Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Songbird Under A German Moon by Tricia Goyer blog tour review

The year is 1945. The war is over and 21-year-old Betty Lake has been invited to Europe to sing in a USO tour for American soldiers who now occupy Hitler's Germany. The first nights performance is a hit. Betty becomes enthralled with the applause, the former Nazi-held mansion they're housed in and the attention of Frank Witt, the US Army Signal Corp Photographer. Yet the next night this songbird is ready to fly the coop when Betty's dear friend, Kat, turns up missing. Betty soon realizes Franks photographs could be the key to finding Kat. Betty and Frank team up against post-war Nazi influences and the two lovebirds' hearts may find the each other.

But will they have a chance for their romance to sing? The truth will be revealed under a German moon.
(from the back cover)

My Thoughts:

Songbird Under A German Moon was a charming love story set against the back drop of post war Germany. With strong, witty, faith-filled characters that drew you deep into the plot which was rich both in historical detail and suspense. Tricia Goyer’s colorful plot springs to life as her characters face heartbreaking situations. One of my favorite WWII era books. Rich in historical detail, that made me wonder about what post war Germany must have been like. Each time I pick up a book by Tricia Goyer I know that I will experience an amazing work of Christian fiction that will inspire, entertain, and most of all remind me that God is always in control.

Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children's book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana. Find out more about her and her books at

Want to see what others have to say say about Songbird Under A German Moon?


Leave a comment on Tricia’s blog or send an email through her website CONNECT page and answer this question: What era in history do you wish you'd lived in and why?

Earn extra entries by signing up for Tricia's newsletter here, becoming a Fan on Facebook or Tweeting about the contest on Twitter (use hashtag #songbird)!

You’ll be entered to win one of three signed copies of Songbird Under a German Moon.

My Thanks to LitFuse for providing me with a review copy of Songbird Under A German Moon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tempt Me If You Can by Janet Chapman blog tour review


When an anonymous letter stuns shipping magnate and confirmed bachelor Ben Sinclair with the news that he has a teenage son, he's determined to make good on the past. But Emma Sands doesn't trust him. The beautiful, fiery blonde has raised her nephew in the peaceful woods of Maine since he was five, and just because fifteen-year-old Michael is the spitting image of his tall, handsome father doesn't give Ben the right to march in and change their lives forever. Or so she thinks, until his return mysteriously unearths a dangerous small-town secret. With Michael's help, Ben will do whatever it takes to prove to fiercely independent Emma that he can be the fearless protector she never knew she wanted...and the passionate lover she always thought she could resist.
(from the back of the book)

My Thoughts
Janet Chapman is the reason that started reading romance novels. Her writing is constantly fresh and interesting. Tempt Me If You Can offers readers romance, mystery, and suspense with an amazing storyline that captures your attention. How can one resist reading a book when the prologue contains a mysterious envelope, a letter telling of a son he never knew existed, the start of a mystery, as well as promising much more to come. Truly an interesting read, with strong well formed characters, and a plot that will having your turning the page.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Cutis Higgs blog tour

A mother who cannot face her future.
A daughter who cannot escape her past.

Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.
Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.
His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.
One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.
A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland , Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.
(from the back cover)

My Thoughts:
Here Burns My Candle is by far one of my favorite novels set during the Jacobite Rebellion. Thoroughly researched and historically accurate, Liz Curtis Higgs takes readers into the heart of Edinburgh during a trying time in the Scotland’s history. With lovable characters, intricately laced plots, and a brilliant usage of Lowland Scots, Liz Curtis Higgs will transport you into the novel. This is the perfect book to escape into. Whether you are a first time reader or and avid fan of Liz’s work Here Burns my Candle is guaranteed entertain and amuse readers as you journey with the Kerr family and discover their secrets.

Here Burns My Candle also includes;
-Authors Notes, that you do not want to skip
-Lowland Scots Glossary incase you are unfamiliar with the language
-Readers Guide a perfect for book clubs
-Quotes, each chapter beings with an amazing quote that highlights the coming events.

Don’t forget to watch for the next addition to the Kerr’s journey, Mine Is The Night

If you loved Here Burns My Candle and want to journey once again to the Scottish Lowlands look for the following novels by Liz Curtis Higgs:

1 Thorn In My Heart (book 1)
2 Fair Is The Rose (book 2)
3 Whence Came A Prince (book 3)

4 Grace In Thine Eyes ( a story that follows the Lowland Fiction Series)

Want to travel to the Lowlands but can‘t find the time? Then let Liz Curtis Higgs show you around in this armchair travel guide:

1 My Heart’s In The Lowlands

Want to buy this book? Click Here For Ordering Information

Author Bio:
LIZ CURTIS HIGGS is the author of twenty-seven books with three million copies in print, including: her best-selling historical novels, Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Christy Award-winner Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes, a Christy Award finalist; My Heart’s in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland, an armchair travel guide to Galloway; and her contemporary novels, Mixed Signals, a Rita Award finalist, and Bookends, a Christy Award finalist. Visit the author’s extensive website at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Winners of Countess of Scandal

The Winners of Countess of Scandal are:

1 Rheanna
2 Limecello
3 Nightdweller20
4 Etriv
5 Couponmom

I will be emailing you shortly

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Her Last Chance By Michele Albert blog tour review


Compelled to leave the Dallas police force after killing a convicted rapist in a dark alley, tough and sexy Claudia Cruz becomes an operative with Avalon, a clandestine organization of mercenaries who recover stolen art. But her new career choice pits her against the darkly intense FBI agent Vincent DeLuca, who is determined that this time, Avalon is not going to beat out the Feds.


While Claudia seethes about this irritating man who gives as good as he gets, Vincent is discovering there's a fine line between love and hate. And though Claudia is willing to use their crazy-hot attraction to achieve her goals, she never intended they'd end up in bed together. She's always lived on the edge and flirted with danger...but this time the worst danger may be to her hear.
(from the back cover)

My Thoughts:

At first I wasn’t sure if this would be a book that caught my interest, then I couldn’t put it down. I was soon caught up in the whodunit plot, and the characters were interesting as well. Michele Albert’s witty writing and intriguing plots will keep you entertained to the very end.

I received my copy from Sarah at Pocket Books

Monday, March 22, 2010

Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready review

My Thoughts:

Author Gwyn Cready is the master of time travel romances. She has created the perfect setting and characters, to complete this one of a kind masterpiece. Not only has she provided romance, and time travel, she has provided a healthy dose of art history as well. For those of you who have studied or have heard about Sir Peter Lely, painter to King Charles II, or have been captivated by his many paintings, Flirting with Forever, takes you inside his world. Plus with this being a time travel novel it also brings him into ours. Readers will find the relationship between Lely and Cam heartbreaking, hilarious, and enduring. I highly recommend this book to all readers.

If like me you have seen a painting by Sir Peter Lely you will never be able to forget that painting. One of my favorites is this painting of Nell Gwyn.

You can find out more about Sir Peter Lely Here

About the Author:
Gwyn Cready has a BA in English literature and an MBA in marketing from the University of Chicago. She spent many years as a brand manager at a company as least as funny as Pilgrim Pharmaceuticals. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family and is the RITA® Award-winning author of two novels with two more on the way.


This book was provided by Ayelt Gruenspecht for Pocket Books

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Start Here By Alex & Brett Harris review

You want to do hard things.
But you don’t know where to start.

You are changing the world around you.
But you are tired and burned out.

You feel called to do the extraordinary for God.
But you feel stuck in the ordinary.

Do Hard Things inspired thousands of young people around the world to make the most of the teen years. Now Alex and Brett Harris are back and ready to tackle the questions that Do Hard Things inspired: How do I get started? What do I do when I get discouraged? What’s the best way to inspire others? Filled with stories and insights from Alex, Brett, and other real-life rebelutionaries, Start Here is a powerful and practical guide to doing hard things, right where you are.

Are you ready to take the next step and blast past mediocrity for the glory of God?
(from the back cover)

My Thoughts:

Start Here, Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are is one of the most inspiring youth books that I have read. Each chapter contains numerous ways that you yourself can do things to glorify God. Authors Alex and Brett Harris, reminds us that just because the thing we do are small, does not mean that they are not hard. We can start doing things for God right where we are. We have to listen to His voice, pray for guidance, then act on the task at hand. Start Here also contains a collection of stories from teens expressing what "small" action they have accomplished to help glorify God. This is the perfect book for youth groups. Although I would like to add
that I believe all ages will get an amazing message from this book.


Author Bio:

Alex and Brett Harris are the coauthors of the best-selling book Do Hard Things, which they wrote at age eighteen. Today the twins speak regularly to audiences of thousands on The Rebelution Tour, maintain a hugely popular online presence through their blog,, and have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and in the New York Times. Raised in Portland , Oregon , the brothers currently attend Patrick Henry College in Virginia .


This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saint Patrick by Jonathan Rogers review

Book Description
Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

At age 14, he was captured from his homeland of Scotland by Irish marauders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years tending his master's flocks. In his early twenties, he fled over 200 miles and escaped by ship, returning to his family. By the eighth century, he had come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland. What did he experience during his years of slavery that proved invaluable to this man who became a revered missionary who “baptised thousands of people,” converted sons of kings, and led wealthy women to become nuns? Learn about the sustaining faith of St. Patrick in this Christian Encounters biography.

My Thoughts
I was truly excited when I received this book! I thought “WOW” a nonfiction book based on Saint Patrick, this looks like it will be an interesting read. Unfortunately the book fell short of my expectations, there was no true fact used as the base of this foundation. The author provided his assumptions and what little historical accuracy there was pertained to the history of Irish, and Roman culture, and overshadowed the main subject. Also the author based the early history of the Celts on pop culture theory rather than true fact. Also I noticed that the authors Gaelic translations is off as well. I normally try to show the strong points of a book as well as the writer, although I could find nothing to rave about except the cover. A true letdown.

Book Provided by Book Sneeze.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren Blog Tour Review

Sophie Frangos is torn between the love of two men and the promise that binds them all together. Markos Stavros loves Sophie from afar while battling his thirst for vengeance and his hunger for honor. Dino, his quiet and intelligent brother, simply wants to forget the horror that drove them from their Greek island home to start a new life in America. One of these sons of thunder offers a future she longs for, the other the past she lost. From the sultry Chicago jazz clubs of the roaring twenties to the World War II battlefields of Europe to a final showdown in a Greek island village, they'll discover betrayal, sacrifice and finally redemption. Most of all, when Sophie is forced to make her choice, she'll learn that God honors the promises made by the Sons of Thunder. 

Sons of Thunder launches the new Romantic Suspense line for Summerside Press - it will be available to purchase in Wal-mart mid-January. Also - its uniquely written - its an epic suspense story written as three novellas - 3 points of view, 3 settings.

My Thoughts:
Sons of Thunder offers the reader a storm of emotions as it follows the lives of three Italians who must come to America or face their own deaths. Gripping, emotional, and heartfelt words flow from the pages as Susan May Warren once again dazzles the reader. Markos, Dino, and Sofia escape to America only to find that they have become caught up in the 1940’s Chicago lifestyle. Escaping the family they find that they have become separated from each other. The three now travel down different roads, each struggling with finding their own redemption for the sins that they have committed. When they have reached their lowest points the three are miraculously brought together at different times, reminding each of them that God will deliver.

Once again Susan May Warren has used her skill as a writer to show that God will deliver us. Although at times it seems that we have been burdened down with what the world has heaped upon us, through the characters we are reminded that God is ready to welcome us back into his loving embrace. Sons of Thunder is an amazing read that with stay in the heart and soul of all that read it. With characters that pull at your heartstrings and plots that move you Sons of Thunder should have a place on everyone’s bookcase.

Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota. Learn more about Susan here:


Be sure to check out Susan's fun contest for the book's release: Each one of us has a wealth of stories from the past – while they might not all be as sweeping and dramatic as that of Sons of Thunder’s Sofia and the Stravos brothers (swoon), your family history is a treasure nonetheless.

Well – let’s hear them! Were your great-grandparents ‘fresh off the boat’? Was your great uncle a war hero? Did your grandmother make unbelievable sacrifices to help or protect the family? Did your father harbor a family secret until his death? Are you related to someone famous? Do you have a family treasure? Whatever it is that is unique in your family history – share your story HERE! (click on the SHARE button) One grand prize winner will receive:

• Memory Prize package containing a gift certificate to create your own hard cover photo book
• 6 month membership to Netflix (to satisfy that flick fix!)
• Signed copy of Sons of Thunder!

5 runners up will also win signed copies of Sons of Thunder!

You can also be entered to win a copy of Sons of Thunder by helping us Spread the Word during the blog tour!

TWEET THIS:(must use hashtag #SonsofThunder to be entered - no limit on entries! Tweet away!)
Please RT! @susanmaywarren launches new Romantic Suspense #SonsofThunder. Share your story 2 win a fab prize pack!

Book and Contest provided thanks to Litfuse

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Eighth Confession by James Patterson review & giveaway

Here's what the Publishers have to say
As San Francisco's most glamorous millionaires mingle at the party of the year, someone is watching--waiting for a chance to take vengeance on Isa and Ethan Bailey, the city's most celebrated couple. Finally, the killer pinpoints the ideal moment, and it's the perfect murder. Not a trace of evidence is left behind in their glamorous home.

As Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile murder, someone else is found brutally executed--a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless. His death nearly falls through the cracks, but when reporter Cindy Thomas hears about it, she knows the story could be huge. Probing deeper into the victim's history, she discovers he may not have been quite as saintly as everyone thought.

As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay sees sparks fly between Cindy and her partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: will love destroy all that four friends have built? The exhilarating new chapter in the Women's Murder Club series, The 8th Confession serves up a double dose of speed-charged twists and shocking revelations as only James Patterson can. And remember, this is the only Murder Club episode of the year.

My Thoughts,

I have to say first that this was a good book for the type of book it was. The plot was interesting as were the characters and it did have ability to keep readers on the edge of their seat. I did enjoy this book although I have to say to that I found this book to mirror of his previous books, I would have liked to have seen a different approach, something fresh and new. Once again I will say that I did enjoy this book and I have noticed that it is one of the first things people remark on when seeing it sitting on my table.

Book Details
Publish Date: 2/23/2010
Price: $14.99/$17.99
ISBN: 9780446561334
Pages: 384

Find more videos like this on The James Patterson Community

About the author
James Patterson published his first thriller in 1976 and since then has become one of the best-known and bestselling writers of all time, with more than 160 million copies of his books sold worldwide. He is the author of the two most popular detective series of the past decade, featuring Alex Cross and the Women's Murder Club, and he has written numerous other #1 bestsellers. He has won an Edgar Award--the mystery world's highest honor--and his novels Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider were made into feature films starring Morgan Freeman. His website,, lists the very best books for kids--titles that kids will gobble up and ask for more. He lives in Florida.

Maxine Paetro is a novelist and journalist. She lives with her husband in New York



To Sin With A Scoundrel by Cara Elliott review & Giveaway

A reclusive widow known for her scientific scholarship, Lady Ciara Sheffield is shadowed by rumors that she poisoned her husband . . . A rakehell rogue notorious for his devil-may-care antics, Lucas Bingham--the Earl of Hadley--is not accused of murdering anything--save for the rules of Polite Society. The only thing they have in common is
seeing their names featured in the lurid gossip columns of London's
newspapers. Until an ancient manuscript draws them together.

Ciara needs a titled fiancé to quell the slanderous speculations which may send her to the gallows. Lucas needs brilliant scholar to help his elderly uncle decipher the secrets of the mysterious manuscript. So when her friends urge her to accept the earl's proposal of a temporary alliance, Ciara decides that she has no choice but to make a deal with
the Devil. And so begins a seductive dance of sinful pleasures and hidden desires as the two of them waltz through the mansions of Mayfair. Lies, intrigue, treachery, sex. They find themselves facing slanderous whispers, unscrupulous relatives-not to speak of their own simmering passions, which quickly ignite into dangerous flames. It's a potent mix and the result may be explosive-and perhaps deadly-if they don't watch their step.

My Thoughts
At first looking at the book I wasn’t sure I would be that interested in it, then I opened the book and found I could not put it down. I read it through in one sitting, how can you put a book down when the first sentence in the book is ‘murder”? I simply had to find out what this books was about. Amazing characters, thoroughly put together plots, a truly brilliant read. If you like a bit of mystery mixed in with your historical romances “To Sin With A Scoundrel” is the book for you.

Five Fun Facts about To Sin With A Scoundrel
5 fun facts

Research is always a fun part of writing a Regency-set historical romance. In To Sin With a Scoundrel, my heroine is the object of nasty gossip because she dares to be smart so I had a fascinating time visiting London and exploring the lives of real-life scandalous women. Here are a few of the interesting things that I learned:
1. Over 20,000 satirical prints were published in London between 1770 and 1830, and the famous artists were even more ruthless than our modern paparazzi at showing the celebrities of the day at their worst!
2. Lord Byron’s daughter, Augusta Ada Byron King, the Countess of Lovelace, was a mathematical genius—in fact, the U.S. Defense department has named one of its computer programs “ADA” in her honor.
3. You can find amazing original miniatures of Regency beauties and buck of the ton at antique markets on Portobello Road . . . but they don’t come cheap!
4. You can tell what regiment a Guardsman belongs to by the arrangement of the buttons on his red tunic.
5. If I could choose a dream house in London, I would love to live in Apsley House, the Duke of Wellington’s private residence, and throw a tea party using all the incredible silver and china that was given to him by a grateful Europe for winning the Battle of Waterloo.

Bonus Material


Edition:Forever Special Release
Publish Date:3/1/2010

Author Bio

I started creating books at the age of five, or so my mother tells me. And she has the proof — a neatly penciled story, the pages lavishly illustrated with full color crayon drawings of horses and bound with staples — to back up her claim. I have since moved on from Westerns to writing about Regency England, a time and place that has captured my imagination ever since I opened the covers of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
I have a BA and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and now work as the creative director of a lifestyle sporting magazine, a job which lets me combine my love of the printed word with my love of art. I’m very fortunate in that my work allows me to travel to interesting destinations around the world — however, my favorite spot is London, where the funky antique markets and used book stores offer a wealth of inspiration for my stories.

Author’s website
Author’s blog



Waking Up In The Land Of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo review

With glue guns, glitter, twigs, or yarn, the ordinary can become extraordinary…..especially at La Pachanga. Owned by Estrella “Star” Estaban’s family, the restaurant has a rep for two things: good food and great art. La Pachanga brings people together-even when it looks like they couldn’t be further apart.

One ill-fated evening, Star jeopardizes her family’s business, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her best friend, Ofelia-a secretly troubled mother whose love for crafting borders on obsession; and a local celebrity Chloe Chavez- a determined television personality with more than one skeleton in her professional closet. If these unlikely allies can set aside their differences, they’ll find strength they never knew they had, and learn that friendship, like crafting, is truly an art form.
(From the back cover)

My Thoughts:

Kathy Cano-Murillo has crafted a crafty novel that focuses on the bonds of friendship and the healing powers of creating art. Her characters are lovable, witty, and complex and the plot is amazing and hilarious. I enjoyed reading Waking Up In the Land of Glitter, and breezed through the book in no time. You can feel the characters struggle and watch them grow as each of them discover their own unique talent. An amazing read, and truly isn’t everything a bit better with a little glitter.

Book Details
Category: FICTION
Publish Date: 3/1/2010
Price: $13.99/$16.99
ISBN: 9780446509244
Pages: 336


About the Author
With a life motto of “Crafts! Drama! Glitter!” Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo is a creative force of nature. A former syndicated columnist for The Arizona Republic, she is the founder of the award-winning Web site, and the author of seven nonfiction craft books and a Web series on Kathy has a Crafty Chica line of art supplies that are sold nationwide. She also has been featured in numerous media outlets such as The New York Times Magazine, NPR’s Weekend Edition, USA Today, Bust, and Latina magazine. She has shared her crafty ideas on local television, as well as on Sí TV, HGTV, and DIY network. She has been writing stories longer than she has been crafting. Inspired by Judy Blume and Erma Bombeck, she caught the literary bug in grade school, where she used to draw a picture and then write a colorful story to go with it. It’s a creativity exercise she still practices to this day! Kathy lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, two kids, and five Chihuahuas. This is her first novel.

Author Q&A
1. You are known for writing instructional craft books. How did the novel come about?

My two favorite pastimes have always been crafting and writing. I dreamed of writing a novel that combined the two, but the task seemed too huge to even consider. All along, I had been blogging about living an artful life. I had two editors from publishing houses write me and ask if I ever considered writing a novel based on my adventures. On the outside, I said, “Yeah, right.” But inside I knew I wanted to try it! I wrote an outline, but still couldn’t write that first page. But then I learned about National Novel Writing Month. I signed up and wrote the first draft! It was quite a journey to reach this point, but I never gave up faith.

2. Is being crafty really as drama-filled as it is portrayed in the book?

Yes, it can be. Especially if you are very passionate about it. Crafting isn’t just a hobby to many people, it is a lifestyle. And there is not just one type of crafter. Everyone has a different motivation. Some people, like Star, separate art from craft; others, like Chloe, only see the monetary value of a career in the industry. And then there are those like Ofie, who are addicted to making things as an expression of love. When I developed the plot, I wondered what it would be like to force these three types of crafters together in a group. I knew the glitter would fly!

3. Are your characters based on real people?

Chloe, Star, and Ofie—all of them have a little bit of me from different phases in my life. At the same time, Al, Gustavo, and Larry are all inspired by my husband, Patrick. As for the other characters, in my first draft, I did have specific people in mind, but as I went through dozens of rewrites, the characters bloomed in their own way. They didn’t want to reenact my experiences; they had their own stories to tell. As soon as I gave in to that, everything clicked into place.

4. How does fiction writing compare to crafting?

They are very much alike! With crafting, I have to decide on a concept, make a sketch, and choose colors. With fiction writing, I nail down a plot, develop characters, and draft an outline. With writing, the words and sentences are the paints and glitter.

5. What is the deal with glitter, and why did you give it such an important role in the book?

To me, glitter is a metaphor for life. It catches your eye and the sparkle makes you forget all your worries because it is so beautiful. I love it because it is so shiny and indulgent, yet calorie-free!

6. Have you ever had Star, Ofie, or Chloe moments?

Oh sure! My Star moment: Once when I worked at the newspaper, I thought I could multitask on making my crafts. I went outside to the smoking lounge to spray varnish on my project. All the smokers got mad because I stunk up their area and they kicked me out! My Chloe moment: One time, just a few minutes before my live-TV segment, one of the news anchors came to my craft table and took a bite out of my demo project! (It was a Rice Krispies chocolate tree.) And I have Ofie moments every day of my life!

7. Years later, what do you want people to remember about this book?

I want them to feel like there is always hope. Even when you hit rock bottom, as long as you have a good heart, and a strong spirit, you can overcome. I also want them to try to express themselves through some sort of art form. I hope it inspires people to meet with their friends and get crafty!

8. How do you fit writing into your busy schedule?

When I love something, I will find time to do it. For this book, I wrote every night after my family went to sleep. I had zero interruptions — it was perfect. During editing, I swore off all TV shows for three months. I tell myself, “No one will make this happen except you — so do it!”

9. Is Phoenix really as artful as it sounds?

Yes, it sure is! We have First Fridays that bring out thousands of art lovers. It is very much how it is described in the book. There are many fun coffee houses and bars, dance clubs and concert venues. It’s very active!

Visit the author's website

Book provided thanks to Hachette Book Group Early Bird Blog Tours

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Young Bess by Margaret Irwin review

Growing up in the shadow of her mother, the infamous Anne Boleyn, young Princess Elizabeth has become a master at dodging the constant political games and deflecting the unpredictable royal whims that threaten to topple her precarious royal perch. But when her distant father tyrannical King Henry VIII, dies, the future brightens for Elizabeth. She moves in with Henry’s late wife, Catherine Parr, and Catherine’s new husband, Tom Seymour-the uncle of Elizabeth’s brother, the new King Edward VI.

Handsome Tom, however, is playing a risky game. Marrying a widowed Queen is one thing; flittering with the king’s daughter and second in line for the throne is another. As the adolescent Elizabeth finds herself dangerously attracted to him, the tragedy that looms seems inescapable. Elizabeth will have will have to summon the strength to claim her royal destiny, even if that means facing her future alone……….
(from the back cover)

My thoughts:

Although Young Bess was first published in 1944, Margaret Irwin’s style of writing is both timeless and fresh. Offering new perspectives into the life of a young Elizabeth. Historical and sound with the perfect blind of fiction, Young Bess will delight and inform readers. A masterpiece of Tudor fiction that’s vivid writing will grasp the reader from the very beginning. A must read for all.

Book provided by Sourcebooks

Recollections of Rosings book 8 in The Pemberly Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins review

Sisters Catherine Harrison and Becky Tate, daughters of Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins, have very different personalities and temperaments. Both grew up in the shadow of Rosings Park, domain of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but as adults their paths diverged dramatically.

When a catastrophe at Rosings Park brings Becky back to visit her sister, the two clash about their aspirations for the marriage of Catherine’s young daughter, and both women are forced to confront the ghosts of the past—in particular, Lady Catherine’s cruelty and deception.

As the shocking truth emerges, the Darcy and Bingley families rally. But it may be too late for the sisters to find the love and happiness they were denied so long ago
(from the back cover)

My Thoughts:

I loved this book and cannot wait to read more from author Rebecca Ann Collins. She has carried on with her sequels to Pride & Prejudice seamlessly blending the lives and characters she has created for her characters with the lives that Jane Austen crafted for them. Loaded with period drama that ascends time and place. Brilliantly composed, Rebecca Ann Collins has a connection to these characters that comes to life on the pages of this novel. When the author connects with the era in which she is writing as well as the lives of the characters you know that something magical is going to take place, and Rebecca Ann Collins has definitely created something magical. Although this is the eighth book in The Pemberley Chronicles it does work as a stand alone novel, although I do wish that I would have read the previous books. An excellent addition to your Jane Austen collection. I will be looking forward to seeing what adventures transpires next in The Pemberley Chronicles.

This book was provided for review by Sourcebooks

Mr. Darcy's Great Escape by Marsha Altman review

When a coded letter alerts Elizabeth that her husband and his traveling companion, Dr. Maddox, have run into trouble in eastern Europe, Elizabeth sets off on a daring and dangerous mission.

While Darcy and Maddox are both the worse for wear, Charles Bingley has his hands full holding down the fort at Pemberley, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh sets out to kick up a truly shocking scandal.

Can Elizabeth get her husband out of harm’s way and both of them back to Pemberly in time for her impending blessed event? Will Darcy be able to recover from the dark revelations of his imprisonment? And what are the Darcys going to do about the demented Asian assassin circumventing the globe t get to Pemberley before they can return?
(from the back cover)

My Thoughts

This has to be one of my favorite add-ons to Pride and Prejudice. Marsha Altman has kept true to the origins of the characters created by Jane Austen while at the same time blending in her own version of them. She has also created new characters that add depth and insight into her novel. Mr. Darcy’s Great Escape contains daring adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Although this is the third installment in Marsha Altman’s Pride & Prejudice Continues series, the novel truly stands on it own. The newly created characters has been thoroughly explained so that reader does not need to have read the previous two. I will say after reading Mr. Darcy’s Great Escape you will want to read the other two. Mr. Darcy’s Great Escape should come with a warning label that declares once you open the book you will not want put it down until you have read the last page.

This book was provided for review thanks to Sourcebooks

Friday, March 5, 2010

Jordan by Susan Kearney Blog Tour review & giveaway

Here's what the Publishers have to say
Vivianne Blackstone devotes herself to her career, putting her love life on hold. Her latest project is a spaceship designed to protect Earth from the deadly Tribes. But its engineer, the alluring Jordan McArthur, now threatens both her job and her wary heart . . .

Jordan's past goes back to King Arthur, and he must find the ancient artifact that can save the galaxy. Vivianne's ship is his best hope, but convincing the fiercely independent beauty won't be easy. Especially when the passion flaring between them burns through their defenses - and love is the last thing they need to survive.

My Thoughts,

I found the story to be an interesting read. This would be the perfect book for those who like time-travel and history. Although readers should know that this was a rather steamy read, more so than the other that I have read. For fans of paranormal romances this is the book for you. Plus don't forget to read the other two books in the Pendragon Legacy series.

Five Fun Facts about Jordan:
1. People always ask me where my ideas come from. When I was walking by a stuffed owl in a hobby shop, I needed a reason to buy it—especially since I really had no need of a stuffed owl. But I wanted it. And I thought if I put the owl in a book, it would be a tax deduction, especially if I used the owl in a video. And that's how the owl came to be a major character in the Pendragon Legacy Trilogy and got to star in Jordan.

2. Jordan is over fifteen hundred years old. He lived during the time of King Arthur. And despite his warrior ways, chivalry was instilled into his soul.

3.George, the Boston Terrier in the book, is sitting on my lap as I type. He's been my pet for over eight years—and no he's not a tax deduction. However, petting him seems to lower my stress levels. And in real life, George got his name because he's always curious. When he's not out saving the galaxy from the Tribes, he likes to chase laser pen lights.

4. Jordan's book cover is my all-time favorite. And after fifty plus books, that's saying a lot. And to have my favorite cover on my all-time favorite book is just awesome!

5. Of course I like all my books, but when the tension between an alpha male and an alpha female is sparking, well it just adds so much tension to the pages. Jordan has been a dragon shaper and been on a mission for over a thousand years. Vivianne Blackstone is a self-made billionaire and also a dragon shaper. While the two of them rarely see eye-to-eye, when it comes to passion, they steamed up the pages.

Five Fun Facts about Lucan:

1. Susan Kearney was a three-time All American diver for the University of Michigan. After college she performed in diving shows where she set herself on fire four times a day. While she no longer performs her signature fire dive, now she does something really hot, she writes hot romances, with sexy hunks and alpha females set in the future.

2. Kearney has written over fifty books but the Pendragon Legacy trilogy is her first series based upon ancient Arthurian legends.

During research, Kearney discovered that before Arthur died he left the Holy Grail in Avalon for safe keeping. But Avalon has never been found--not in England or anywhere else on Earth. Legend says Avalon receded into the mists. Bit of course Avalon didn't disappear, it remains where it's aways been, half way across the galaxy. But it take one sexy and determined hero to set off on a quest . . . a quest that leads him straight into the arms of the High Priestess of Avalon--a woman with secrets of her own.

3. While Susan Kearney was walking through the mall, she spied a stuffed owl in the toy store. The owl's eyes blink. His head turns and his arms flap. The only way she could justify buying him was to put him in her book. So voila! Merlin was created and while he's in Lucan and Rion, he takes a starring role in Jordan.

4. Kearney grew up reading science fiction and later turned to romance. She loves combining her two favorite genres. Why? Because worldbuilding allows her to place human characters in situations that she can't create on Earth. Her heroes and heroines take all their hopes and dreams, their courage and flaws, with them into the future. Kearney wants readers to know her books are about men and women who fall in love. Book covers are really important to her and she's delighted with the sexy men on the covers for her new series.

5. Kearney loves to figure skate and belly dance. And travel. She just returned from a trip to Asia. Pictures from her trip (as well as excerpts from her latest book) are posted on her web site (

Five Fun Facts about Rion

1. RION, the second book in the Pendragon Legacy Series, came to me while I was writing LUCAN. Rion just showed up in Lucan's book and his eyes might have been haunted by tragedy, he might have been dirty after a long trek through the mountains, but his ripped muscles and a five o'clock shadow made him sexy. And the regal gleam in his eyes automatically told me he was hero material. You know the kind of guy I mean, the kind that kidnaps a heroine and takes her across the galaxy on a save-the-world kind of mission!

2. Marisa is one of those heroines who appeals to me on a multitude of levels. She's smart, kind, vulnerable and thinks fast on her feet. She likes a man with a soft heart and a hard head. In addition, she's a woman with a special telepathic ability--not only can she use telepathy when she's in her dragon form, she's telepathic as a human. Her paranormal ability allows her to train dragons. And it makes her uniquely qualified to help Rion free his people from slavery.

3. Dragons, Dragon, Dragons. Yes, they are huge, powerful and sexy. But did you also know that to survive they need to supplement their diet with platinum? Or that they can mate while flying? And that their babies are really cute--especially when they try to ride dogs?

4. Susan Kearney's favorite color is purple. And that's the same color as RION's cover. In addition, Kearney's kitchen is a dark royal purple with white trim. And the crown molding of her living room ceiling is lavender. But purple is also the color of royalty and Rion... is the King of Chivalry.

5. Paranormal romance is Susan Kearney's favorite genre. And she likes futuristic romance best of all. What's even more fun is tying the future and other worlds to Earth's legends. And while King Arthur may be a legend, his story has inspired movies, television and books. Kearney's version might be a little out there... but the idea of knights, chivalry and honor surviving with humanity as mankind goes into space and explores other worlds has always fascinated Kearney, and she hopes readers will love to go along with her characters into hyperspace for the ride. Each book in the series can be read separately. Lucan, Rion, and Jordan are each a love story in their own right. But together... you can read a space saga. And if by chance you missed LUCAN, it's still in print. RION will be out in late November and watch for JORDAN in March 2010. Read the Pendragon Legacy series and romance around the galaxy will be part of your dreams, too.

Book Details
Category: FICTION
Publish Date: 3/1/2010
Price: $6.99/$8.99
ISBN: 9780446543330
Pages: 416

About the author USA TODAY bestselling author Susan Kearney is a native of New Jersey and has a Business Degree from the University of Michigan. Her fifty plus books include contemporary, romantic suspense, historical, futuristic, science fiction and paranormal novels. She resides in a suburb of Tampa-with her husband, kids, Boston terriers and iguana. Currently she's plotting her way through her 52st work of fiction. You can reach her through her web site at

I Have 3 copies to giveaway.
Contest ends March 29.
Open to residents of US and Canada.
Sorry No P.O. Boxes.

To enter leave your name and a valid email address.

Both the book and the contest provided thanks to Hachette Book Group.