander's Belmont Mansion series is now available from Bethany House 


A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.

Enjoy meeting Claire & Sutton ~ thanks Tamera :)

Rel: Brief physical description

Tamera: I always love seeing the male and female leads “viewing each other” through their own eyes. So, to that end:

This is Claire Laurent’s thought when she first sees Sutton:

Handsome could’ve been used to describe him, but that would have been like calling Michelangelo’s David “adequate.”

And since Claire’s on the cover of A Lasting Impression, well…a picture paints a thousand words, as they say. But I can tell you this… The scene briefly captured on the cover proves to be a very memorable one in Sutton’s mind.

Actor/famous person

Claire is pictured on the cover so that’s an easy picture to find. And for Sutton…well, I prefer to let the reader “fill in the blanks” for him!

Strengths and weaknesses

A fake. A forger. That’s what Claire Laurent knows she is, which is why she can’t fathom working in the home of the richest woman in Nashville, let alone America. But when she meets Sutton Monroe––Mrs. Acklen’s far too handsome and equally as discerning personal attorney––Claire’s certain the first impression she made with him…will be her last.

Your inspiration for the characters and background to the story

When I first stepped foot across the threshold of the Belmont Mansion in Nashville, TN, and learned about Adelicia Acklen––the born-before-her-time woman who built Belmont––and her “tough as nails” personality and extraordinary life, I knew I wanted to write a story that included her, her magnificent home, and this crucial time in our nation’s history.

But when I “met” Sutton Monroe and Claire Laurent while visiting the mansion one afternoon, or more rightly, when they shoved their way into my imagination and met each other, I knew I had to write their story. And I knew exactly what the setting would be too. The historic Belmont Mansion. After over two years of research and writing, A Lasting Impression is the culmination of that “chance meeting.”

A Lasting Impression is about being authentic in one’s life and relationships, and in one’s faith. It’s a love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves––and each other––for who they really are.

Author Website:

Read a full two chapter excerpt here:

Thanks Tamera ~ always a true delight to have you visit :)
Relz Reviewz Extras 
Reviews of Revealed, Remembered, The Inheritance, From A Distance, Beyond This Moment & Within My Heart
Interview with Tamera
Visit Tamera's website and blog
Buy Tamera's books at Amazon or Koorong

Book trailer for Ronie Kendig's Firethorn

There is no better way to start the new year than with a stellar book and have I got one for you!  Ronie Kendig's final Discarded Heroes novel, Firethorn, releases January 1st and she has pulled out all the stops.

For your chance to win a copy of Firethorn, head over to Ronie's blog and leave a comment with your thoughts on the trailer.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Coming mid 2012 from B&H Publishing

Check out these new titles releasing from B&H Fiction, mid next year.
Love the cover of Hide and Seek and can't wait to read it!  Jamie and Pamela are favourite authors of mine, too.  Not keen on Kim and Mindy's cover unfortunately :(
How about you?

Juliette Taylor walked away from her career as a supermodel twenty-five years ago. Now approaching fifty – an emotionally complex milestone -- she co-owns a beauty supply company that makes skincare products for salons and spas. Her niche is pampering Christian women who usually spend more time caring for others than for themselves under the slogan:

Isn’t it time someone took care of YOU for a change?

When Juliette arrives at the Palm Grotto Spa to host a spiritual retreat, she runs into an old modeling colleague, Raven, who had always been disliked in the industry for many reasons. She isn’t there for the retreat; in fact, her presence at the spa is somewhat mysterious.

Not long after Raven makes a cryptic threat to Juliette, the unsympathetic back-then beauty is found dead, poisoned by something in the green clay of a chai soy wrap. The following morning, a banner for the retreat has been unceremoniously altered:

It’s your turn to be nurtured, to be restored . . . to be murdered.

Suspicion is directed at Juliette who has history with Raven and certainly knows how to use beauty products. But for murder?! Now she must find the real killer before the police really take care of her.

May, 2012

The River Rose by Gilbert Morris

Life hasn’t been easy for Jeanne Bettencourt, a widow approaching thirty and struggling to provide for her eight-year-old daughter. But hope arrives in the form of the Helena Rose, a steamboat she unexpectedly inherits from a distant, departed relative. Jeanne’s father had captained a similar vessel and taught her how to pilot a steamer along the banks of Memphis. She’s looking forward to a renewed livelihood on the mighty Mississippi.

However, as plans are made, news comes of another heir to the Helena Rose -- a tough man named Clint Hardin -- and a clause in the will that says claimants of the estate must live aboard the boat. Jeanne, a Christian woman, makes it clear she won’t stay with a man who is not her husband. But both are desperate for work, so they agree to keep their distance as Clint occupies the lower deck and Jeanne takes the captain’s quarters.

As they restore the Helena Rose, the slowly softening Clint becomes attracted to Jeanne -- who is now being courted by a wealthy plantation owner. With her family and future at stake, the desires of Jeanne’s heart are duly complex. Only her simple faith can navigate her through what’s about to happen.

June, 2012

Welcome to Appleseed Creek, the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country, where life is not as serene as it seems.

While her Cleveland friends relocated to Southern California and Italy, 24-year-old computer whiz Chloe Humphrey moves with some uncertainty to Appleseed Creek to direct technology services at a nearby college. Her first acquaintance is Becky, an ex-Amish teenager looking for a new home.

While driving Chloe’s car, Becky collides with a buggy, killing an Amish elder. But what looks like an accident is soon labeled murder when police discover the car’s cut brake line. Now, Chloe must take on the role of amateur sleuth to discover who the real intended victim was before the murderer makes a second attempt. Becky’s handsome Amish-turned-Mennonite brother, Timothy, a local carpenter, comes in handy along the way. With God’s help, they’ll solve the mystery that’s rocking this small community.

July, 2012

Amelia Lennon no longer wears a uniform or carries a weapon. An Army trained Foreign Affairs Officer, she’s negotiating a dispute with the Kyrgyzstan government that threatens to leave the U.S. without an airbase in that region. She traded her gun for the power of words, but now she needs both.

While following her government contact—Jildiz Oskonbaeva, the lawyer daughter of Kyrgyzstan’s president—Amelia witnesses an attempt to abduct her. She manages to prevent the kidnapping, but now the two women are on the run in a city that’s erupting into chaos.

Master Sergeant J.J. Bartley is the Special Operations team leader tasked to rescue Amelia and Jildiz. With two new members in his unit—one with a secret that could endanger everyone’s life—J.J. must soldier his unit through crazed mobs intent on overthrowing the government. Back home, his pregnant wife is misinformed that her husband and the team have been killed. But before this is over, Bartley will find out that’s the least of his problems.

July, 2012

Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon—the path of least resistance—Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton—the path less traveled by—on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

July, 2012

At 8:47 A.M. on Wednesday, October 12, 1977, new-to-town businessman Bingham Murdock flew his small plane into New Orleans, banking it in such a way that a ray of sunshine shot through the city at light speed.

Amalise Catoir saw the flash from her sixteenth floor law office window. Finally feeling alive after the death of her abusive husband, she imagined seeing the plane was a fate for her eyes only; a special connection between the unknown giver and she, the recipient of light.But someone else saw it, a six-year-old Cambodian refugee in foster care for whom a sudden burst of brightness reminds him of artillery fire.

Destined to cross paths with the man and the child, Amalise doesn’t yet know the deeper spiritual lesson she will learn: that we are responsible not only for the things we do, but also for the things that we don’t.

August, 2012

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