Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Review - Rope of Sand

5 out of 5 stars
ROPE OF SAND, along with DEATH BE NOT PROUD, was a complex book, intellectually written, and all consuming.
This series has really baffled me.  I didn’t read book one-MORTAL FIRE.  Book two-DEATH BE NOT PROUD was sent to me for review purposes, and I wasn’t really sure I liked it at first.  There was a paranormal bent to it that turned me off to begin with, it was slow in sections, and hard to follow in others.  But let me tell me, the second half of DEATH BE NOT PROUD quickly picked up momentum and totally captivated me.  I became so attached to Emma and Matthew, I didn’t want the book to end.  My review of DEATH BE NOT PROUD reflected my mixed feelings, but I was so intrigued by it, I knew I would get the sequel.
ROPE OF SAND started out much the same way as its predecessor.  It was a bit slow, and I had to reestablish a connection with the characters.  But, once I did, there was no stopping me.  I was emotionally invested once again with Emma and Matthew and felt every hurt, fear, and frustration they experienced as they tried to move forward and move on.  It is hard to write a review for this book because anything I say could be considered a spoiler. 
C.F. Dunn has a unique writing style.  I can’t really describe it other than to say it is articulate and intellectual.  This series is so out of the norm for me but I am completely captivated by it.  I have decided to go back and read MORTAL FIRE and can’t wait for REALMS OF DARKNESS to be released in the future.  I wouldn’t really consider this a Christian novel as much as I would say this is a novel with Christian characters in it.  Matthew and Emma have faith in God but are struggling to understand why He has allowed Matthew’s life to be so complex.
Note: Some use of strong language.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Review - Death Be Not Proud

DEATH BE NOT PROUD . . . it is safe to say this novel really stretched by comprehension as a reader.  Some good.  Some bad.

This is book two in The Secrets of the Journal series.  Since I didn’t read book one–MORTAL FIRE, I was at a bit of a disadvantage.  If I hadn’t requested this book as part of a blog reviewer agreement I probably never would’ve finished it, but I am so glad that I did.  

The first half of the book is a confusion between back-story and set-up.  Since I didn’t read MORTAL FIRE, you would’ve assumed I would like the back-story to bring me up to speed.  Instead, it only served to confuse and frustrate me.  The back story never came right out and told me what happened in book one, it only alluded to it.  I found myself reading and re-reading sections to try and grasp where the story had come from and where it was heading.  So, for readers jumping in, it wasn’t too helpful, and probably for readers who already read book one, it probably frustrated because of the length of rehashing that happened.

The second half of the book is where momentum really picked up.  It was so enthralling and captivating, I couldn’t put it down.  Of course, the second half is where both hero and heroine are reunited.  I have long said that I do not like romance books that keep the two main characters at arm’s length for an extended period of time, so I am sure that led to my dislike of the first half.  

The other thing that was bothersome, is when reading the first half of the book I found myself wondering . . . is Matthew a ghost, a time traveler, an alien, etc. ?  I am not into paranormal fiction so I kept wondering how long I was going to be in the dark regarding Matthew’s secret, and once revealed would I want to continue?  No worries there.  By the end of book two, you still don’t know what Matthew’s story is.  And now, I am so emotionally invested, I will have to watch for the release of book three ROPE OF SAND in order to have my questions answered and conclusions tied up.  If this was the hope of author C.F. Dunn, she achieved it expertly!  This reader is on the hook for the last installment.

Book provided for review purposes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My review - Mortal Fire - The Secret of the Journal Series

5 out of 5 stars - Outstanding!
MORTAL FIRE – Is not your run-of-the-mill romance book . . . and how wonderful that it is not!!
I have a love-hate relationship with The Secret of the Journal series penned by C.F. Dunn.  Hate-because I read it out of order.  Love- because it totally captivated me so I had to go back and read what I missed.  I actually started the series by reading book two.  It was sent to me as part of a blog tour.  Initially, I groaned, because I could tell the book delved into what I would call the mystical/not really possible realm.  This is not a genre I am comfortable with.  I would not have picked this book up on my own, but since it was sent to me, I had to follow through with my commitment to read and review.  I am so glad I did.  I was so utterly captivated with DEATH BE NOT PROUD (book two), I went ahead and purchased ROPE OF SAND (book three), but that did not quench my desire to know everything I could about Dr. Matthew Lynes and Dr. Emma D’Eresby. So, I went ahead and purchased MORTAL FIRE so I could start at the beginning.  Even though I knew what was going to happen in book one because of the heavy references in book two, it did not minimize my enjoyment.  To write a review without giving away keys to the mystery is difficult.  But I will try in a nutshell.
Dr. Emma D’Eresby, a professor of history at Cambridge, is on a quest to find a journal her grandfather began to translate decades ago.  It is her connection to her deceased grandfather and their shared love of history, but Emma quickly finds out it might also be connected to her future.  Traveling to the U.S. to study the journal, Emma soon finds herself the target of someone’s depravity.  Though already intrigued by the enigmatic Dr. Lynes, her attraction for him grows when he comes to her rescue.  But with that attraction comes even more questions about who the elusive doctor really is.  The heart wants what the heart wants, and even though Emma knows Matthew is being secretive-even deceptive-she can’t seem to rein her heart back into obedience.  When Matthew not only acknowledges Emma’s affection but returns it as well, she thinks he will finely drop the façade he has so meticulously erected and let her in.  When Matthew doesn’t, Emma questions it they have a future at all.
MORTAL FIRE, along with DEATH BE NOT PROUD and ROPE OF SAND are by far the most intriguing novels I have ever read, even though they went against some of the ‘don’t likes’ I usually point out in books, such as: They delve into the mystical-a genre I choose not to read, and the author’s writing is sometimes overrun with evocative, fanciful descriptions – but somehow she makes it work brilliantly.  I love the stubborn, tenaciousness of Emma, and I have never met a more haunting and elusive hero as Matthew.
Any reader who wants to be swept up into the unknown and allow an author to take you to the edge of your imagination, The Secret of the Journal series is for you.  But just to warn you, the story doesn’t stop just yet.  REALM OF DARKNESS will be the fourth installment in the series, and I have yet to find out the release date of this next novel. So, with great anticipation, I wait, and so will you.
Note: These books were introduced to me as part of a Christian blog tour.  Many say they don’t see the Christian influence great enough for the books to be marketed in that genre.  I might tend to agree.  The faith the characters cling to is very personal and private, but definitely there.  So, even though there aren’t large quantities of pages or paragraphs dedicated to their faith, the characters definitely look to God for their strength and turn to Him in the hope that He will one day help them understand the anomaly that is Matthew’s life.



Saturday, April 23, 2016


Today's Author Spotlight is C.F. Dunn from the U.K. Claire is an amazing author who has penned a series that is elusive and quite intriguing. I stumbled across Dunn's writing by mistake. I review books for a few publishing houses and received DEATH BE NOT PROUD, the second installment in The Secrets of the Journal series in exchange for posting a review on major outlets like: Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, etc.
In all honesty; I was in a snit when I received this book. Anyone who knows me, knows fantasy is probably one of my least favorite genres. I have a hard time with concepts I can’t wrap my mind around. But, to fulfill my agreement to the publishing house (Lion Fiction), I began what I felt would be a long arduous task of reading a book I knew I wouldn’t appreciate.
I could NOT be more wrong!

DEATH BE NOT PROUD absolutely captivated me! The series centers on Dr. Emma D’Eresby, a professor of history at Cambridge, who is on a quest to find a journal her grandfather began to translate decades ago. Traveling to the U.S. to study the journal, Emma soon finds herself the target of someone’s depravity. Though already intrigued by the enigmatic Dr. Lynes, her attraction for him grows when he comes to her rescue. But, with that attraction comes even more questions about who the elusive doctor really is. The heart wants what the heart wants, and even though Emma knows Matthew is being secretive-even deceptive-she can’t seem to rein her heart back into obedience. When Matthew not only acknowledges Emma’s affection but returns it as well, she thinks he will finally drop the façade he has so meticulously erected and let her in. When Matthew doesn’t, Emma questions if they have a future at all.
This is just an excerpt from my review of MORTAL FIRE (book one). I will be posting all three of my reviews, in their entirety, throughout the week. All I can say is there are not enough adjectives to describe the emotional roller coaster you will experience with this series. And, if you happen to pick up this series and become as entranced as I did, you’ll be happy to know REALMS OF DARKNESS (book four) will be released later this year.
Thank you, Claire, for such a fascinating journey.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Review - Sanctuary Breached

5 out of 5 stars
SANCTUARY BREACHED, book three in the WITSEC Town Series, is the most suspenseful to date.
Beth Myerson, the president’s daughter, sits in Sanctuary trying to unravel the threads of her life. Her parents have been assassinated, her husband—Navy SEAL Lieutenant Sam Myerson doesn’t even know she’s carrying their child, and Beth continues to hide the real reason she has come to Sanctuary. Determined to finish what she and her mother started, Beth continues with her plan.  But with no one to confide in Beth definitely feels she is on her own. All she wants is a life with her husband and child, but not knowing her husband’s location or if he is even alive begins to erode any hope Beth has of getting out of Sanctuary alive.
Sam Myerson doesn’t understand what went wrong. All he knows is his SEAL team has been compromised and he’s been taken captive. When a few pieces fall into place, Sam realizes his abduction has something to do with his wife and the town of Sanctuary. Once Sam arrives in Sanctuary, his number one priority is to ensure the safety of his wife and unborn child. But, when he finds out the welfare of the entire free world rests on him, he must find answers before it’s too late.
SANCTUARY BREACHED was a rollercoaster ride of action and suspense. After reading books one and two, I’ve become attached to the characters. When it appears they all are in jeopardy, I had to keep reading to make sure they all made it out alive. The twists in this book were plentiful, and there were several hold-your-breath-moments. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes action/suspense, mixed with romance.
Though book four, SANCTUARY DECEIVED, is now available on Kindle, I will wait until it is available in paperback in order to complete my collection. I say that now, but time will tell.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Review - Sanctuary Buried

5 out of 5 stars

SANCTUARY BURIED, book two in the WITSEC Town Series was even more suspenseful than the first.
Frannie Peters’ life in Sanctuary has been very day-to-day. She has spent her time running the town bakery while trying to ignore the over-the-top antics of her mother and sister. But dealing with her mother and sister becomes the least of her problems when Frannie walks in on an attempted murder. Now, the killer is after Frannie even though she has no way of identifying him. The only positive thing that comes out of being the murderer’s next target is that Matthias Hernandez, the man of Frannie’s secret infatuation, steps forward to protect her.
Matthias Hernandez is always smiling and helping someone out, but his secrets run just as deep as the other residents of Sanctuary. His family is a mess, and he shoulders the blame. It’s because of him that they live in the WITSEC town and because of that, he feels it’s his job to keep the family together. But, he secretly desires more. A family of his own. Matthias has been attracted to Frannie for a while, something he’s kept to himself or so he thinks. But, when Frannie becomes the target of a would-be killer, he no longer keeps his distance.
I really enjoyed SANCTUARY BURIED. I liked the slow development of the relationship between Frannie and Matthias. But there was plenty more than just romance to the book. The suspense was high as I tried to figure out who the killer was and what was his motivation. The setting continued to put an interesting slant on the story. A whole town of people keeping secrets had me assuming anyone could be guilty. Ms. Phillips also created characters like Frannie’s mom and sister that you just wanted to hate. To me, that’s always a sign of good writing.
Another great installment. Look for my review of SANCTUARY BREACHED next week.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Next Release for 2016 - Just An Act

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond on both Facebook and email regarding my next release. With an overwhelming response from you, my readers, I have decided, JUST AN ACT, will be my next release for 2016.

So, yesterday, I started the arduous task of editing JUST AN ACT one more time before turning it over to my faithful friends and family members who make up my editing team. I have set a goal of editing one hundred pages a week for the next five weeks. That might not seem like a lot, but you would be surprised how much time I can spend on just a few sentences in order for it to express exactly what I want a character to say or feel.

I will post updates as I progress through the story of Beth Justin-single mom, Shane Justin-her rebel teenage son, and celebrity-in-hiding-Mitch Burk. I will let you know if I am meeting my goals, and maybe even share excerpts along the way.

If you would like to take the journey with me as these three characters discover who they are, and who they want to be, sign-up to receive email notifications each time I post to my blog site. You can do that by filling in the sign-up box to the right.

Note: I purposely did not post pictures this time, because I didn't want to fixate on images that most likely will not appear on the book cover.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

My Review - Sanctuary Lost

4.5 out of 5 stars
SANCTUARY LOST is the first book I’ve read from Lisa Phillips. But, it most certainly will not be my last. SANCTUARY LOST is the first installment in the WITSEC Town Series—a town made up solely of people in the witness protection program.
U.S. Marshal John Mason has just come out from being undercover for a year. When he finds out he will have full custody of his son, John realizes he needs to make some life changes. When his brother offers him the job of sheriff in the unique town of Sanctuary—a town that’s not even on a map—he’s not sure it’s the life change he’s looking for. But, when he finds out his own life is in jeopardy, he realizes he doesn’t have a choice. 
Shortly after arriving in Sanctuary, the town suffers its first murder. Feeling the pressure to solve the crime, John’s faced with a town that has a lynch mob mentality. They’re offering up fellow citizen Andra Caleri—the town loner—as the murderer. John doesn’t believe for a minute Andra is guilty. But, is that his heart or his head talking? Having developed feelings for Andra, John desperately hopes for a break in the case or he’ll lose the woman that has worked her way into his heart. As John puts the pieces together, he realizes it’s not only a murder he’s dealing with but a conspiracy that involves high ranking people in Washington, D.C. It’s a race against time to find the real murderer before Andra is whisked away from Sanctuary for good.
Ms. Phillips has created an entire town of citizens that are all hiding something. Not knowing why these people have been exiled to Sanctuary, you realize anyone could be guilty, even though everyone appears so innocent. The interaction with John and Andra was definitely a love-at-first-sight connection. That was a bit hard to believe since it happened in less than a week, but I didn’t let that detour me from enjoying the story.
Can I just say, I love the books that are coming out of the self-publishing community.  I will definitely be continuing with this series.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

I've been recognized as being in the TOP 1% of Reviewers on Goodreads!

So, this was a fun email to find in my inbox. Goodreads has recognized me as being in the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! This definitely put a smile on my face. I have been actively posting book reviews for years. I've posted them on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari (no longer available), my blog, and other sites when asked. It's nice to know the time I've put in has paid off. If you're interested in my reviews, scroll down. My Goodreads reviews are posted in the right-hand margin. Just click on a book cover that interests you, and it will take you to my review of that book. Once on Goodreads, you can read my other reviews, view my bookshelf, and see other goodies.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Author Spotlight - Lisa Phillips

It was easy to choose my first Author Spotlight because I just finished a series from Lisa Phillips. The WITSEC Town Series (which I will be reviewing throughout this month) has a very unique setting. Imagine . . . an entire town populated with people in the U.S. Marshal's witness protection program.
No one in Sanctuary is who they say they are.   
Everyone is hiding a secret.
Some people are in Sanctuary because their testimony put their life in danger.   
Others are dangerous criminals who cut a deal with the Marshal's office.
As you can see, the unique location of the WITSEC series sets the stage for intrigue, suspense, and fortunately for the reader, romance. I won’t say much more because I will be reviewing books 1-3 in the weeks ahead. But, if the WITSEC series sounds like something you would be interested in, and you are a Kindle reader, books 1-3 are available now for only .99 each. Though book 4, SANCTUARY DECEIVED, is not yet available in paperback, it was just released on Kindle and is selling for $2.99.

Lisa Phillips has other books available, including several in the Love Inspired Suspense imprint. In fact, Lisa has most graciously offered to give a copy of her current release, SUDDEN RECALL, away to one lucky blogger. Just comment on this post before April 12th to be entered into the drawing. Make sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you're the winner.
A quick blurb on Lisa Phillips - A British ex-pat, Lisa attended Calvary Chapel Bible College where she met her husband. It wasn't until she graduated from college that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her). Since then she's discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after. Lisa can be found in Idaho wearing either flip-flops or cowgirl boots, depending on the season. She leads worship with her husband at their local church. Click here to be redirected to Lisa’s website.

Look for my review of SANCTUARY LOST on Saturday. If you want to make sure you don't miss any of my reviews, author spotlights, or giveaways, sign-up (on the right) to receive an email alert of my weekly posts.Link to Amazon

Monday, April 04, 2016

Next Book Release ?

I find myself in a quandary. I have several completed manuscripts, but I'm not sure which one to release next. I've narrowed it down to two. So, I thought I would write a synopsis on each and see if any of you would like to cast a vote. If you have the time, please read the following blurbs and tell me which one peaked your interest. (Pictures just added for interest)

Working title #1 - Just an Act

Mitch Burk wants out.  Known as Simon Grey, Hollywood heartthrob, he decides to walk away from his celebrity status to find what’s missing from his life. With an Airstream trailer in tow, he gets into a beat up Suburban and heads for the middle of nowhere. 
Shane Justin is feeling the growing pains of adolescents.  Hating the small town of Triune—and the family ranch he’s grown up on—he begins to rebel.  When his friends talk him into a roadside prank, Mitch Burk gets caught in the crossfire.
Beth Justin has not had an easy life.  A teen pregnancy, a broken heart, and the death of her parents, has left her with her fragile faith, her son, and the Iron J Ranch—and now even those things might be in jeopardy. 
Mitch finds himself on the Iron J with a busted windshield and a chip on his shoulder, while Beth feels herself being pushed to the limit.  She has no idea who her unexpected guest is, only that he’s a real pain in her side.  But when she sees the way Mitch bonds with her son, she realizes she might’ve overlooked some of his finer qualities and decides to let him stay at the ranch and help out while his Suburban is being repaired.  
What follows is three people navigating lives that are not what they dreamed, wanted, or desired, but are theirs to figure out.
Working title #2 - Grace Will Lead You Home

As a teen, Cassidy Martin loved life, family, small town ranch living, and the Lord. That is until her world was turned upside down by a tragic accident. Hating God for ruining her life and feeling betrayed by her father’s God-has-a-plan-in-all-things mentality, Cassidy left for New York on an art scholarship the minute she graduated high school.
It’s now nine years later, and Cassidy’s life is in shambles. Running from a marriage that is beyond fixing, she has nowhere to go but home. When she gets there, her father is still the same man-of-few-words rancher who serves God faithfully. It makes Cassidy bristle and stirs her anger.  But the real problem is Will Marsh. Wilbur Marsh was the consummate nerd in high school, but now he’s a handsome veterinarian living on her father’s property. Immediately, Cassidy and Will are at odds with each other. Cassidy is jealous of the relationship Will has forged with her father, and Will lets Cassidy know he won’t stand back and watch her father get hurt by her caustic behavior. Cassidy battles her father, Will, and the anger that’s tearing her apart inside.
So . . . what do you think? I would love to hear from you. You can email me at, comment here on my blog, or hit me up on Facebook. Either way, I look forward to hearing from you.


Sunday, April 03, 2016

ONE SATURDAY - Now available on Kindle

For those of you who've asked, ONE SATURDAY is now available on Kindle. You can find it one of two ways on Amazon. You can type in One Saturday Kindle in the search bar, or simply click here to be taken directly to that page. It takes a few days for Amazon to sync the paperback version and the Kindle version together on one page, so use this handy link if you are interested.

And remember, if you like ONE SATURDAY, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. Independent authors like myself count on readers like you to spread the word regarding new releases and other books in my catalog.

Thank you for your support.
Happy Reading!