Knowing the end
Before you begin:
It’s like roulette
Without the spin!
The book of life
by a pantser.
You asked about
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
“World Wide” Debut – 12:01 am – at eHarlequin – on December 1, 2010!
At Long Last Fans Can Enjoy, “Rocky Mountain Hero” by Audra Harders and “The Rancher’s Reunion” by Tina Radcliffe – A Full 31 Days before the general bookstore release in January 2011.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Steeple Hill Love Inspired
Miniseries: Wings of Refuge
Category: Inspirational Romance
"Wings of Refuge" -- Book 7: “Steadfast Soldier”
If you like your heroes bigger than life, then I think Cheryl Wyatt's "Wings of Refuge" books will warm you heart. I think Wyatt has the best heroes because they are all USAF, Special Forces, PJ (pararescue jumper) team members! Each is well trained and perfectly conditioned. Each has as his military mission the taking of risks so that “Other’s May Live”. It's easy to find great heroes in this elite band of brothers. It’s no wonder that ever since the first book was published the editor has called for more and more books to expand the series. Each book is a winner!
Cheryl Wyatt's World!
All seven books of the "Wings of Refuge" Series feature strong friendships and passionate romances. I must say that his is one series that you should read in order of publication. It is so much more enjoyable when you read about characters in later books who are ‘old friends' you loved in the earlier books. Sure, you can read the books in any order you want but as stand alone books, I feel they are four to four and a half star experiences. If you read them in order, they are all five start books. Here is a list of all seven books. Note that all seven books are still available on eHarlequin as eBooks and also on Amazon as Kindle books.
A SOLDIER'S PROMISE, January 2008, BOOK 1
A SOLDIER'S FAMILY, March 2008 BOOK 2
READY-MADE FAMILY, April 2009, BOOK 3
A SOLDIER'S REUNION, June 2009, BOOK 4
SOLDIER DADDY, October 2009, BOOK 5
A SOLDIER'S DEVOTION, January 2010, BOOK 6
STEADFAST SOLDIER June 2010, BOOK 7
I have found from reading all these books that the more books you've read, the more enjoyable the next book becomes.
An ‘Effervescent’ Voice
Cheryl Wyatt has a uniquely personal voice. Her writing is very informal; it’s almost as if she breathes the story to life. Her tone is very conversational. I feel this allows her to get closer to the reader. This is hard to explain so consider the below passage in which Wyatt is writing as the author and not as a character who is thinking these things:
“Chloe pulled away from the curb as Chance passed her. Thankfully, he drove slowly. His brake lights became Chloe’s compass. They beamed through the storm like two tiny red lighthouses. She followed his taillights in full trust.I was a little taken when I read “Eventually Mom’s house” because writing as the author, “Mom” would have been the author’s Mom. I would have written this as “Eventually her mother’s house came into view”. But the reader knows it not the author’s Mom. This informality blends into the story narrative and as a result, I think “Wings of Refuge” read differently than anyone else would have written it.
“Eventually Mom’s house came into view. Chloe pulled into the driveway and waved Chance on, signaling he could go. Surely a man like that had somewhere important to be. She hated to detain him; he’d been so kind to get her home.”
I really like this ‘effervescent’ style because it exactly mirrors the storyline. (“Wings of Refuge” is also a great friendship series.)
"Steadfast Soldier" – Book Seven
The hero in this story is PJ, Chance Garrison, who unlike many heroes in romances, actually is looking for a wife and is eager to start a family while he is still young. His father was already old when Chance was born and Chance feels he missed out as a child by not having an active father to do things with.
The heroine, Chloe Callet, is a physical therapist who does not want to get married or have a family for many years to come. She is building her dream business in Refuge. She also does not want a husband who is called away from home for long periods. In this sense, Chance is all wrong for her.
Pioneering Dogs in Physical Therapy
Chloe uses dogs in her physical therapy sessions and is trying to prove her unique methods and earn general acceptance. As the story starts, Chloe has only one client in Refuge: Chance's father who is recovering from a stroke.
Ministers in the Family
Chance wants to be a youth minister which surprisingly is a problem. Chloe's father was a minister and Chloe's childhood experiences were so bad, that she vows never to consider a minister as a husband. Chance has his work cut out for him in winning Chloe's heart. But a PJ airman never worries about the odds. Besides, Chance feels he has God on his side.
Heroines to Match Great Heroes
Great PJ heroes demand strong heroines to balance the romantic relationships. Wyatt's heroines are not only strong, they are interesting and unique. Chole is a very good example of this. If you have not read any of the "Wings of Refuge" books, you're in luck: you have a world of enjoyment awaiting you!
"Steadfast Soldier" Just Another Great Book in the "Wings of Refuge" Series!
(Disclosure: I was in the USAF where I trained K-9 dogs. I am particularly predisposed to enjoy this series. Oh, that's not me in the picture. My picture has F-100's in the background.)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
“Love on a Dime”
Paperback: 320 pages
June 1, 2010)
Also available as eBook
Cara Lynn James
“Love on a Dime” is fun! It’s fresh! It’s interesting! It’s cute! And it’s about time someone wrote it. I just loved: “Love on a Dime”.
The heroine, Lilly Westbrook, is secretly a dime novelist who is very popular. Even the upper class ladies can’t help themselves and are often found reading their servants copies!
Lilly must still protect her place in society. High class ladies might read dime novels but it is unthinkable that one of them would actually write one. If word got out, Lilly’s family reputation might be ruined.
Lilly can’t afford to quit! She gives the money she makes from her “Fanny Cole” novels to the Christian Settlement House – a worthily charity that is in desperate need for money as the story opens. But there is a problem: an evil villain is blackmailing Lilly to keep her writing a secret. Will she pay the blackmail?
A Wonderful Time For a Romance!
“Love on a Dime” takes place during interesting times! It’s 1899 -- a time when people go about in horse and carriage but think nothing of calling their friends in New York City on the telephone. The location is also interesting: Newport as a resort for the old and newly rich. There’s tennis, sailing, gambling, dancing, everything for the privileged class.
The Hero Returns
The hero, Jackson Grail, is a good man who makes a fortune in the Alaska gold rush after Lilly’s father let it be known he was not good enough to marry, Lilly, his daughter. Back form Alaska, six years later, Jackson buys the publishing company that handles Lilly’s books. Jackson does not know who ‘Fanny Cole’ really is. But he needs to know. She is his best selling author and he needs to up her sales by putting her on a book signing tour. The best selling author for Jackson’s competitor is selling many books on tour and she is not nearly as good as “Fanny Cole”. His company needs the revenue.
The ‘Last Chance” Engagement!
Thinking Jackson was gone forever after he disappeared years ago, Lilly is now engaged to a very rich man. Since she has been ‘on the shelf’ for a very long time, this may be her last chance to marry and marry so well. Lilly gets engaged much to Jackson’s despair.
The Plot Thickens…Interestingly!
The plotting in “Love on a Dime” is also very interesting. The story reads like a mystery with many twists and turns. I was wondering if the author would tie-up all the loose ends before then end of the book and she did. The last author I read who could plot this well was Marion Chesney. She went on to become one of the UK’s best selling mystery writers: M.C. Beaton. She’s my favorite mystery writer for sure and also my favorite Regency Romance writer.
Christian Romances with Redeeming Social Value Ala 1899!
To make “Love on a Dime” even more interesting, the dime novels that “Fanny Cole” writes all have real literary merit. Each has a strong Christian theme: demonstrate the rewards of living a Christian life as a good example to the poor women in the city who endured such incredibly hard lives.
Thought Into Action!
“Love on a Dime” is so interesting that I went on eBay and bought a real dime novel printed in 1887. So far I am on the 5th Chapter of “Edna’s Vow” and I am totally hooked! And I’m totally happy I chose to read “Love on a Dime”! 5-Star Wonderful!
There is Everything To Like in “Love on a Dime”!
A Look at a Real Dime Novel
Edna’s Vow, Charlotte M. Stanley
Westbrook Co. 1887
Trade Paperback, 250 pages
Price 10 cents
Value in today’s money: $8.00
First Page is Given Blow:
Oh, bitter, chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limped, trembling, through the frozen grass
And shivering lay the flock in distant fold.
A bitter winter night. Snow lying soft and thick, and white in city parks and country meadows; and snow, lying crisp and hard and soiled – ground down to the consistency of fine sand, and mixed with the dirt of the road – alike in city streets and country lanes. Frost, snow, and ice everywhere. Ice on the window-panes, on the slippery sidewalks, in the river, in the gutters, in the city fountains and the country. ponds; and icicles of all shapes and sizes – from a delicate silvery thread to a formidable, glittering club two to three pounds in weight, hanging from roofs, sheds, waste-pipes, cottage and farm-house caves, window-frames, rocks, trees --everywhere in short, where water could drip and freeze and icicles hang; some of them trembling ominously, with a threat of possible danger to the heads of thoughtless passers-by, as the cruel north wind, bursting and howling around corners in sudden gusts, shook them (end of page one).
Bought on Ebay – May Be Only Copy in Existence!
I liked reading “Love on a Dime” so much I bid on Dime novels on Ebay and I won “Edna’s Vow” just so I could see what a dime novel was like. First I found it to be as big as today’s trade paperback. Next, I was surprised by the lack of typos. Next I found that I was quickly hooked into the story. This book is very well written. The fans who bought these dime novels were paying an amount that was just about equal to one hour’s wages.
While the printing is done very cheaply, it seems a great deal of effort went into making the story error free. The fans loved these dime novels and they read them because they were compelling reads. I am hooked on reading “Edna’s Vow”. While the style is archaic once you get used to it, the story reads just fine. I will review “Edna’s Vow” as soon as I finish. So far, five chapters into it, I will give it 5-Stars!
After a Wait of More Then Eight Months, “Rocky Mountain Hero” Is Scheduled for Early Bird Release at 12:01 am on December 1 at eHarlequin!
Audra Harders “Rocky Mountain Hero" should be available immediately at that time as an eBook for download or as a paperback book to be delivered by mail. That link again is here.
The book will be available in book stories in January 2011. However, the cognoscenti do not have to wait that long!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Wrangler in Petticoats by Mary Connealy Published by Barbour Books; Sophie's Daughters
Genre: Historical Fiction
A Deeper Historical Western Romance
Mary Connealy reminds me a lot of Mark Twain. Like Twain, Connealy is a prolific writer, she writes with an insightful sense of humor, she often uses children to demonstrate the foibles of adults, her books can be read by adults and children alike, her stories show a keen understanding of what it is like to be a child, plus the time periods and locations are very similar. To top it off, both Twain and Connealy like to write the occasional mystery.
Yellowstone, Montana Territory, 1882
When you read a Mary Connealy novel there is always more 'going on' than what is 'going on' on the page. "Wrangler in Petticoats" is no exception. The hero, Logan McKenzie, is an artist trying to capture the wonders of the West on canvas. The story takes place in the Yellowstone area of Montana.
Portrait of a Western Artist
Logan's love for his art is wonderfully expressed by his creative passion. Connealy's descriptions of Logan's paintings are like looking at the Thomas Moran paintings in Tulsa's Gilcrease Museum. Logan's love of art exactly mirrors how many great writers have felt about their craft.
Art as a Demanding Mistress
Logan is so devoted to his art that he fears he will make a bad husband and father. He believes that the first time an ideal sunset or other natural wonder presented itself; he'd drop everything and start painting. He thinks he'd do this even if it meant neglecting his family. Logan has good reason to believe this because that is exactly how he has behaved his entire life. Logan says he paints because he cannot not paint. This echoes the stated view (I cannot not write) of the author and I am sure it was also true of Mark Twain.
Into the Artist's Mind
Logan is a very interesting character. The author's detailed portrayal allows the reader to see how a genuine artist experiences the world. It is especially insightful to watch how Logan tries to explain his highly unusual 'impressionistic' style painting to the heroine, Sally McClellan.
It Doesn't Look Like Things Look!
Almost no one out west would have seen an Impressionistic painting in 1882. The heroine's reaction is classic. She complains that the painting is weird because it doesn't look like objects should look. However, the art of photography was rapidly advancing at this time and artists knew that they could not compete favorably with photography in capturing reality with perfect precision. Thus a new art style was being invented which strove to capture what the artist was 'feeling' while painting the picture. "Wrangler in Petticoats" gives the reader a great feel for this unique period in the history of art. This book is far more than a little romance.
The Heroine as 'One of the Guys'
Sally McClellan is a tomboy but she is more than just 'one of the guys' -- she's often better at being a cowboy than the men are. She is so much her father's 'son' that her father actually tries to get her to be more feminine.
Even when Sally's mother insists that she dress in women's garments, she still changes into men's clothing as soon as possible. The author seems to like all her heroines to be more competent than men! But then Connealy is also a humorist. Without a doubt, Connealy heroines make great role models for adolescent girls.
"Wrangler in Petticoats" -- Not a Cozy Tale
The location is the beautifully rugged Yellowstone area of the Montana territory. The story opens with a bloody bushwhacking scene that instantly pulls the reader into the tale. The only author I've read who could do this type of opening as well was Louis L'Amour. Poor Sally is gut shot, falls off a very high cliff, and survives only to have killers stalking her for the rest of the book. The tension never lets up. "Wrangler in Petticoats" demands the reader's full attention.
Conflict & Learning to Love Art
Sally sees Logan as a useless man who can't do much that a real man should do. All he can do is paint pictures. She does not see painting as work that could support a family. Unfortunately for Logan, he falls in love with Sally almost immediately but considers himself to be a dreamer and not someone who would make a good husband and father. Sally fully agrees with this assessment. Because of this impasse, Sally is the one who must come to Logan. She must learn who he really is by coming to understand his art and his passion for life. By the end of the story, Sally is a very different person. Logan is also different in a more pragmatic way.
Original Hero and Heroine Become Your Friends
Sally and Logan are not your typical romantic hero and heroine. Each is a remarkable character who will become your friend by the end of the book. Like Mark Twain's characters, Sally and Logan will still speak to you long after you've read the book.
"Wrangler in Petticoats" - Absolutely Wonderful! --
Sunday, October 17, 2010
After a Wait of More Then Eight Months, “The Rancher’s Reunion” Is Scheduled for Early Bird Release at 12:01 am on December 1 at eHarlequin!
Tina Radcliffe's "The Rancher's Reunion" should be available immediately at that time as an eBook for download or as a paperback book to be delivered by mail. That link again is here.
The book will be available in book stories in January 2011. However, the cognoscenti do not have to wait that long!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Mass Market Paperback: 295 pages
Leisure Books (July 27, 2010)
1883 - Montana Territory
While the wagon shown on the cover of “Montana Dawn” may be slow moving, everything else in the story rips along like it was being driven by tornadic winds! Once you start reading "Montana Dawn", the 52 Chapters and 295 pages, seem to be over almost before they began.
Caroline Fyffe is a master storyteller. The action opens in the middle of a thunder storm, during the dark of night, on the open range, with the heroine, Faith Brown, about to give birth. She's crowded into a small covered wagon with her young son as her only companion. Faith has even more problems: she’s a recent widow, her horses have run off, she’s low on money, and she is running from a very bad situation back home. And yes, an evil villain is hot on her trail!
The hero, Luck McCutcheon, stumbles upon the lone wagon when he wanders too far astray from his cattle drive camp. With little other choice, Luke helps deliver the baby. A bond is created between the baby, mother and the hero that pulls them together even as necessity drives them apart.
“Montana Dawn” is a rugged and realistic romance with two graphic birth scenes, cruelty to people and animals , plus a fair share of violence. The men are western men and act like it. The friendships are real and lasting. The emotions are authentic and moving.
This high level of realism makes the growing love between Luke and Faith all the more powerful. It makes the characters so vivid, you’d known them if they knocked on your front door.
“Montana Dawn” is not a soft, fluffy, romance. It’s a story of real people, hard times and harder choices. I enjoyed every minute of the book and that’s about as good as a book can get!
"Montana Dawn": Rugged, Realistic, Cativating!