Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Review of Through Rushing Water

Here's a description of the book:

"Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.

Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.

With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.

It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny."

My Rating


My Review

Catherine Richmond's debut, Spring for Susannah [you can read my review HERE], wowed me with its characters and its sweet portrayal of love surviving harsh trials. While Through Rushing Water didn't have quite the same personal impact for me, as far as depicting a horrific time in history with grace, understanding, and conviction, Richmond's sophomore novel does it all.

Sophia is an intriguing heroine who has experienced terrible events, lived in various countries, and tried to forge an "important" future for herself. But when her latest plans are embarrassingly crushed, she finds herself headed to the Ponca Indian Agency, a place that hardly seems like the launching point for anything great - until she gets to know the people who live there.

I loved seeing Sophia's character blossom as she uses her creativity and determination to bless the Ponca people. And I loved getting to know sweet Will, and seeing his love for Sophia help both him and Sophia grow in their faith.

Through Rushing Water is a gentle read, in one sense, as there is some simmering suspense but a lot more of a focus on the characterization. But in another sense it is far from gentle, as it is a book that tells a deeply tragic tale, and it is horribly sad to see the way the Native Americans were treated. It is certainly a worthwhile read, though, as it instills important lessons (and lessons on what is truly important), bravely and with heart. In this world there are great, terrifying floods of rushing water - but this story reminds us that those waters should not be allowed to capture our focus or sweep away our heart.

*With thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Litfuse Publicity Blog Tour: With Every Letter

Here's a description of the book:

"Book 1 in the Wings of the Nightingale series

Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she’s never met–even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence–he’s been trying to escape his infamous name for years.

As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other’s true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?

Combining a flair for romance with excellent research and attention to detail, Sarah Sundin vividly brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing–and true love."

My Rating


My Review

When it comes to characterization and expertly building a historical setting for her characters, Sarah Sundin continues to astound. Her WWII books are wonderful - full of authenticity in background-painting details and real-life issues. With Every Letter is a marvelous beginning to the "Wings of the Nightingale" series, and a great addition to Sundin's WWII romance stories.

For those who enjoy a lot of action in war novels, this is not Sundin's most action-packed book (although there's still plenty of tension and some fighting). But for those who enjoy a sweet love story and who can relate to characters who have difficulties interacting with others in social situations, this book is more than satisfying.

From the very first letter that Mellie writes anonymously (and Tom's reactions to it), I fell in love with the story (and Tom). The dancing around of two souls who long to reach out but who fear what such vulnerability might bring to themselves and to each other, as well as the actual dancing the characters engage in, frustrates the mind and ultimately touches the heart.

With beautifully crafted symbolism and characters (even including Sesame, the dog!), With Every Letter is historical romance at its finest. I'm eager to see what Sundin writes next!

*With thanks to the publisher for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion, to be shared during the Litfuse Publicity blog tour.*

About the Author

"Sarah Sundin is the author of A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children."

To Buy the Book: click HERE

Blog Tour Schedule: Check out all the other reviews scheduled by clicking HERE.


Celebrate with Sarah by entering to win a eReader (winner's choice of Kindle Fire or Nook Color)!

See what folks are saying about With Every Letter!

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire or Nook Color (winner’s choice)
  • Handmade With Every Letter First Aid Kit
  • With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 26th. Winner will be announced at the “With Every Letter” Author Chat Facebook Party on 9/27. Connect with Sarah, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of With Every Letter and join Sarah on the evening of the September 27th for a chance to connect with Sarah and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 27th!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Still Life in Shadows (CFBA Blog Tour)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Still Life in Shadows
River North; New Edition edition (August 1, 2012)
Alice Wisler


Alice was born in Osaka, Japan in the sixties. Her parents were Presbyterian career missionaries. As a young child, Alice loved to walk down to the local stationer's store to buy notebooks, pencils and scented erasers. In her room, she created stories. The desire to be a published famous author has never left her. Well, two out of three isn't bad. She's the author of Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation (all published by Bethany House).

Alice went to Eastern Mennonite University after graduating from Canadian Academy, an international high school in Kobe, Japan. She majored in social work and has worked across the U.S. in that field. She taught ESL (English as a Second Language) in Japan and at a refugee camp in the Philippines. She also studied Spanish at a language institute in San Jose, Costa Rica.

She has four children--Rachel, Daniel, Benjamin and Elizabeth. Daniel died on 2/2/97 from cancer treatments at the age of four. Since then, Alice founded Daniel's House Publications in her son's memory. This organization reaches out to others who have also lost a child to death. In 2000 and 2003, Alice compiled recipes and memories of children across the world to publish two memorial cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle.


It's been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen. Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic's garage. He meets a host of interesting characters -the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the "Getaway Savior" he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America.

One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida. Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother's body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to God and forgive his father?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Still Life in Shadows, go HERE.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Review of A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, TN

Here's a description of the book from Barbour Publishing:

"Journey to Tennessee at the end of the Civil War. Heaven Wharton has been left in charge of her father’s farm, but weeks of facing marauders has finally taken its toll. Meaning to fire into the air, she accidentally shoots a man charging the house. Shocked, she and her sister Angel drag the semi-conscious man into the house and nurse him back to health. As Travis recovers he finds his heart turning to the possibilities of love. But can he and Heaven learn to accept God’s plan, however it unfolds?"

My Rating


My Review

A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee is a clever story alternately peppered with humor and faith lessons.

Travis practiced medicine during the Civil War - but now that the war is over, he wants nothing more than to breed horses on his own little piece of "heaven." A man's dying requests gives him a chance at his dream.... Maybe.

Heaven and her little sister Angel have been keeping to themselves, waiting for word from their father and hoping that they'll have enough food to last until then. But when Heaven makes a rash, split-second decision, a series of events unfolds that leads to the truth being revealed and hope being found in unexpected ways.

Travis, Heaven, and Angel form a wonderful trio of stars for this historical romance - especially Angel, who really steals the show with her trouble-making, winsome ways. (She reminds me of M.K. from Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest series, "Stoney Ridge Seasons," for those who are familiar with that author.)

As far as the storytelling itself goes, it didn't entirely win me over. The plot and some of the characters are great, but I think I would have been engaged more if the sentences were more varied (not so much of "he did this" and "she said that"), and if there was more showing (more descriptive language) rather than telling. And the secondary characters - one in particular who factors into that "dilemma" mentioned in the title - are helpful to the plot, but I was left unsatisfied with where the story ends for them and how they might grow in their own life journeys.

My "friendship" with the main characters made this an enjoyable read, though. The plot isn't super intense or exciting, and it concludes with some unanswered questions, but it has enough intrigue and enough sweetness to extend through the pages. A Bride's Dilemma is a fun, feel-good book for the gray days of the colder seasons.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Review of Unending Devotion (CFBA Tour)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Unending Devotion
Bethany House Publishers (September 1, 2012)
Jody Hedlund

About the Author

Jody has written novels for the last 20 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), became a best seller and has won multiple awards.

Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released in September of 2011, and her third book, Unending Devotion, is out now. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!

Jody has been married for twenty years to her college sweetheart. Jody has five children ranging in ages from 15 to 6, with a set of twin daughters in the mix to make things more lively.

About the Book

High-Stakes Drama Meets High-Tension Romance

In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her to Harrison and into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber baron father.

Posing during the day as a photographer's assistant, Lily can't understand why any God-fearing citizen would allow evil to persist and why men like Connell McCormick turn a blind eye to the crime rampant in the town. But Connell is boss-man of three of his father's lumber camps in the area, and like most of the other men, he's interested in clearing the pine and earning a profit. He figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters.

Lily challenges everything he thought he knew, and together they work not only to save her sister but to put an end to the corruption that's dominated Harrison for so long.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Unending Devotion, go HERE.

My Rating


My Review

Jody Hedlund writes engaging stories, no doubt about it! This third release has a lot to love: a strong heroine, a battle of good vs. evil, plenty of romance, and a setting that is intriguing and full of all kinds of danger - from the freezing cold to wolves of both the animal and human variety.

Lily is passionate about life - finding humor and excitement in living it, and finding joy in helping others to embrace it. When she blows into Connell's cold, career-centered life like a warm summer breeze, hearts melt and fires blaze. But Lily's impetuousness pitted against Connell's reserve doesn't make for a safe situation...

Storms abound throughout the pages as winter weather and evil actions must be faced. Unending Devotion is a well-plotted novel in that sense - plenty of twists and turns, plenty of challenges to the characters, and a well-placed climax. I confess that I didn't completely connect with the heroine, despite her admirable qualities - her choices are great for the plot, but there's just something about her strong will and her character's journey that didn't completely resonate with me. The lessons about trusting in God's timing and plan, as well as refusing to be apathetic and inactive when it comes to standing up for what is right, are important ones. Those lessons just didn't overly mesh for me in a powerful way.

Unending Devotion is a great read. The romance is sweet, albeit a little overbearing at times. I think certain personalities might find the heroine (and perhaps the hero) more appealing than other personalities... But even though The Doctor's Lady is my favorite Hedlund book so far, Christian historical romance fans should be quite pleased with Unending Devotion.

*With thanks to the publisher through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Book Trailer

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Interviewed on Relz Reviewz!

Just in case you haven't yet heard, I was interviewed on Rel's blog! Stop on by to learn some more about my reading habits, the history of my blog, my reviewing policy, my current writing project, and more! I'd love to see you there!

Thank you so much to Rel for having me, and to all of my dear readers who make blogging such a joy for me!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Review of Band of Sisters

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

"Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hopes of claiming the life promised their father over twenty years before.

But after surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their NYC benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died, and his family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out.

Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant façade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.

Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt, but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, who Olivia sees as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding.

As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading, or the love that might bring?"

My Review

After reading Promise Me This and now Band of Sisters, I have to say that Cathy Gohlke has set a very high standard for well-written, well-researched historical fiction with powerful heart. Her passion and depth of feeling are evident in the pages, but the emotions never wreak havoc with her amazing storytelling talents. With a whole band of flawed, hurting, wonderful characters, Band of Sisters is a mosaic masterpiece.

With an omniscient narrator, the story is told from various points of view, showing that the difficulties and horrors faced by one person or group of persons can affect many others - and should evoke the compassion and care of many more. But the story isn't bogged down by those multiple views, as it is mostly Maureen who carries the plot through, in more ways than one.

Maureen O'Reilly has nothing to lose by leaving behind the shambles of her life in Ireland, and the best protection of her younger sister's future seems to lie in America. But every step toward freedom seems to fall away, and her claims on hope are burned before her eyes. The hardships pile up, and the initial struggle to survive is replaced by more dreadful realities that seem too terrible to be faced...

Can grace that was once extended be offered again? Can love that followed Maureen to America follow her into deeper dangers? And can men and women of different classes and backgrounds come together to seek God's will and live out Jesus' love to others - even when the hurt becomes personal?

One character in this book challenges her sister, "What would Jesus do with this gift of writing, this God-given love of writing? What would He write?" It is inspiring to see the author live out this challenge through this story, as addressed in the author's note at the end. Band of Sisters is rather long, rather dark, and rather sad in many way - not light reading by any means - and yet it is lovingly constructed and certainly meaningful, challenging the reader as it challenges the characters. A meaty and grand book!

*With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

About the Author

"Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award–winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008. Her newest book, Promise Me This, was released February 1, 2012.  Her next book, Band of Sisters, will release September, 2012.

Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Maryland."

Learn more about Cathy on her lovely website!

You can buy Band of Sisters now at

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Review of Harvest of Rubies

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

"The prophet Nehemiah’s cousin can speak numerous languages, keep complex accounts, and solve perplexing mysteries—and she’s a woman! When Sarah’s forced to marry the queen’s nephew, her career disappears but not her skills. After discovering irregularities in Darius’s books, she finds herself in grave danger—and learns that she has more to offer than her talents."

My Rating


My Review

Tessa Afshar builds a story full of tension and learning experiences and - eventually - romance on an interesting premise. When bright and studious Sarah is given the opportunity to work as the Senior Scribe to the queen, she embraces her life as a female anomaly in her culture. Neglecting her appearance and her social life, she elects instead to spend almost all of her time working. But when danger turns up and she is the one who averts a crisis, she is forced to accept a new opportunity that takes her away from all that is familiar and all that she achieved. Instead of being the end of her problems, as well as her future, this new turn of events might just prove to be the beginning of an exciting and meaningful new life...if she'll let it.

Certainly an intriguing set-up for a story! Harvest of Rubies has some great plot twists and some wonderful faith lessons interwoven throughout the pages. And romance-lovers, if you persevere through the set-up events, there really is some sweet romance in here - although it comes with a lot of drama, too!

One thing to note is the use of first-person point of view. For some, it might make the story that much more personal. This is undoubtedly Sarah's story to tell, so I don't begrudge such a technique, and I think it worked well in certain ways. But in other ways, I do think third-person point of view might have made the story more dynamic, while avoiding some of the pitfalls of too much introspection and explanation of themes and messages. I can understand the desire to make sure the reader understands what you're trying to convey as an author, but as a reader I also want to be able to discover some of the depth to the story myself.

Overall, though, if you're looking for biblical fiction that is both unique and full of timeless truths, Harvest of Rubies is a great read.

*With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Review of Be Still My Soul

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

"Gideon only ever cared about himself. Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?

Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns. 

Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life. What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?

Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia at the turn of the last century, Be Still My Soul weaves together the threads of yearning, hope, and redemption to form a tale that I hope will touch your heart, stir your senses, and evoke a greater understanding for the majestic God who created every hue and surface of the mountains I hold so dear."

My Rating


My Review

If you love a story with a mountain setting, romantic tension, and wonderful characterization, Be Still My Soul is a satisfying read! Gideon's and Lonnie's tale is one full of challenges and suffering - from costly mistakes, to arduous traveling, to the pain of giving second chances, as well as the humility required to accept them. But the end result of it all is full of hope.

While the Appalachian-mountains setting is enough to attract me (personally) to this book, the quality that sets it apart is the growth of its two main characters. It's beautiful, in an initially tragic way, to see them go from a terrible place to a place of tenderness and maturity. Certainly not an easy or quick journey!

Lonnie is a sweet, naive girl who clings to her faith and the love of her aunt and sister to get her through a difficult home life. Gideon is a boy who enjoys living in the moment - but his self-centered ways and his misconceptions about the realities of manhood are destined to get him into trouble. When these two young people are required to marry, the path before them is anything but smooth.

Lonnie and Gideon have no idea what it will take to walk together - both literally and figuratively - as a married couple. But when they reach the point where there seems to be no hope left, love and peace might just find them in unexpected and challenging ways. An inspiring story!

*With thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Would you consider ranking my review? Thank you!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Introducing My New Freelance Editing Business!

Some of you may recall a post I wrote back in July, in which I mentioned my idea of starting a freelance editing business. Well, that idea has finally been turned into a reality!

I'm thrilled to announce that my website for "Editing Through the Seasons" is up, and I am open for business!

What is this all about, you may ask? Let me elaborate...

Why Freelance Editing?

I graduated back in May with a Bachelor's degree in English. I chose to major in English because I love the written word - I love studying literature; I love reading; I love writing; I love editing and proofreading. Getting a degree in English, without any specializations, seemed the best route to allow me to feed my passion and perhaps prepare myself for entering the publishing industry in some form or fashion (maybe as a publicist or an editor, and hopefully someday as a novelist!).

After graduating, I ended up returning home. It's been great being with my family, and my parents were kind enough to give me the summer "off," so to speak. But now the time has come to start working. Since I want to stay around the area for the time being, I'm trying my hand at freelance editing.

What do I love about the idea of freelance editing? Besides the fact that it allows me to work from home and gives me time to spend with my family and work on my own novel-writing, I love the thought of putting my degree and passion to use helping fellow writers and authors. My business is geared toward meeting a writer wherever he or she is at in the story-creating process (at whichever "season" the story is in). Whether someone is just starting out, or whether someone is almost ready to submit his or her work to an agent or an editor with a publishing company, I'm willing and ready to walk alongside that person on the journey, with everything on a "per project" basis. As an avid reader and book reviewer, I can offer general comments on the direction of the novel regarding plot, characterization, etc. And as far as proofreading and copy-editing goes, I am prepared to fine-tune a story in its grammar, syntax, and dialogue.

Preparing for Business

Getting a business started was a little bit tougher than I first imagined - and I keep finding new challenges all the time! But thanks to my daddy, I haven't have to navigate all of this craziness alone.

For those who might be wondering, no need to worry! I have applied for my business license; I have submitted the fictitious business name documents (I still have to advertise in a local newspaper, but that will happen soon!); I have bought the domain name for my website; I have purchased web hosting and figured out (thanks to Google...) the ins and outs of contact forms and such (I'm sure the website will continue to be updated in the days to come, but it's in working order for now!); and I have verified my PayPal account in order to receive payments. I'm sure there are some other little things to figure out, but at this point I am ready to meet my first customer. ;)

Could it be you?

I would be honored if any one of you, dear readers, would be my first customer! If you're an unpublished writer (or even a seasoned author!) who is interested in the services of a freelance editor, I would love to have you check out my website and see if I might be of service to you. =) If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here or fill out the contact form on my website!

If you're not looking for editing services right now, not a problem! But if you are willing to help me out, it would mean so much to me if you could blog or tweet about my business, post about it on Facebook, or take the button in the sidebar and post in on your blog. Spreading the word would be super helpful!! And one other thing: if you could please pray for me and any writers who might contact me, that would be wonderful!

Thank you so, so much to all my blogging and author friends out there who have already encouraged me, prayed for this endeavor, and helped spread the word!! I believe that starting this business after having already been blogging for a couple of years - and after having made such dear friends because of it - is so much less daunting than it would have been if I had started from "scratch."

If you've made it this far, thank you for taking the time to learn about this new adventure of mine! I hope to keep you all posted on how it goes!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Winners and My Review of Love's Reckoning

The "End of Summer Bash" is always such a fun event to host - thanks to wonderful authors who give of their time (and their books!) to make this a festive occasion, and thanks to dear readers who stop by to share their enthusiasm and excitement! So thank you so much to the authors and readers who made this year's event a good time! =)

Now, here are the winners of this week's giveaways (chosen using the "List Randomizer" on
  • Abbi Hart won a copy of With Every Letter!
  • Amanda Moring won a copy of Veil of Pearls!
  • Lacee Hogg won her choice of one of the "Tales of Goldstone Wood" books!
  • Melanie won an e-copy of Fair Valley Refuge!
  • Abbi Hart won a copy of Love's Reckoning!
Congratulations to all the winners! Be looking for my e-mail, and please respond by Wednesday (September 12th), or another winner will be chosen. Thank you once again to the authors for the great giveaways!

And now here is my review of Love's Reckoning (by yesterday's guest, Laura Frantz!) for the Revell Blog Tour...

Here's a description of the book from Revell:

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

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

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

My Rating


My Review

Ever since my first "trip" to the American frontier with author Laura Frantz (in The Frontiersman's Daughter), I've been awed and swept away by her writing style. Frantz writes historical romance in a sweet, rich way that somehow manages to be humble while still maintaining a sense of grandeur and mystique.

Love's Reckoning continues that trend of excellence in characterization and setting descriptions and tension. It's a story of an unexpected love that is forced to face envy, misunderstandings, and hardships. It's a story of an enduring love that seeks the welfare of another and yet never completely loses sight of its own joy.

As the beginning of a series, this book maintains its own storyline - of how handsome and faith-filled Silas Ballantyne and the woman he loves (and who loves him) ultimately find their way together - while still introducing a broader storyline of a family's legacy that will take longer than one book to be resolved. While Love's Reckoning is certainly satisfying on its own, there's a certain character whose path I would like to know more about... And the teaser for the second book in the series definitely makes the reader's longing for more to the series that much more real!

I believe my favorite Frantz book remains Courting Morrow Little, but Love's Reckoning is anything but disappointing, as it is a well-written, beautiful love story that has its own unique, wonderful charm (as all of her books do).

*With thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, September 7, 2012

End of Summer Bash: Party with Laura Frantz!

If you love historical romance that is deep and wonderfully written, Laura Frantz is the author to know! She is so sweet and encouraging as a person - not to mention her amazing books! You can read my reviews of Courting Morrow Little and The Colonel's Lady  HERE and HERE. My review of Love's Reckoning will be posted tomorrow, along with this week's winners!

Today we're talking about Love's Reckoning! Read all the way through to learn how you can enter the giveaway!

Amber: Welcome, Laura! What’s one summer-themed song you would love to hear at an “end-of-summer” party?

Laura: Oh, that’s gotta be the Beach Boys. =) How about "California Dreaming"?

Amber: That sounds great to me! (As I'm putting this post together, I keep playing the song over and over again, LOL!) Gotta love the Beach Boys!

If the heroine of Love's Reckoning was planning an “end-of-summer” party, what might it look like?

Laura: Since Eden spends so much time in the garden, she’d bring a big pitcher of lavender lemonade and a plateful of shortbread, her Scottish hero’s favorite treat. Since he’s also a blacksmith, they would have to play horseshoes! And, given Silas Ballantyne plays a mean fiddle, there would be plenty of music and dancing! Eden is quite adept at dancing though she gets precious little of it what with all the turmoil in her household. But when she goes to the ball at the neighboring estate of Hope Rising…oh my!

Amber: Shortbread and fiddle-playing? May I be invited to that party?? =)

Now for the hero of Love's Reckoning… What would he look forward to most about autumn? 

Laura: Autumn in Scotland – that’s tattie-picking time (potatoes for you =)), cooler nights, gorgeous fall foliage, bonfires… Silas Ballantyne’s favorite season in his native land is autumn.

Amber: Ooh, autumn in Scotland sounds delightful! 

Could you please share a little more about Love's Reckoning? We’d love a brief snippet if you’d care to share one! 


~ Excerpt from Love's Reckoning ~

Shifting in his chair by the window, he breathed in the scent of hot cider and cinnamon, strong and sweet. It threaded through the winter parlor, the very essence of autumn. For a moment he was cast back to the unending orchards of Blair Castle with their gnarled, low-hanging branches bursting with aldermans and lemon queens and lass o’Bowries. A far cry from the American varieties Liege touted. Still, he’d made note of those apples in his journal, for his and Eden’s orchard years hence. Newtown pippins and Roxbury russets and winesaps, to name but a few. 

“Would you care for some cider, Silas?” 

Mrs. Lee was at his elbow with a steaming mug. He took it, murmuring his thanks, aware of the scrape of Liege’s cane across the plank floor as he made his way down the hall to bed. ’Twas only eight. Elspeth sat sewing across from Eden by the hearth. The bairns were asleep. 

Eden was looking at him, sewing forgotten in her lap, a spark of hope in her expression, as if daring to think they might be left alone. He set his book aside and glanced at Mrs. Lee. Quietly, as if adhering to some prearranged plan, she withdrew out the same door Elspeth had passed through minutes before and shut it softly behind her. 

For a moment neither he nor Eden moved and then he tugged the curtain closed, eyes returning to the door before resting on her. He ached to touch her, to breathe in her soft scent unhindered. No bairns. No overbearing father. No volatile sister. In mere days they would be left alone to experience the mystery . . . and they shall be one flesh. As he thought it, his heart seemed about to burst its banks. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a scrap of paper on which he’d penned a particular Scripture—a promise to carry them through the dwindling days. 

I will betroth thee unto me forever. 

“Silas . . .” Eden stood across the room, the candlelight calling out all the unforgettable details he loved—the clear depths of her blue eyes, the irrepressible warmth of her expression, every fire-threaded strand of her hair. 

He left his chair and went to her, tucked the paper in her palm, and was rewarded with her soft smile. When his hands cupped her shoulders, he nearly shuddered from his need of her. “Soon I’ll not have to bid you good night.” His lips grazed the soft curve of her ear as he bent his head, half-forgetting to listen, to be alert. “You’ll be by my side . . . forever.” 

“Forever,” she whispered, “is hardly long enough.” 

~ End of Excerpt ~ 

Amber: Oh, Laura, what a romantic autumn scene! (And might I add that the cover of the book is just gorgeous? Perfect for fall!) Thank you for visiting with us today! 

Readers, Laura is giving away a copy of Love's Reckoning today! To enter the drawing, leave a comment for Laura, including your name and e-mail address. All "End of Summer Bash" winners will be announced on Saturday, September 8th (tomorrow!).

Tomorrow the winners will be announced, and the blog will be dressed in her autumn best for the new season. See you then, and don't forget to enter any and all giveaways ASAP!

(Music video found on YouTube.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

End of Summer Bash: Party with Lynnette Bonner!

I'm pleased that today's guest is Lynnette Bonner, author of a Western romance series with plenty of characters to fall in love with and a lot of faith mixed in! You can read my review of High Desert Haven HERE. And you can keep reading to learn more about the next (third) book in the series, Fair Valley Refuge - and learn how you can enter the giveaway for an e-copy of the book!

Amber: Welcome, Lynnette! What’s one summer-themed song you would love to hear at an “end-of-summer” party?

Lynnette: When I was a junior in high school our class put on a Senior Banquet for the seniors. Our theme was a southern plantation and all our entertainment was set around that theme. One of the songs we sang was "Summertime." Here is a version on YouTube sung by Ella Fitzgerald:

I just love this song – maybe because it tells a bit of a story.

Amber: That's really cool - and how nice of you juniors to do that for the seniors! This is a rather swingin' version of the song. =)

If the heroine of Fair Valley Refuge was planning an “end-of-summer” party, what might it look like?

Lynnette: Well, she’d have to keep her 3 adopted children happy, so likely they’d go out to the field where Rocky set up a rope swing for them. There would be crispy fried chicken, thick syrupy baked beans, corn on the cob, fluffy biscuits, and wedges of warm golden apple pie drizzled with cream for dessert. The whole town would be invited and Hannah would bring all the orphans from the orphanage. Mr. Smyth from the bank would probably want to initiate a three-legged race, and Rocky would talk Victoria into participating, much to her own chagrin. But fun would be had by all.

Amber: Sounds like a great time! I would love to dig in to some of that chow. =)

Now for the hero of Fair Valley Refuge… What would he look forward to most about autumn?

Lynnette: Rocky loves his family, so his favorite thing about autumn is all the work days they’d do together to put up food for winter. There’s hog slaughtering day, with the children scampering about everywhere and Victoria’s face in a pretty flush from standing over the hot stove all day. Then there are the days that Ma and Brooke and Sharyah come over to put up quarts and quarts of berry preserves, while he and Sky work on winterizing the barn for the young foals that were born late spring. And of course Autumn means that night comes on sooner, giving him more time in the house of an evening with Victoria and the kids… he loves to hear Victoria read to the children.

Amber: Aww, he sounds like a good, hard-working man! (And the women sure work hard, too!)

Please share some more about Fair Valley Refuge. We’d love a brief snippet if you’d care to share one! 

Lynnette: Since my story begins in Summer, I’ll share [a part of] the first chapter with you here…

~ Excerpt from FVR ~ 

Shiloh, Oregon. April, 1887 

Victoria Snyder gasped and snatched the newspaper closer to her face. “Oh! Today of all days!” How had she missed seeing the ad until just now? 

Mama rushed into the dining room, her hair still in rag curls. ‘What is it, Victoria? I thought I heard you talking to someone?” 

Victoria schooled her features, carefully folded the paper and set it aside. Wedding planning. That’s what’s kept me from noticing it. The last thing Mama needed to worry about on her wedding day was a couple more needy children. “It’ll keep, Mama.” 

She stood and placed a kiss on Mama’s cheek, hoping the wild pounding of her heart could not be heard. In her own ears it sounded like the thunder of a wild stampede. Her mind rushed over today’s schedule. Would she make it to the train station on time? It would be tight, but she could make it. She had to make it. 

She patted Mama’s shoulders forcing her thoughts back to the present task. “You are going to be the most beautiful bride in Oregon today!” 

Mama chuckled. “Well, not with these things in my hair!” Come help me take them out, would you? My arms get dreadfully tired, trying to untie them all.” 

Victoria grinned, delighted by her mother’s excitement. She would think about getting to the train station, after the wedding. Right now she wanted to revel in Mama’s giddiness. “Dr. Martin will be happy to take you as his wife any way he can get you! I think you should walk down the aisle with all those rags in your hair, just to see if he really loves you, or not!” 

“Oh, Posh!” Mama waved away her joke with a flick of her wrist. 

Victoria covered her mouth as Mama grinned and rushed from the room in a flurry of frilled petticoats. She couldn’t stop a little giggle at the thought of Mama actually showing up at the church with all her rag curls still in. Wouldn’t that give Julia Nickerson something to talk about at the next quilting bee! 

Lifting the skirt of her new golden-yellow gown, she followed Mama to help her finish getting ready. Entering the room, she glanced around and smoothed a hand down the front of her dress. Everywhere she looked Mama’s touch was evident. From the colorful, hand-appliquéd floral quilt they’d sewn the year Victoria turned thirteen, to the braided rugs they’d just finished last summer – everything in this room would be a reminder of Mama. She fiddled with the pendant at her throat, unanticipated dread threatening to rob her of today’s joy. After the wedding, Mama and Dr. Martin were going on a wedding tour to San Francisco, California. And when Mama got back she would move into Dr. Martin’s little home above his office. Mama’s trunks were already packed and waiting by the door. 

Mama caught her eye in the mirror. “I’ll just be across town, Ria.” 

Victoria forced a smile. “Of course you will. It’ll just be different. I’ll get used to it. And,” she shook her finger, “don’t think you are getting away from me, because I plan to visit you! Often!” 

Mama chuckled. “You’d better, or I will come after you with my rolling pin! Now,” she patted her hair and arched her dark eyebrows. 

Victoria stepped up behind her and deftly began pulling the rags from her hair. She glanced up and compared their reflections. They were about as different as any two women could be. Mama’s dark hair and coffee colored eyes graced a heart-shaped face with a smooth, clear complexion. It amazed her that anyone in this town actually believed she was Clarice Snyder’s daughter. Even Papa had been blessed with dark hair and bronze skin. 

Before Mama and Papa had moved to Shiloh they had lived in Nebraska. She could still vividly remember the taunts the children at school used to hurl at her. She swallowed and pressed away the memories. That was in the past. Still, she often wondered if she really did have vile blood running through her veins. Who were her people? Where had she come from? 

“What are you thinking, honey?” 

Victoria wrinkled her freckled nose at her red hair. “It’s amazing that anyone in this town believes I’m really your daughter.” 

Mama’s features softened. She reached up and patted Victoria’s hand, meeting her gaze in the mirror. “You are as much my daughter as anyone of my own flesh and blood could ever have been, darling. The day the Good Lord brought you to Papa and me was the best day of our lives, and don’t you be forgetting it. Just because I’m marrying again and moving over to the doctor’s house, doesn’t mean I don’t love you.” “I know.” 

Victoria made an effort to lift her shoulders and put a smile on her face. She would get through this. Mama certainly deserved this bit of happiness after all she’d been through. 

Mama spun around on the stool and captured Victoria’s hands. “Honey, I know I’ve told you this before, but I want to remind you again. You are special. Just because your parents gave you up, doesn’t mean the Lord doesn’t have great plans for you. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve thanked the Lord for sending you to Papa and me.” Tears pooled in her eyes. “When Jesus took Papa home, I thought I wouldn’t be able to bear it, and you were such a source of strength to me.” 

Victoria pressed a handkerchief into Mama’s hands, blinking back tears of her own. “Now, Mama. We can’t have you looking all puffy-eyed on your wedding day.” 

Mama chuckled and dabbed at her tears. “Honey, I just don’t want you to feel like I’m abandoning you.” 

Pulling her into a hug, Victoria rested her cheek atop the dark curls. “I know you aren’t. Things are just going to be different. It’ll just take a little while to adjust, is all. I’m so happy for you. And I’m really glad you are feeling so much better, lately. I don’t know what I would do if I lost you, too.” And that was the truth of it. 

Mama patted her arm. “I’m not planning on skipping through the pearly gates anytime soon, dear. I’m afraid you are stuck with me for a good long while yet.” 

Victoria chuckled. “Good! Now,” she set Mama away from her and spun her back towards the mirror, “we need to finish getting you ready. Sky Jordan said he would be here to get you at ten and it’s already a quarter past nine. We can’t have you late to your own wedding!” She removed the last few rags from Mama’s hair. 

Grinning, Mama clasped a pearl necklace about her throat. “Doc said he’d come for me himself, if I was even one minute late.” 

“I can see him doing it, too.” Victoria plucked the wedding dress off the bed and gestured for Mama to stand. Settling the gorgeous champagne satin over Mama’s head, Victoria fluffed and fussed with the skirt until it lay in disciplined pleats over the voluminous petticoats. Stepping back she admired the ecru lace and pearls that graced the fitted bodice of the gown. “Oh Mama! You are so beautiful! Here.” She gestured to the stool in front of the dressing table again and Mama sat. Victoria bent and began fastening the tiny satin-covered buttons that lined the back of the dress. 

Mama cleared her throat and fiddled with something on the dresser top. “Rocky got back home this week.” 

Victoria’s fingers stilled, her heart shying like a stung mare. Resuming the buttoning, she carefully kept any hint of emotion from her voice. “I heard.” 

“He stopped by Doc’s last night while Hannah and I were there. Doc asked him to walk me down the aisle. I was hoping he’d get back in time.” 

“Before she went back to the orphanage last night, Hannah told me he was shot trying to help Jason apprehend a criminal.” 

“Mmmm, but Doc says he’s going to be fine. It will just take a few weeks for him to fully recover the use of his arm.” 

Victoria fastened the last button and stood. Her lips pressed together, she reached for the brush and styled Mama’s hair for the beautiful pearl combs. Nothing she said would keep the morning peaceful. Mama loved Rocky and had been gently pressuring Victoria in his direction for years – ever since Victoria had innocently proclaimed on her thirteenth birthday that she thought she loved him. 

“Honey.” Mama waited until Victoria met her gaze in the mirror. “I would much rather have had the few years I had with Robert, than to have never known what it was like to love him at all. Only the Lord knows the future. Don’t rob yourself of happiness because you are afraid of what the future holds.” 

Victoria snugged the last comb into a wave of dark hair and rested the circlet of the veil on Mama’s head, then bent and kissed Mama’s warm cheek. “Alright, I promise not to rob myself of future happiness.” 

Mama arched a slim, dark brow. 

Victoria gave her a cheeky smile, knowing she hadn’t promised what Mama really wanted to hear. 

“Ria, you know good and well what I mean.” 

Victoria sighed. “Mama, Rocky has not so much as ever even hinted that he thinks of me as more than a friend. But if he does, I promise you I will seriously consider him.” 

A gleam of satisfaction leapt into Mama’s eyes and she nodded her acquiescence to Victoria’s promise. 

There. Now Mama could go through the day with a light heart. 

And it wasn’t like she was in any danger of having to follow through on her promise. Rocky was never going to pay attention to her in that way. So she would never have to worry about having a lawman for a husband – A lawman who could be killed in the line of duty anytime he went to work, or even stepped out his door to call in the dog. 

And that would definitely ensure her future happiness. 

~ End of Excerpt ~

(Note: You can read a longer excerpt from Fair Valley Refuge, as well as read excerpts from the first two books in the series, by clicking HERE!)

Amber: Great set-up for a conflict-ridden romance! And that's unique to have the heroine start out by helping her mother prepare for her wedding. Thanks for joining us today, Lynnette!

Readers, here's Lynnette's giveaway:

"I’m offering an electronic give-away of Fair Valley Refuge, so it is open internationally. I can give an .epub format, a PDF format, or a .mobi format. So the book can be read on pretty much any reading device a reader might have."

Awesome! So, if you would like a chance to win an e-copy of the book, leave a comment for Lynnette, including your name and e-mail address. All "End of Summer Bash" winners will be announced on Saturday, September 8th.

*This giveaway is open internationally.*

Tomorrow's guest writes about the American frontier with wonder and grace, and her latest cover has a color scheme perfect for the coming season. Our last interview and giveaway of the week are ones you don't want to miss!

(Music video from YouTube.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

End of Summer Bash: Party with Anne Elisabeth Stengl!

Anne Elisabeth Stengl's books are powerful - beautifully imagined fantasy with beautiful themes! You can read my review of Veiled Rose, the second book in the "Tales of Goldstone Wood" series, HERE. And my review of Starflower - the book we're featuring today! - will be coming sometime in October or November! Can I just say I cannot WAIT to read it? =)

Today you have a chance to learn more about Starflower, as well as chance to win any one book in the series! Read on to learn more...

Amber: So glad to have you visit, Anne!

What’s one summer-themed song you would love to hear at an “end-of-summer” party?

Anne: Well, at risk of sounding terribly cliché, I suppose my favorite summer song would be the "Summertime" aria from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin. It's such a gorgeous song, and I've performed it myself back in my jazz-singing days! Not an upbeat melody so much as lazy and a little melancholy, just like the end of summer should be.

Amber: I found this strictly instrumental version of "Summertime," as performed by the Vienna Symphonic Rock Orchestra. I like the sound of it - and I agree that it's a wonderful "summer-is-winding-down" song!

So, if the heroine of Starflower was planning an “end-of-summer” party, what might it look like?

Anne: As a girl, Starflower, the heroine in my upcoming novel, looks forward to the close of summer because it marks the end of the Campaigning Season when all the warriors of her village return from battle. An end-of-summer party would be an enormous, village-wide celebration to welcome the warriors home, and Starflower would be very busy preparing a great feast! She would harvest mangos from the grove near her father's house to brew up mango cider, which she must do by herself now, since her mother died . . . though her baby sister, Fairbird, might try to "help!"
One of the favorite celebration foods Starflower would make would be a very spicy dish of onions and little fish caught from the stream nearby. She would cut up the onions and mix them with spices she ground herself, cinnamon and ginger and peppers grown in her own garden. If she can get her hands on a little sugar, she'll add that as well and cook it all up on a hot stone over coals, adding chunks of fish as it cooks. All the warriors home from battle will love this flavorful concoction!

Starflower would not be allowed to participate in the games, however. Young boys of the village will have foot races, spear-throwing competitions, wrestling matches and, though I'm sorry to say it, dog fights. Starflower disapproves of the dog fights, and she won't let her little sister watch.

When evening falls, Starflower might be allowed to perform the end-of-summer dance with the other young girls of her village, while the older women beat drums and the Eldest of the village sings in his deep, warrior's voice. This song would honor both those who died in battle and the summer coming to its end, preparing for the dying time of autumn and the sleeping time of winter. Starflower always cries when she hears this song, for it makes her think of her dead mother.

Amber: I love your descriptions, Anne! Sounds like an exciting, moving time. 

Now for the hero of Starflower… What would he look forward to most about autumn?

Anne: The hero of Starflower is an immortal Faerie, and he doesn't pay a great deal of attention to passing seasons or even years. He lives in Rudiobus, a Faerie kingdom, where Autumn visits only upon occasion.When Autumn does come to Rudiobus, however, the Merry People throw a great festival! And my hero, Eanrin, who is the king's Chief Poet, will compose a song to honor the autumn, and the changing colors, and the dying that must come before life renews. His song might even look something like this:

Remnants of colored silk, each leaf must fall 
In scattered storm of gold and red and umber 
To lie beneath the trees bereft and tall, 
And clothe the ground in blankets meant for slumber. 
Lord Lumé and his Lady, in ever-turning dance 
Across the sky shine soft upon the waning year 
And pause mid-step to cast a caring glance 
On quiet sleeps of death, and drop a tear 
To fall in solemn vow of songs to come 
And life renewed. But now, dear world, sleep on! 
And wait, wait, wait to hear again the song. 

Amber: That's beautiful!! (But don't tell Sir Eanrin - he already has enough of an ego, I'm thinking! *Wink*) Sir Eanrin is a favorite of many, so I'm sure there are lots of readers (like me!) who are excited that he is the hero of Starflower

Please share a little more about your latest release. We’d love a brief snippet if you’d care to share one!

Anne: My upcoming novel, Starflower, is the fourth book in the "Tales of Goldstone Wood," an award-winning series of novels told in the classic Fairy Tale style. Starflower tells the story of immortal Eanrin whose ladylove is kidnapped by an evil dragon. He and his rival for that lady's hand set out on a race to rescue the fair maid. But while on this quest, Eanrin comes across a mortal girl caught in an enchanted sleep. Should he leave her where she lies . . . or wake her and risk getting caught up into a dark adventure far beyond anything he ever dreamed? If you're curious, here's a sneak peek...

~ Excerpt from Starflower ~

The girl did not stir when Eanrin lifted her into his arms; her sleep was profound indeed. Her head lolled over his arm, and he was obliged to part her thick hair to uncover her face. It was an uncommonly beautiful face for a mortal.

However, this girl’s beauty was different from any he had ever before seen. For one thing, her skin was rich dark brown, and her hair glossy black. For another, she was imperfect. Her teeth, visible between gently parted lips, were a little crooked. Mud stained her skin, making it darker still, and her brow, even in sleep, was puckered with anxiety or fear. Her dreams must be wicked indeed.

Eanrin grimaced at the sight and almost put her down again. After all, a princess with dreams like those probably had a tale of woe to match. She would certainly wake with expectations of a handsome hero to aid her. As far as Eanrin was concerned, a dash of heroism was one thing, but commitment to a cause? Never. Rushing off to the rescue of Lady Gleamdren was different, for he had determined that she must be his wife and the sole inspiration to his life’s work. Besides, he loved her.

This creature meant nothing to him.

But blood oozed from the abrasions on her wrists. And her body, mortal and vulnerable, lay in his arms. Eanrin rolled his eyes heavenward as though to seek some holy aid. Then he braced himself and wiped the mud off her lips with the edge of his cloak. She frowned in her sleep and stirred, but did not wake.

“Nothing for it,” he muttered. Closing his eyes and trying not to smell her any more than he must, he leaned in and kissed her . . .

~ End of Excerpt ~ 

But you'll have to pick up Starflower to see what happens from there!

Amber: Oooh, that's so cruel, Anne! What a place to stop! ;) Can't wait to pick up the book and continue reading. Thank you for sharing with us!

Readers, Anne has a special giveaway to share with you: 

"I'm game to do an international giveaway. The winner may choose any one of the four 'Tales of Goldstone Wood' - Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, or Starflower - as her prize. However, winner, if you choose Starflower, you'll have to wait a few months, since that novel does not release until November!"

For a chance to win, just leave a comment for Anne, including your name and e-mail address, as well as your book choice. All "End of Summer Bash" winners will be announced on Saturday, September 8th.

*This giveaway is open internationally.*

My 2 cents: I think this series is best appreciated in order, so if you're new to the "Tales of Goldstone Wood," I highly recommend starting with Heartless. However, my favorite of the series so far is Moonblood. Of course, the decision is up to you, and I really don't think you can go wrong with any of her books, but I'd just thought I'd throw that all in!

As for tomorrow's guest, she writes historical romances with a Western theme, suspense, and a strong emphasis on faith. So come on over to learn about her latest book - and enter for a chance to win it!

(Music video found on YouTube.)