Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sizzling Summer Champ

I know, technically Summer just Started, but...


Thank you all for participating in our special May releases Clash of the Titles

We appreciate the efforts of all of our fans, and particularly our authors this month,

   Rachel James

      Jennifer Rodewald

          Heather Day Gilbert

and 

                 Sarah Loudin Thomas

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Some of the very encouraging words from 
our readers include:


Love reading your books. Can't put them down. 

Great looking reads.  All new authors to me. So, looks like I have great TBR pile for the rest of the summer.  

Love all of Amanda Cabot's books. I have Firefly Valley here ready to read.

I love Heather Gilbert's books. She writes in such a fresh and wonderful way, I feel I'm right there with her characters. I especially love Tess's character!

Sarah Loudin Thomas, I have loved both of your books!  Keep 'em comin'!

Trial by Twelve is a masterful suspense novel. I love that it is set in West Virginia and has a married couple as main characters. I hope there is a sequel! Bravo, Heather Gilbert!
  
Blue Columbine is a favorite and can't wait for more of Jen's books to come out.  

Rachel James is  an exciting new author of engaging historical characters.



And the champ of this clash is...


Amanda Cabot, In Firefly Valley




She’s lost her dream job—but has she found the man of her dreams?

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?

This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.

Buy the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble

A NOTE FROM AMANDA
My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who helped make In Firefly Valley the winner of this month’s Clash of the Titles. Your support means so much to me! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you’re the reason I write. Thank you for your belief in me and my writing.

I’ve been delighted with the response to this book. A number of you have told me you think it’s even better than the first of the Texas Crossroads stories, At Bluebonnet Lake. Since I hope that my writing improves with each book, hearing that has been the encouragement I need to work even harder on the next book. 

I’ve also been pleased with the praise reviewers have given In Firefly ValleyRT BookReviews rated it a page turner and said, “Cabot’s heartfelt storytelling rings true as she addresses the pains of bitterness and resentment, as well as the hard fight to love again and forgive all hurts. ...Charming secondary characters and the beautiful Texas Hill Country setting cap off a story that is a delight to read.” 

Blogger Trudy Shiroma Koeffler had the following to say: “To say I have a new favorite author is an understatement! This book was absolutely fantastic on so many levels! First of all it brought deep spiritual truths into the story naturally and realistically. The love story was the sweetest one I’ve read in a long time, but it was not a predictable love story at all. It had twists and turns, and nail biting episodes that had me guessing till the end. I was impressed with the mature way love was displayed in this story on all fronts with the various characters. This book is not some fairytale romance but rather a tale of characters with real issues, fears, heartaches and hang-ups. The author deals with each issue in a detailed, emotionally healthy and spiritual rich way. The description of landscape, cabins, cooking and friendships will make you wish you could take a little trip to Dupree and visit Firefly Valley yourself!”  

Thank you again for your support. I’m excited, overwhelmed and more pleased than I can ever say at having In Firefly Valley win this award. And, for those of you who’ve asked “what’s next?” the third of the Texas Crossroads books, On Lone Star Trail, will be released in February 2016. If you’d like to learn more about that and my other books, I invite you to sign up for my online newsletter. It’s simple: just send me an email. You’ll find the address on my web page. I look forward to hearing from you.



Amanda Cabot
About Amanda: Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages.  Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming. 

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's a New Sizzling Summer Reading Clash of the Titles!

Looking for some awesome take-me-away Summer Reading?

Check out these new releases and I dare you to tell me which one you'd put on the top of your reading list. We offer contemporary and historical romance, a little fantasy, danger, mystery, suspense!
Vote for your next most likely read, and leave the author a word of encouragement,
then share with your friends.
Scroll down, vote in the survey box, and feel free to comment
both here on the site and on the survey box.
Come back Thursday June 25 for the Reveal!

*******************************

Fantasy


Rachel A. James


To unite the kingdoms and bring peace, Princess Alena must enter into a royal marital alliance, but when the handsome physician, Sherwin, befalls her, matters become complicated. Torn between obligations to her young son and country, she faces a difficult decision, will Alena obey the king’s orders, or choose to follow her heart?

Romance


Jennifer Rodewald

Friendship, love, and then betrayal...for Jamie Carson one thing becomes clear: Andrew needs a savior, and she cannot be it. Will Andrew allow the hand of grace to redeem his legacy of addiction, or will he and Jamie remain the casualties of heartbreak?


Suspense


Heather Day Gilbert 

Tess Spencer loves her low-key job at the Crystal Mountain Spa, which allows her plenty of down-time with her one-year old daughter and lawyer husband, Thomas. But when a pool installation turns up eight skeletons in the spa's back yard, Tess becomes entangled in a sleuthing job destined to go awry...even as she sifts through layers of deceit, Tess realizes too late that a serial killer's sights have zeroed in on her.


Contemporary Romance


Amanda Cabot  

Marisa St. George has lost her dream job and come home to manage the struggling Rainbow’s End resort in the small Texas town where she grew up. The only silver lining is Blake Kendall, a new guest who is making her believe in love at first sight. But is he really who she thinks he is?



Historical Romance



Sarah Loudin Thomas 

When family tragedy derails Henry Phillips’s college studies, he consoles himself with his fiddle and the family farm. His grandmother’s helper, Margaret Hoffman, is always around, ready to push his buttons, and it seems she doesn’t care about his troubles. But Margaret has her own problems. Henry and Margaret soon find themselves relying on each other as they face potential loss and find healing in the most surprising places. 

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spotlight on: Diamonds or Donuts by Lucie Ulrich

Good morning! I'm very excited to have Lucie Ulrich with us here today to tell us about her new release, Diamonds or Donuts. First, isn't this such a fun cover? Wow!
Blurb:
Sarah Alexander’s marriage to millionaire Logan Montgomery is put on hold when Logan is offered the opportunity to go on an extended archeological dig in Egypt. Though not happy with his decision, Sarah supports her fiancĂ©, despite the fact she’s already given up her apartment and teaching position.

When Sarah’s best friend, Pippa, suggests Sarah move to Sunset Cove, she figures a new town, new job, and new friends are just what she needs to help her through the separation. If she’d known one of those friends would turn out to be kind-hearted, good-looking, well-built, Officer Kevin Jenkins, she might have figured a little harder.

Though Sarah goes out of her way to keep her relationship with Kevin on a friends-only basis, it’s clear their feelings for one another are teetering toward something more. Now Sarah must make the most important decision of her life. Will she choose the man who can shower her with diamonds or the one who isn’t able to offer much more than free donuts?
***
This sounds like a WHOLE lot of fun! (And really makes me want a donut.) Want a sneak peek? Lucie was kind enough to share an excerpt with us today, too.

Short Excerpt:

Sarah changed into her pajamas, pulled out the sofa bed, and crawled under the sheets. Sleep, however, didn’t come easily. She wanted to talk to Logan—needed to talk to him, but it wasn’t possible.

When sleep finally came, it was accompanied by dreams of missed phone calls, arguments, and misunderstandings. There might even have been a fight between Logan and Kevin, but it was all too blurry to remember. She awoke with a headache and heartache.

Pippa’s bedroom door opened and she appeared makeup applied, dressed and ready for church. She stopped short at the side of the couch. “Yikes! Who did you wrestle with last night?”

“Crazy dreams.” Sarah pushed herself to a seated position and ran a hand through the tangles in her hair.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Pippa placed a hand on Sarah’s arm. “What’s going on?”

Tears clouded Sarah’s vision. “Guess I’m having a harder time dealing with Logan’s absence than I thought I would.” She blew out a breath. “I should be planning my wedding, not moving into a new apartment. Alone.”

“It’s barely been a month since he broke the news. Your reaction is normal. I’m sure it’ll get better with time.”

“He got mad at me yesterday.”

“Who? Logan?”

His harsh tone replayed in Sarah’s head. She nodded. “He was upset that I didn’t have dinner with his folks, and we parted on less than loving terms.”

“Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. You seemed to be having such a good time with Kevin that I never suspected anything.”

Her headache intensified. “Yeah, that’s another thing. I’m starting to feel guilty about spending time with Kevin. He’s a great guy and I like him a lot, but I’m afraid I might be giving him the wrong idea.”

Pippa’s eyes widened. “Like how? I know better than to think you’ve been flirting with him.”

“No, nothing like that.” Sarah thought back to last night and the other times they’d been together. Had she been flirting? Had he? “It’s just that I really like him. We’re so comfortable together, I forget he’s a gorgeous, well-built guy and I’m an engaged woman.
***
Ruh-roh Methinks someone's in trouble! The kind that's oh-so-fun to watch unfold. ;-)

A few questions for Lucie:

1. Diamonds or Donuts is an interesting title. How did you come up with it?

My first two novels delve deeply into the world of hurting people. Physical and emotional scars, feuding brothers, and long-kept family secrets barely scratch the surface. Before tackling another such story, I felt the need to try my hand at something more lighthearted. I decided to play around with the idea of a girl who has to make a choice between two men—one rich, the other not. When I decided to make “the other man” a policeman, the title came very quickly. I love being able to begin a story with the title already decided.

2. Is there a message or moral to your story?

Absolutely! Even though Diamonds or Donuts is a light read, there is substance to the story. I don’t like flighty characters—at least not lead characters, and I didn’t want that to be the case with Sarah. I chose to show her struggle between remaining faithful to her fiancĂ©, while battling her emerging feelings for another man. One reviewer spoke about Sarah’s moral compass being right where it should be, which is exactly what I was going for. When we think we know what’s best for us, God often has different plans.

3. Share a bit about your writing process.

I don’t outline, so I take things as they come. I do have notes and ideas, and I usually know how my books will begin and how they will end. For me, the best part is watching the characters evolve, and allowing them to take me along for the ride. I’m always thrilled when I see something one way in my head, but my characters beg to disagree. Needless to say, the characters win the majority of the time.

4. If you had to do it again, would you change anything in your book?

There are a number of things I would change in books one and two, but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing in Diamonds or Donuts. It was a blast to write. I love all the characters, the setting, and especially the ending. 

Those are the best! :) Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Lucie. Readers, you can get a copy of the book at the following links:

Video teaser by Videos By O:
 

About the Author:
Lucie Ulrich took her time becoming a writer. Not much of a reader as a child, writing was of no interest to her--until she joined a church drama team. The desire to write a skit, and not simply act out someone else's was so strong, that once she started, she couldn't seem to stop. That first skit led to her becoming the drama team director, then eventually, the performing arts director at a small Christian school.

Lucie's first novel was penned under a tree in a field in Holland. Though her first, second, and third attempts never saw the light of day, parts of each of them became the foundation for "Broken Vessels," her first published work. No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inspywriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucieUlrich
Website: http://lucieulrich.com/

**Come visit us next week for our next Clash featuring May releases, hosted by Lisa Lickel!**

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