Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sons Of Thunder

by Susan May Warren

About the author:

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

The Blurb:

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

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

What Others Say:

"Susan May Warren's historical fiction is strong--the book's setting is vivid, whether it's in Greece or a World War II battlefield. Handling multiple points-of-view can be tricky. But skilled writer that she is, Warren manages this by dividing the book into three distinct sections: Markos, Dino and Sofia.

Warren is brave enough to write about real life--complete with the triumphs and tragedies, the heartaches and the solaces we all experience. And in Sons of Thunder, as she does in all her books, Warren weaves a strong biblical truth. She doesn't shove it down your throat. Rather, she allows you to see the questions her characters are asking, the experiences they are living, the answers they discover--and wonder if you might make the same choices, accept the same truths.
Sons of Thunder brought me to tears more than once. Warren is a gifted writer. I'll be buying more than one copy of this book because I know I'll want to share it with my friends!"~~B. Vogt

"Without exaggeration, this is now my all-time favorite historical fiction novel. Susan May Warren beautifully and skillfully captures the time period and the setting. From Greece to Chicago to Minneapolis to the WWII battlefield...the storyworld is vibrant with detail and feeling. The plot never drags and the characters - especially Sophie, Markos and Dino - grab your heart right from the start. And, as several other reviewers have mentioned, the themes of redemption and deliverance are masterfully woven in.

I was truly moved by this story - and I had the evidence to prove it: tears! (I read this novel during a plane ride and I think the passenger in the seat next to me was a bit worried.)

Highly, highly recommended!"~~ M. Tagg

My Take:

Although held in high regard my many Sophia described herself as poison and warned her friends from letting themselves get too close to her. I was very captivated by her story and had to read to the end to see how everything worked out for this courageous woman. I want to read more books by this author.

Purchase The Book At:

Or Ask Your Library To Get It In For You!

Book Contest:

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The daffodil principle

Author Unknown

Several times her daughter, Carolyn, had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over."  

She wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead "I will come next Tuesday", she promised a little reluctantly on her daughter's third call.

The next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, she had promised, and reluctantly drove there. When she finally walked into Carolyn's house she was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. She delightedly hugged and greeted her grandchildren.

 "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!"

Carolyn smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."   

"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!"

"But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this." 

"Carolyn," The woman said sternly, "Please turn around." 

"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, they turned onto a small gravel road and she saw a small church. On the far side of the church, she saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, " Daffodil Garden ."  The women got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and the woman followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as they turned a corner, she looked up and gasped. Before her lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and  butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

 "Who did this?" she asked.  

"Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio was a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking", was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

That moment was a life-changing experience. She thought of this woman whom she had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time--often just one baby-step at time--and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world .

 "It makes me sad in a way," she admitted to her daughter. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

 The daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow." 

Carolyn was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

 Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting.....
 Until your car or home is paid off
 Until you get a new car or home
 Until your kids leave the house
 Until you go back to school
 Until you finish school
 Until you clean the house
 Until you organize the garage
 Until you clean off your desk
 Until you lose 10 lbs.
 Until you gain 10 lbs.
 Until you get married
 Until you get a divorce
 Until you have kids
 Until the kids go to school
 Until you retire
 Until summer
 Until spring
 Until winter
 Until fall
 Until you die...

There is no better time than right now to be happy.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
So work like you don't need money.
Love like you've never been hurt, and, dance like no one's watching.

Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day!

Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Robin Lee Hatcher

About the author:

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

The Blurb:

Who says a woman can’t do a man’s job?

Cleo Arlington dresses like a cowboy, is fearless and fun-loving, and can ride, rope, and wrangle a horse as well as any man. In 1916, however, those talents aren’t what most young women aspire to. But Cleo isn’t most women. Twenty-nine years old and single, Cleo loves life on her father’s Idaho ranch. Still, she hopes someday to marry and have children.

Enter Sherwood Statham, an English aristocrat whose father has sentenced him to a year of work in America to “straighten him out.” Sherwood, who expected a desk job at a posh spa, isn’t happy to be stuck on an Idaho ranch. And he has no idea how to handle Cleo, who’s been challenged with transforming this uptight playboy into a down-home cowboy.

Just about everything either of them says or does leaves the other, well, fit to be tied. And though Cleo believes God’s plan for her includes a husband, it couldn’t possibly be Sherwood Statham. Could it?

What Others Say:

"Fit To Be Tied is the second book in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series. After reading the first book, A Vote of Confidence, I was eager to read the second book. I was delighted to be reunited with the wonderful residents of Bethlehem Springs and to see Cleo find true love. There could not be two people who are more different than Cleo and Woody, but their chemistry and attraction are obvious. As they get to know one another, Cleo and Woody find they do have some things in common. They are both feeling the pain of rejection and of not quite fitting in.

Robin Lee Hatcher is very good at creating romantic tension without it being uncomfortable or over the top. She is also very good at creating that Wild West feel. Once again, I felt like I was part of this town and I was happy to be there.

Fit To Be Tied is historical romance at its best. I have really becoming quite a fan of Robin Lee Hatcher's writing because she tells such wonderful stories and writes such delightful characters that will make the reader smile. This book is no exception. I really have a good time reading this book and I have already started to miss the good folks of Bethlehem Springs. " ~~C. Kendall

"Cleo Arlington knows how to handle stubborn horses. She's been breaking them on her father's ranch ever since she was a little girl, and doesn't plan on going too far away from home. Life is good, only a little romance from a local country boy could make it better.

Sherwood Statham, wounded WWI solider and British aristocrat, is sent to live in the states as punishment for his life of ill-repute. It's either a year in America or a loss of his inheritance, so he enters Cleo's life penniless, broken, and determined to prove himself.

Tossing the two of these characters together ends in an explosion of misunderstandings, humor, guessed it, romance. Sherwood, who is used to 'proper' ladies, is shocked to find himself warming to this blue-eyed, freckled-faced tomboy. Though scarred on the outside, his greatest scars are within, and as Sherwood (or Woody) learns from Cleo's family about God's love, his deepset wounds begin to heal. He finds hope.

Cleo never thought she'd need to be rescued, and never expected the fancy-pants Brit to do it, but when he swoops in twice to protect her, she realizes she's misjudged Woody. Is she willing to risk her heart for a man who will only take her away from the life she loves?

Just when it seems they're 'fit to be tied' will love break the string? What do I think? Go! Buy the book. Now.

Robin Lee Hatcher's second book in the Sister's of Bethlehem Springs is even better than its' predecessor, A Vote of Confidence. I literally read it in two hours and laughed...often.

Fit To Be Tied is about a young lady who is confident in herself, even though she doesn't fit into the typical 'lady' mold, and about a man who must learn to believe in himself again

I have never felt drawn to a hero so quickly in a story. I think it was his obvious vulnerability. By page two, my heart went out to Sherwood Statham and I couldn't wait to see how Hatcher would rescue him from his situation. She's an excellent rescuer, by sending Woody exactly what he needs: acceptance, humor, confidence, and...Cleo.

It takes some time for us to find Cleo's 'weakness', because she appears so confident and composed, but Sherwood has his time to shine and begins to break through Cleo's preconceived notions to win her heart.

Robin, I don't see how you can make Daphne's story any better than Cleo's, but I can't wait to find out." ~~ P. Basham

My Take:

I like to look for other family dynamics in the books I read, if they are there the book seems more well rounded to me. So I enjoyed the things the other reviewers shared but I also enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Cleo and her separated parents. This book was a very satisfying read

Purchase The Book At:

Book Contest: 

I do not give away advance reader copies because they are unedited versions and it is not fair to the author to spread them around so this week we continuing to feature Jill Eilee Smith's book ABIGAIL.

(Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Leaving Hurryville

(Comments From a Former Resident)

by Frankie D. Sherman

A big concern of Christian women is the epidemic of shallow relationships among women. In an age when broken marriages, moral decline, and unbelievable heartache are frighteningly high, our God-given support system is lacking.      
What happened? Why do we know more people than ever before, yet know very little about each other? Why do we know more about the latest celebrity break-up, yet very little about the young woman in our church going through her own divorce?
Unfortunately, we live in Hurryville. Hurry and get the kids to school. Hurry and get to work. Hurry to Bible study. Hurry to the ball field. Hurry! Girl Hurry! In this “hurry up, see you later” world we don’t take the time to invest in relationships like the generations before us did. Our busy lives leave very little time to invest in meaningful relationships.

Because of this, we are suffering. We miss wonderful opportunities to reach others for Christ and to strengthen others in the body of Christ.
How about you and I change the busyness in our circle of influence by adjusting our schedules and priorities? We can start right now to focus on the relationships in our circle of influence as the nurturing women God designed us to be.
Becoming a better friend is something believers should focus on, because it can impact the world for the Christ.

So where do we begin?
  • Leave Hurryville-without a forwarding address! It’s a choice and a hard one. But God is faithful and he will help you with this lifestyle change.
  • Pray, and read God Word.
  • Schedule time with friends; ask them how they are and what’s up in their life.
  • Engage in meaningful conversation about them and how the Lord is working in their life.
  • Leave the cell phone turned off during your time together.
  • Share good books, good tips, good information and good food.
If your friend is a single mom, widow, health issue, or has problems at home, always be sensitive to her needs or situation. You are not “the solution” but you can show her you care through your friendship. God will provide the wisdom concerning boundaries and blessings.
I left Hurryville, many years ago. Sometimes my old nature tries to pull me back. But I learned the value of meaningful friendships and Hurryville doesn’t compare. Should you decide to leave Hurryville too let me know. We can sit on the porch and enjoy chat together.
Frankie Sherman Photo
About the author:
Frankie Sherman is a national speaker, comedian, and Bible teacher for conferences, retreats, and women's events. She fell in love with Jesus at Vacation Bible School and takes every opportunity to tell others about the joy of being alive in Christ. She is a former choreographer for the Georgia Peach Bowl and the Florida Citrus Bowl Halftime Show. Her specialty is in theater musical/productions. Her first Bible Study, Why We Need Girlfriends is based on the relationship of Mary and Elizabeth, from Luke's gospel. Two women brought together by extraordinary circumstances by an extraordinary God. Frankie is from South Carolina—loves sweet tea, BIG hair and her grand-girls. She believes there will never be another Elvis. And knows that her Jesus will return for her soon.
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reluctant Smuggler

by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

A Message From The Author:

Hello, Dear Reader! Glad you dropped by. If you're looking for a little information about me and my writing journey, you’ve come to the right page.

My first and only marriage is still going strong after 25 years. We have four kids who've pretty much flown the coop. Yet the chickadees keep coming back to roost. Puzzling phenomenon. We must not give them enough incentive to stay away.

By day I masquerade as secretary to the CEO of a health care corporation and as housing manager for a senior apartment complex. By night I throw off my mask of conformity and turn into a wild and crazy writer who can hardly wait to jot down all the cool things my characters are telling me, so I can share them with my readers.

Did I say I hear voices? Alas, I've been like this most of my life. At least since sixth grade, when I penned—er, penciled—my first mystery novel. No trace of that youthful manuscript exists today, and the world is grateful.

My writer's journey has taken me in many different directions. I’ve worn the hats of journalist, columnist, essayist, poet, story teller and book reviewer. My current chapeau is the one I've coveted all along—novelist. My Guide and Mentor in all my travels is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory!

Check out the tales my characters have been telling me on my To Catch a Thief Books page. Challenge your art IQ on my Stealth and Wealth page. And please don't leave without dropping me an email and signing up for my action-packed newsletter.

Awesome Blessings,
Live the Eternal Adventure

The Blurb:

They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but what if you can’t tell the difference?

For security consultant Desiree Jacobs, the assignment is simple: make off with an ancient Mayan artifact, and hand it over to the good guys in time to plan her wedding to ultra-fine FBI agent, Tony Lucano.

Yet, in a world where no one is as they seem, Desi must decipher who the good guys are—before she ends up in the hands of a ruthless enemy.

Suddenly, artifact recovery turns into archaeological espionage, and the woman who finds all the answers must now ask questions. Who's looting priceless antiquities underneath the nose of the baffled Mexican government? And what does a violent gang of drug and human traffickers have to do with missing artifacts?

How is a vicious gang of slave traders involve with missing Mayan antiquities? Desi and Tony must find the truth that will save their lives and liberate innocents caught in the snare of calculating evil.

Even with Tony on her side, she'll need way more than luck to survive against the odds. She'll need the truth—not just to set her free, but to liberate many innocents caught in the snare of calculating evil.

What Others Say:

"I was so excited when Reluctant Smuggler came out. I started reading the series when the first two books were out, but I had to wait for this one. Book three did not disappoint. 

In the final book of the trilogy, Desiree Jacobs faces her most difficult task yet. It started off simple--obtain an antique Mayan artifact and get it to the good guys. But the simple task gets complicated when espionage, people looting Mexican antiquities, corrupt government officials, and a violent gang, the Fraternidad de la Garra, find their way into the picture. How is Desi supposed to plan the perfect wedding to her fiancĂ©, FBI agent Tony Lucano, with all this trouble? 

With injuries, lots of questions, and someone close who ends up in the hospital, Desi faces a lot of "what-if" situations and must rely on more than her wits to survive. She needs to find the truth before anyone else, including herself, gets hurt. 

If you've read book one and two, this book is a must. Ms. Nelson ties everything together in a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat package. Check it out." ~~Gretchen Hoffman 

"While trying to find flaws in the Mexican museum's security system, Desiree Jacobs finds herself chased and the false artifact she carries stolen. Back in Boston, her fiancĂ©e, FBI agent Tony Lucano is almost killed during a raid and lies in a coma. Page turning thrills and suspense tie these two incidents together and threaten to jeopardize Desi's and Tony's upcoming wedding. 

In The Reluctant Smuggler, Jill Elizabeth Nelson digs deeper in Desi's and Tony's love for each other, the dangers of crime-solving and protecting precious antiquities, and shows us the strength of true-love. The Reluctant Smuggler was my favorite of the three books in the To Catch a Thief Series. Full of romance, danger, suspense and God's sovereignty. I'm looking forward to more adventures written by Jill Elizabeth Nelson"~~ Cynthia Hickey

My Take:

I've visited Cancun and the nearby area of the Yucatan peninsula twice and I was totally immersed  into the Mayan influence as I read Reluctant Smuggler. I enjoyed the seeing the story unfold even though I had not read the first two in the series. Reluctant Smuggler can stand on it's own but now, of course  I want to go back and read the other two.

Purchase The Book At:

Book Contest:

This book is one I bought and had signed with my name by Jill Elizabeth Smith. Sorry but I'm keeping it.

 So this week we are continuing to feature Author Jill Eileen Smith's  book Abigail.

(Book Contest weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. A new book review is posted each Sunday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner.

God Bless your day and thanks for stopping by.