Friday, August 28, 2015

Take Me Back To Texas (Loveless, Texas ) (Volume 1)


Elizabeth McGee never thought she’d set foot in Loveless, Texas, again. But after the reading of her father’s will, Elizabeth learns she’s inherited her grandmother’s house and all of the personal contents. If that wasn’t enough to knock her off her feet, she soon discovers that JD Carmichael, her lost love from high school, is the contractor who has been hired to finish renovating the house. 

JD once had the world by the tail. But after a premature end to what would have been a promising career in professional football, JD wants nothing more than to raise his daughter and enjoy the life he has now. And he surely never thought he’d ever see Bethie Grace again. 

Now he’s faced with her everyday as they work side by side restoring and cleaning the old house in order to ready it to sell. But the rambling old Victorian isn’t the only thing rattling with memories. Elizabeth finds that she can’t concentrate with JD around. And JD has trouble forgetting the heady effects of her kiss, even if it’s been fifteen years since he last held her in his arms. 

Past hurts and betrayals stand in their way. That and JD’s vow never to get married again. But as much as he tries to keep the two halves of his life separate, he finds himself breaking all his rules for Bethie Grace McGee. 

Elizabeth has plans for her future. She’s waiting for a loan to buy her very own French bistro on the edge of Hollywood. But JD’s kiss makes her second guess her decisions and think about staying in Loveless. 

Author Info:

I'm a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I've retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I'm from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son-a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, nail polish, and romance novels-not necessarily in that order. I'm a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I'm shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that's why I love to write inspirational romances. The two go hand-in-hand for me.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I'm a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that's me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twlight series (I'll get to it or I won't, either way I'm good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I'm alone on this last one, and again, I'm good with it.)

Favorite movies-(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940′s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven't seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn's and Audrey's.

My Review:
Take Me Back To Texas (Loveless, Texas ) (Volume 1) by Amy Lillard is just as great as the two Amish fiction books "Caroline's Secret" and  Courting Emily" are. They are two versions of this book, this version and the "bedroom version", I choose this version and it was a clean romance with plenty of kissing but still clean!

I won't put the story line into this review, if you need that you can read the book description. I will say I was hooked into the story from the first chapter.  This story has all the romance a reader expects in a clean love story and I knew how I wanted it to end, but wasn't sure it would end that way!  But who wants to read a book that you know what's to going to happen at every turn, if you are like me you want some surprises even if you can figure out how the ending is going to end!

One of the main character in "Take Me Back To Texas" gives God the credit for leading his life and yes, prayer and church going is part of this story, but I like that. The only reason I added that in this review was to say that I believe all readers of fiction and Christian fiction would enjoy this book, unless you want no kissing in the books you read.

I am looking forward to book 2 in the series. I was given a copy by the author for my honest opinion

I am giving "Take Me Back To Texas" by Amy Lillard four stars!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

" Not Ashamed" by Teresa Pollard and Candi Pullen

Book Description: Charity grew up as a missionary kid in Africa and is now a college freshman in America. Although she always knew there her dad was not her biological father, she was recently devastated by the truth that she was conceived in rape. Consumed with shame, she doesn't believe that her biological father has adequately paid for his crime and when she discovers a skeleton on the exact spot where her mother was attacked, she is convinced that her biological father is to blame. She launches an investigation with her uncle, the Chief of Police, who is equally convinced her father is not guilty. But can they catch the killer before another victim is found?

About the Author

Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Masters degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children's worker for most of the last forty years. Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia. 

As an Air Force brat and having spent nine years as a navy wife, Candi Pullen has lived more places than she can name, including Morocco and Libya. After the death of her first husband and the death of their daughter, Andrea, nine years later, she felt that God was calling her to use that pain to minister to others who needed God's healing comfort. In 2007, she earned her Bachelor of Theology degree. She now teaches discipleship classes, mentors new believers and those wishing to find all the Lord has for them, and writes a daily devotional on Facebook, Good Morning, Papa! She lives in New Port Richey, FL, with Drew, her husband of 18 years.
My Review: "Not Ashamed" by Teresa Pollard and Candi Pullen is the second book in the "Windspree series" and is just as good as the first in the series" Not Guilty".
This book can be read and enjoyed without reading " Not Guilty" but I encourage you to read both. "Not Guilty" deals with the rape of Charity"s mother and "Not Ashamed" deals with Charity's feelings after finding out her father raped her mother.
Charity has been a missionary kid in Africa and she comes back to Windspree to attend college and finds a body in the exact spot her mother was raped and believes her father is to blame. But Charity's uncle,the Chief of Police believes he is innocent. Who is right?
Yes this book is Christian novel and deals with rape, and violence and murder and the issue of abortion, but it is a clean read.
I am including two face book posts I posted when I first started reading " Not Ashamed " "But I began to wonder how many of us have dry bones,spiritually. Did a childhood injury cause an area of our life, even a tiny one, to be stunted or become over-inflated? There was a saying when I was growing up that said, 'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.' That saying is about as far from the truth as I am from the the farthest star in the universe. Words,especially those we hear in childhood, can and often do shape our conception of who we are, and what we will become in our lives. Or maybe our injury isn't that old but it's just as deadly. It caused a root of bitterness to grow from a tiny grain until it's choking us with it's sour taste. And because of it, we're not able to absorb God's Word like we used to and a real case of dry bones is setting in."
Yes this is a paragraph from another book I am reading "Not Ashamed" by Teresa Pollard.And though I haven't finished reading this book, ( I have only read 29%) I think even if I don't like the rest of the book, just reading this much and the rest of the sermon, (yes, this is part of a sermon) by Hal Shepherd, I haven't wasted my time and while reading it I felt like I was in church listening to a real sermon! ( there was a sentence or two, that told what Hal was thinking about while preaching, which to me made the story more believable.
"No one's forgotten,sweetheart, we've just moved past the pain. It's your decision, but just be sure you don't wait so long that the roots grow too deep to pull up the weed. You do know that forgiveness isn't really for the benefit of the one forgiven. It's for our own benefit. Bitterness is poison to the soul, and a root of bitterness strangles the life out of anyone. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and a bitter heart kills all joy. They can't live in the same body. One or the other dies." from "Not Ashamed" by Teresa Polland
"Not Ashamed" is a story of healing and forgivingness. "Not Guilty" and "Not Ashamed" are not books that you can read without it touching your mind and heart, yes it will make you think, would I react the same way the characters did in this story.  I think the reason these books are sop great is because the story could be real and probably is somewhere in this world!
Like I have already stated these books deal with hard subjects but Christians are not immune from these things but these books lets us know that being raped is not the victim's fault and if you are a child from a rape you are not guilty and you have nothing to be ashamed of!
I have given "Not Ashamed" five stars.
I was given a copy of "Not Guilty" by the publisher for my honest review. 
To buy "Not Ashamed" go here:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"The Amish Heiress" by Patrick E. Craig

Book Description: 
Rachel Hershberger’s life in Paradise, Pennsylvania is far from happy. Her papa struggles with a terrible event from the past, and his emotional instability has created an irreparable breach between them. Rachel’s one desire is to leave the Amish way of life and Paradise forever. Then her prayers are answered. Rachel discovers that the strange, key-shaped birthmark above her heart identifies her as the heir to a vast fortune left by her Englischer grandfather, Robert St. Clair. If Rachel will marry a suitable descendent of the St. Clair family, she will inherit an enormous sum of money. But Rachel does not know that behind the scenes is her long-dead grandfather's sister-in-law, Augusta St. Clair, a vicious woman who will do anything to keep the fortune in her own hands. As the deceptions and intrigues of the St. Clair family bind her in their web, Rachel realizes that she has made a terrible mistake. But has her change of heart come too late?
                                             Author Info: 
Best-selling author, Patrick E. Craig, is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next twenty-six years as a worship leader, seminar speaker and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the Western United States. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches in Northern California, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. In November, 2011, Patrick signed a three book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his "Apple Creek Dreams" series. The series is historical Amish fiction and includes "A Quilt for Jenna," "The Road Home," and "Jenny's Choice". In 2013 he also released "A Gettysburg Vignette," one of fourteen stories in Murray Pura's Civil War Series, "Cry of Freedom." His Latest work, "The Amish Heiress" (Book One in The Paradise Chronicles series) will be released August 10, 2015. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. 

Patrick has an extensive background as a writer. Throughout his school years he edited high school and college newspapers. In 1964 he won a national editorial contest sponsored by the Wall Street Journal for an editorial he wrote on the death of President Kennedy, and, in the same year, acted as Senior Editor for a special issue of the University of Washington Evergreen during a summer internship for High School Editors. After a year at Whitman College, where he was a journalism major, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area where he became a fixture on the local music scene.

As a professional songwriter, he wrote with and for such artists as Bill Champlin (Chicago), David Jenkins (Pablo Cruise), Buddy Miles, The Tazmanian Devils, and many others in the secular music industry. His songs were recorded by such artists and music groups as West Coast Natural Gas, Indian Pudding and Pipe, Joey Covington's Fat Fandango, The Sons of Champlin, The Tazmanian Devils, Buddy Miles, David Jenkins, Laura Allen, The Fairfax Street Choir and in Europe by the Swedish Band Seid. He had two music albums released on Warner Brothers records, and contributed to best selling albums by artists such as Chris Isaak and others. Recently a compilation of his early work was released in Switzerland as a specialty music album.

My Review:
"The Amish Heiress" by Patrick E. Craig is the first book in a new series(The Paradise Chronicles)  but it picks up where the three novels in the (Apple Creek Dreams Series ) leave off. You don't have to read the (Apple Creek Dreams Series ) to enjoy"The Amish Heiress" but your reading experience will be enhanced if you do!

I am not going to give you a view of the book as you can read the book description, if you want that! I will just tell you what I experienced while reading "The Amish Heiress". I do have to warn you that if you want the typical Amish novel, then Patrick E. Craig books are not for you . But I say be adventuress and jump in, and I bet you won't be sorry you took the leap!

Here is a Facebook post that I posted right after I finished reading "The Amish Heiress".  Oh my! I just finished reading "The Amish Heiress" by Patrick E. Craig and I read all but 4 chapters today, I read them  last night and yes, I had to finished it that quick, I had to see what happened, and now that I have finished it, I am disappointed, not because the book was bad but the complete opposite, it was fabulous and I want to read more of the character's lives and thoughts and actions.  Patrick E Craig writes so well that the reader is pulled into the story and is actually experiencing what the characters are experiencing.

These books are clean romances without cursing and sex scenes and yes there is violence and gun and deceit and alcohol use, and in these books, the Amish characters are not your normal Amish characters, but I believe that is why these books are so fantastic, because after all the Amish are human like us and they experience the same emotions as we do. 

There are so many twists and turns in these books, I was like Oh no and then I was like Yes and then I was crying!  

I also like the fact that there were Bible Scriptures in these books, ( not the Bible Book Chapter and verse) but the verse itself was printed out.

After reading these books, I have to say Patrick E. Craig is on my list of Favorite Amish genre authors. 

I have given "The Amish Heiress" and all the books in (The Apple Creek Dreams series) five stars.

I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review and these thoughts are my own.

Friday, August 14, 2015

"Hot" by David Stearman

 Book Description: Can Love's Flame Survive Fame

A total life do-over, that s what Jake needs; a chance to unmake his past mistakes. Because in his zeal to fulfill his beloved dream of wealth and fame, Jake lost Chloe, the one he loved above all else. 

First he betrayed her. Then came the drugs. And in the real world, opportunities to undo things like that just don't happen. 

Or do they? Could a paparazzi-induced traffic accident actually provide an opportunity for Jake to restore his ruined life? 

Set against the glitzy backdrop of the recording business, HOT tells the story of a young man s dream to restore the dream he lived before his dreams came true.

Author Info:

I'm a songwriter/recording artist/novelist, who specializes in adventure stories set in exotic locales. I have a special love for the tropics--jungles and beaches--which is reflected in both my novels and personal life. (In the form of hobbies like breeding parrots, growing orchids, and keeping saltwater reef aquariums.) 
I travel widely, striving to write about the places I visit in a way that will make readers feel they've been there too. I've always seen this world as a place of wonder, surpassed only by the people who inhabit it and it's divine Creator.

My Review:

"Hot" by David Stearman is a story that gives the reader a peek into a music star’s world. It’s narrated by the protagonist Jake.

I really enjoyed reading "Hot.” The story was told realistically and yet without the curse words or sex scenes that so many other novels use in dealing with this subject. It does, however, deal with drug and alcohol abuse.

This novel made my emotions twirl around my head and heart, and this was a good thing, because to truly enjoy a book the reader must feel what the characters are feeling, and I certainly did while reading "Hot". And though I’ve no personal experience with the craving for the drugs and alcohol,I did understand what seemed to drive Jake to these abuses, i.e. his depression and his need to strive for approval.

I kept reading because I wanted Jake’s story to have a happy ending. Everyone wants a happy ending, right? But of course I really can't tell you how things turned out, and you wouldn’t want me to anyway - it’s so much more fun to read and find out for yourself.

"Hot" even through it’s fiction, teaches some important life lessons. It was clear to me that applying some of these principles might make a big difference in any of our lives.

This novel isn't just another run-on-the-mill, feel-good love story. It’s full of twists and turns and situations that make you think, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming, but I’m glad it did.”

"Hot" illustrates the fact people aren't always as they seem to be; that appearances can be deceiving, and sometimes the one we dislike the most can turn out to be our hero.

I hope I’ve convinced you to read this story. Hot is my first David Stearman novel. Now his book "Hummingbird" is on my to-read list. 

I haven given "Hot" five stars.

To buy "Hot" go here:  It releases Sept 2, 2015, but you can pre-order it now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Amish Treasures of the Heart": Amish Romance Fiction (Amish Dynasty Book 2)by Sophia Grace

Book Description:
BONUS MATERIAL: From the Cherry Orchard (in the back of the book) 
Being brought up as an Englisher, Jake Fisher knows nothing about Amish farming. So when he goes to work for Ellie on her farm, he makes one mistake after another. It doesn't help that Jackson, one of the farmhands, bullies him and teaches him all the wrong things just to cause trouble between him and Ellie.  
Will Jackson take his antics too far, or will Ellie find out the truth before it's too late.

Author Info: Sophia Grace is proud to be a stay-at-home mom. Home-schooling her four daughters on their small farm, she is able to incorporate some of the same values as the Amish in her every-day lessons. 
Sophia and her husband have cultivated a considerable-sized "kitchen garden" on their land, where she also enjoys riding her horse, Whinny.
Going only by her first and middle name, Sophia Grace leaves off her last name to maintain her private home-life. 
Having always loved to write, Sophia decided to develop some of her stories into books. Her personal knowledge of the Amish has inspired her to write about them, and all her English teachers always told her to write about what she knows. She hopes you will enjoy her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

My Review:
"Amish Treasures of the Heart" by Sophia Grace is the second novella in the "Amish Dynasty series".
It was a fun read and it is Jake and Ellie's story, whom we met in book 1. 

Jake is not Amish but he is determined to do everything he can to help Ellie. Can he learn to milk cows and gather eggs and muck stalls and ignore the bullying from Ellie's farmhand Jackson.   

Jake makes plans to learn how to do the chores, but does his plans backfire and he is trapped into doing something he cannot undo because he doesn't know the Amish ways?

This is a short read but it is a complete story and there are several laugh aloud moments in this book. If you want to laugh out loud and have a hour or two to just relax and forget your worries, then I recommend this book. Even though "Amish Treasures Of the Heart " is part of a series, I believe it can be a stand alone, as it is a complete story, but I encourage you to get "Amish Dynasty" book one to get the background on Jake and Ellie.

There are recipes in the back of the book as a bonus. I am eagerly awaiting book 3.
I am giving "Amish Treasures of the Heart" by Sophia Grace four stars.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"A Dream For Love" by Lisa Belcastro

Book Descriptions: DARE TO DREAM 

A single mom with a secret past. A Hollywood star who's life is anything but hidden. Will they dare to dream a dream for love? 

"Sold!" When the gavel hit the wooden block at the Possible Dreams Auction, Laurel Simmons sat in stunned silence. Her sister had lost her mind, purchasing a week's vacation stay for two at actor Ryan Crandall's beach house on Martha's Vineyard. And then Tammy announced that she was giving the "dream" to Laurel as an early birthday present. A month later, Laurel and her four-year-old daughter Gracie arrive at the luxurious house on Squibnocket Beach ready to swim, play, picnic and enjoy the peace and solitude together. Laurel's dream vacation quickly turns into a nightmare when Hollywood bad boy Ryan Crandall shows up to escape his latest tabloid headlines. Ryan wants the woman and her child gone. Laurel wants him gone. Fate will bring them together for reasons neither one of them expected, but fate will also drive them apart. Laurel has a past she needs to keep hidden. Her life and Gracie's depend on it. Ryan has a past, and present, that's been food for public consumption for over a decade. Will the past deprive them of a future? Or will they dare to dream a dream for love?

About the Author: 

Lisa Belcastro lives on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves time with her family and friends, running, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, chocolate, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat, Ben, who keeps her company while she spends hours working at the computer. Lisa runs as an ambassador for TEAM 413 (, and has completed a marathon (26.2 miles) in all fifty states. Lisa’s stories are set on the Vineyard, amidst the magnificence of the ocean, the beauty of sandy beaches, rolling hills, and ancient cliffs, as well as the people and events that make the Island so very unique. A Dream for Love is Lisa’s fifth novel. Lisa’s debut novel, Shenandoah Nights, won the Christian Small Publishers Association’s Romance Book of the Year in 2014, and also won the RWA New England Chapter’s Reader’s Choice Award in 2014. Shenandoah Nights and Shenandoah Crossings, book two in the Winds of Change series, were finalists in: the SELAH Award and also The Carolyn Readers Award, Inspirational Romance category. Shenandoah Crossings was a finalist in Christian Small Publishers Association, Best Romance category. Shenandoah Nights was also a finalist in the Grace Awards, Speculative Fiction category. Shenandoah Dreams won the 2015 Christian Small Publishers Association’s Romance Book of the Year. Shenandoah Dreams is currently a finalist in the Book Buyers Award, and was also a finalist in the Grace Awards, Speculative Fiction category, and the SELAH Award, Speculative Fiction category. A Shenandoah Christmas won the 2015 SELAH Award for Best Novella, and is currently a finalist for 2015 Booksellers Best Award. When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, training to run the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge in January 2016, walking the beach looking for sea glass, or enjoying a great meal while she pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style Magazine.

My Review
If you want to read a feel good clean love story with the message that it is never to late for God to change your life that also has a little mystery mixed in then "A Dream For Love" by Lisa Belcastro is the book to read!

I was hooked from the first word in the novel, which was "Sold!" I was asking my self what was sold and why? I had no idea what the book was about because I didn't read the back description or anything, all I know about the book was the title and the cover picture.

While reading this story I was thinking what a great Disney movie this would make as the story is about a little girl named Gracie who truly loved the Disney's princesses and her mommy Laurel.

Laurel was in hiding from a man in her past and feared for her and Gracie's life.

Then there is Ryan, a playboy movie star who was brought up in the church but had turned away from God when he reached stardom!

This book has life changing quotes, that I really loved and I shared them on my Facebook wall and because they are so great, I am going to share them here also :

1st quote: Laurie and Gracie followed him to the doorway, where the little girl stepped her right foot into the left flip-flop and her left foot into the the right flip-flop. Her heart softened when she heard him chuckle quietly. " Gracie,your shoes are on the wrong feet." Gracie shrugged. "That's okay. The beach don't mind."
I typed that because I thought How cute is that answer. Don't you wish we could all think like a child when we make "little mistakes" as we all do in life?
2nd quote: "God's grace allows us all to change, using the past as a learning experience, not a piece of baggage we're doomed to lug around forever."
3rd quote: "You know as well as I do that people have free will, and free will and human nature causes more problems than God could ever want us to experience."

Yes, this book is fiction but it has life truths written within it's pages. 

The scenes are so well defined the reader can see the action being performed as we read the words.

"A Dream For Love" is the first in the (Possible Dreams) trilogy and I am giving it five stars and I am going to be watching when the other two books are released, yes they are already on my to be read list.

I was given a copy of "A Dream For Love" by the author for my honest review.

To buy "A Dream For Love" go here:

Monday, August 10, 2015

"Wrongfully Removed" by Braxton Degarmo

What would you do to protect your family? Would you stand up to the government? Sinead O’Malley and her husband, Jameson, fight to reunite their family after the State of Massachusetts tore it apart and ignored their right to due process. Now, as he sits in jail, she has a choice to make. It’s a choice that could lead to losing her eldest daughter forever. Yet, Sinead can no longer watch her daughter, Ruth, deteriorate. She is left with one option, no matter the consequences. When an unexpected storm cell takes down MedAir 724, Amy Gibbs, RN, finds herself rescued at the hands of an “angel of mercy.” But who is this woman? And who is she, along with her handicapped daughter, hiding from? Amy, too, has a choice to make: help the woman who saved her life, or follow the law

Bio : taken from his webpage at

Braxton-DeGarmo-200x300Braxton can’t lay claim to wanting to be a writer all his life, although his mother and seventh grade English teacher were convinced he had what it would take. He went to Duke University, earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Engineering with a major in Bio-Medical Engineering, and followed that with medical school at the University of Cincinnati. After a residency in Emergency Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, he served tours as the Chief, Emergency Medical Services at Fort Campbell, KY and as a research Flight Surgeon at Fort Rucker, AL. Who had time to write?
By the late 1990′s, his professional and family life had settled down, somewhat, and his mother once again took up her mantra, “Write a book. You’re a good writer.” Yet, with no experience in writing anything other than technical articles, he hesitated to try his hand at fiction. That changed in 1997 when the local newspaper held a writing contest for Valentine’s Day. Out of 1100 entries, he made it to the top five finalists and realized that maybe he could write fiction after all.
The next ten years saw him learning the craft of writing through local writers’ groups, seminars, critique groups and more. “The Militant Genome” (©July 2012) marked his first formal publication. “Indebted” (©January 2013) has been well received, and his third and fourth novels, “Looks that Deceive” (©May 2013) and “Rescued and Remembered” (©November 2013) began what is now a four book series that includes “The Silenced Shooter” (©July 2014) and “Wrongfully Removed” (©June 2015).
Eighteen years after that first hesitant start, he can’t find enough time to write as much as he’d like. He now lives in Missouri with his wife, Paula. Their two children are grown and with three grandchildren nearby, “Papa” wears a number of hats.


1. How do you get your story ideas?
Story ideas are all around you. The initial idea for opening “The Militant Genome” came while I took my own Advanced Trauma Life Support credentialing course. Then, a newspaper article on militias in the Ozarks caught my attention. The two ideas came together to form the skeleton of the novel. A number of articles on the creative process have presented the idea that we are often most creative when most relaxed. I’ve personally found that to be true in that ideas seem to flow more easily while taking a warm shower, or in that near sleep period just prior to waking up. In fact, if I’m really stuck on how to proceed with a story, I usually come up with the solution while lying in bed just before getting up in the morning.
More recently, my ideas have come from news reports on issues that I see as injustices to the victims. Those victims might be young women who are trapped in the human trafficking industry, or families torn apart by the state which takes away children without giving due process to the parent(s). In the latter, most of those parents are never even charged with a crime.
2. Which authors do you personally like?
My wife and I read a lot of different authors, but we are partial to edge-of-the-seat thrillers and good suspense, and tend to enjoy the same authors. Among our favorites, in no particular order, are Tess Gerritsen, Brad Thor, Steve Berry, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Michael Palmer, Daniel Silva, and James Patterson (although not his apprentices so much). And of course, our year wouldn’t be complete without a dose of Janet Evanovich humor with Stephanie Plum.
3. What best describes your writing habits?
Habit might be the wrong word here, at least for now. My writing schedule is totally erratic. Since I still practice medicine, there are days where no writing gets done. Some days I’ll get a page or two written, but if I have a scene (or more) clearly “mapped out” in my head, I might crank out ten to fifteen pages in a day. In the summer, less writing gets done than in the colder months. One factor to keep in mind is that I’m not yet a full-time author and I have no publishing company harping on me to keep to a schedule, so any pressure I feel to write is self-inflicted. Still, I’d like to be able to produce a book a year and I can do that despite my erratic writing schedule.
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
It sounds trite, but read a lot and start writing. Often, it’s a matter of overcoming the inertia that has kept you from writing to begin with. Writing well is hard work and requires that you have a level of passion to keep it up, which is easier if you write about things you know. Writing is also a craft and any craft takes time to learn. Go to seminars, join critique groups, and read instructional books to learn the craft.
5. Why did you opt to self-publish electronically, rather than go the traditional route of finding an agent and publisher?
To be honest, I spent years trying to go the “traditional route,” having felt that being accepted by a major publisher somehow validated my work. There was also a stigma attached to self-publishing that implied poor quality. (That stigma is becoming less and less as high quality writing is becoming more common in self-published works.) I diligently sent out queries, filed away the rejections, and kept hoping for ‘that break.’ With “The Militant Genome” I received numerous replies that it was “a great book … but not for us.” My editor believed in the book and bent over backwards to put me in contact with agents he knew. Same replies. As a Christian, I firmly believe God’s Word when He says He’ll bless the work of our hands. I kept wondering why it wasn’t happening. Then, our Pastor said something during a sermon that released me to take the plunge into self-publishing. To paraphrase his comments to my specific situation, who was going to get the ‘glory’ when my book succeeded, a publishing company, or God? I’d been holding Him back by waiting for a publisher to take on my work. It was time to move ahead and give Him the glory.
6. Okay, why the cliffhanger ending in “Looks that Deceive?”
I’ve been asked this several times, and I’ve been hesitant to answer in an open forum without some formal spoiler alert. Let me just say that the cliffhanger was never intended at the beginning of the writing process. I had an idea for a plot. My editor liked the idea and I decided to incorporate it into book 2, “Rescued and Remembered.” The only way it could happen was to have the cliffhanger ending in book 1. Some think it was a marketing ploy, but that was never really a consideration. In fact, in hindsight, it’s been a negative factor in marketing. Yet, it is what it is now.
7. Will we ever learn which guy Amy ends up with?
Sure, at some point. This is a series and not everything is going to resolve in the first few books. Did Castle win over Beckett in the series premiere? Did Harry Potter overcome his parents’ enemy in the first book? So, yes, the love interest will resolve, eventually. No spoilers here.
My Review:
 "Wrongfully Removed"is the 4th book in the(MedAir Series) by Braxton DeGarmo, and like the other three in the series the reader is kept turning the pages to get to the end and when you get there, you want to keep reading.

In " Wrongfully Removed" Braxton DeGarmo tackles the subject of medically kidnapping by the state because two doctors disagree on the best treatments for Ruth. A subject that he took from a real happening in the news. 

This story continues the story line and the characters that started in the first book “Looks that Deceive”, as the other two books with additional characters introduced but that is what makes reading these books so exciting! In this story, Amy is injured when Med Air 724 plane is forced down because of a storm and is rescued by a woman with a child that is in hiding. But what is this woman hiding from and why? 

This story has the reader experiencing many emotions, such as fear, and anger and then sadness and love and disgust and then disbelief. All the elements of a great story. 

The setting is set in a state not far from where this reader lives and some of the places mentioned I have been to. When that happens in a story that you are reading, it makes the story more believable as well as exciting. 

This book has an unexpected ending, and I have to say it was both great and not so great, I encourage you to read "Wrongfully Removed" to find out why I say this. I must warn you that these books are not your typical feel good love story even though it has a love story within the pages.  I feel that you don't have to read the other three books in the series to understand " Wrongfully Removed" but I certainly recommend that you do because all four just build on each one.

"Wrongfully Removed" is a story that shows that the government wants to be in control of everything and that everyone that a person who is supposed to  have best intentions in their line of work doesn't always. "Wrongfully Removed" shows that sometimes we just have to take things in our own hands and not always follow the easy path.  This story shows that love will overcome the odds but it takes courage and determination as Jameson and Sinead O’Malley and their daughter Ruth would tell you if they could tell you their story in their own words.

The author, Braxton DeGarmo has told me that several more books in the series are planned and I say "Great".

I am sure you can tell I am giving "Wrongfully Removed" five stars.

I was given a copy of "Wrongfully Removed" by the author for my honest review!

To buy "Wrongfully Removed" go here

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"Amish Dynasty": Amish Romance Fiction by Sophia Grace

Book Description: When two Amish kids find a strongbox full of twenty-dollar gold pieces from the 1800's in the murky waters of Pigeon Creek, they think their future is set for them...until Becca breaks her promise to Jeremiah for the sake of honoring her parent's unreasonable demands for her future--a future she does not want. 
Greed and betrayal soon replace a friendship as a result of this broken promise. Will their broken bond keep them from learning the hard lessons of growing up, or does their word of honor become so clouded with anger, it leaves no room for forgiveness

My Review: "Amish Dynasty": Amish Romance Fiction by Sophia Grace is a different type of Amish story, but I loved it. Who says that they all have to be alike, we readers all like different things and this book is different but it still has Amish values and beliefs, the only different is there is much more kissing in this book but nothing inappropriated and is a clean read for all ages.

What do two Amish teens do when they find a fortune in gold coins? They are too young to marry then but make a promise to marry when they are old enough. They think their future is all mapped out until Becca's parents have other plans, so Becca breaks her promise to marry Jeremiah to obey her parents.

Jermiah is bitter and runs away with all the treasure and both Becca and Jeremiah have to live for 20 years with his hasty decision. Then Jeremiah makes a decision to go back and make amends with Becca and asks forgiveness. The surprise Jeremiah finds there makes this reader believe that love is still alive in storybook land. I love the ending to this short story.

This book is a short story but it is also a complete story that shows forgiveness is never too late even after 20 years.

Of course, as in every story there is that one character that all readers want to see get what was coming to him for being so mean.  I can tell you that is true in this story as well but I can't tell you if the character does or not as that would be a spoiler, but I hope you read this story, I can tell you that you won't be disappointed.

There are moments in this book that might have you laughing out loud. I even shared one such moment on my Facebook page because it was a moment that my husband and I had shared, it was about fishing. The Amish are like us "plain" people in some ways.

I am happy to tell you that "Amish Dynasty"is the first in a series so more is coming. I want to know more about the other characters in the story so I am hoping that the other books in the series are about them as well as Becca and Jeremiah. I am anxiously awaiting the other books.

I am giving "Amish Dynasty" five stars.

Author Info: Sophia Grace is proud to be a stay-at-home mom. Home-schooling her four daughters on their small farm, she is able to incorporate some of the same values as the Amish in her every-day lessons. 
Sophia and her husband have cultivated a considerable-sized "kitchen garden" on their land, where she also enjoys riding her horse, Whinny.
Going only by her first and middle name, Sophia Grace leaves off her last name to maintain her private home-life. 
Having always loved to write, Sophia decided to develop some of her stories into books. Her personal knowledge of the Amish has inspired her to write about them, and all her English teachers always told her to write about what she knows. She hopes you will enjoy her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.