Monday, July 27, 2015

Magic, Fantasy, Romance, and Mystery!  A new series by Serena Clarke

Magic, Fantasy, Romance, and Mystery

Fantasy has become one of the most popular genre, simply because you are taken into a completely new world… a world of magic and mystery… where almost anything can happen. In this new series by Serena Clarke, we have an enchanting kingdom and mystical creatures that reside in the forests.

The Treasure of Isian is the first book in The Isian Series. Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by giants, elves, dragons, and a vengeful water-witch. Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom?

“The Treasure of Isian was a stirring tale of an enchanted servant and a handsome prince,” wrote Author Charissa Stastny. “The adventures they face together as they search for the fabled treasure of Isian that will grant the bearer any wish they desire. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. The author did a wonderful job pacing the story and connecting me to the characters. Superb story that brought a smile to my face and helped me remember that sometimes, we can overlook the most valuable treasures in life if we’re not careful.”

In the second book in this series, The Alliance of Isian, Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies.  Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials?

When we think of fantasy, we think of magic and mythical creatures, but it is not the same without some romance. Cheryl Larson wrote: “I am always intrigued by stories of arranged marriages and how they turn to marriages filled with love. There is plenty of action and intrigue in the storyline. I can't wait for the next book in the series!”

The Treasure of Isian and The Alliance of Isian can be found at local libraries, bookstores, and online. For more information and to read a sample chapter, visit

About the Author

Serena Clarke has loved writing since she was young and has taken several writing classes. She loves fantasy with a hint of romance and wishes to contribute to the genre. Serena has a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design and is a member of the Red Mountain Shadows Publishing team. She is passionate about learning, reading, art, and design. She enjoys designing her book covers as much as writing her books.

A third book in this series is coming soon! I don't know the date but am looking forward to reading it! 
My reviews links

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Not Guilty" by Teresa Pollard and Candi Pullen

Book Description
t's 1974 and Carrie Shepherd, daughter of the minister at Windspree Community Church, is a college senior with plans to be a missionary in Africa. Raped by a masked assailant, Carrie is so traumatized she tells no one until she realizes she's pregnant. Refusing to have an abortion, she must find the courage to face her family, her fiance, her friends and a gossiping, angry congregation which may include her attacker.

Author Info:

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. Her website is

My Review: 

"Not Guilty"is a great story!  I love it when authors can take a hard subject like rape and turn it into a great story that teaches life lessons! Yes the subject is hard to to read about, but it is so much better reading about then it is watching a movie or a tv show, like Law and Order SVU, and this book deals with the feelings of all effected by rape, and not just the victim and how the community deals with it. It is also Christian Fiction so that makes it a better read for me. 

Carrie Shepherd is engaged and and planning on going to Africa to be a missionary. Great plans, but in moments those plans are changed because of a rape. She is determined not to tell anyone what has happened, not even her finance or her parents. She sends the ring back to Joe and refuses to see him anymore.

The whole community knows something is wrong and then Carrie realizes that she is pregnant. She tells her mother. Her father plans on getting her back with Joe.

The rapist isn't finished, he comes back a second time and this time, Carrie, uses Joe's Christmas gift to clobber him in the head, wait until you read what this gift is, I thought how appropriate!  She faints and the police is call in this time.

This story is so true to life. It shows the feelings of the victim and even how the church members deals  with issues when they don't have the facts.

This book shows how forgiveness and love can go along in healing. It also shows how judging someone when you don't have the facts can be just as damaging as the reason for the judging ( in this story it is because Carrie is pregnant.) 

This story has characters you wish you could hug and it has characters you want to slap ( yes I said slap and I am not a violent person) because this person is so mean and cruel. 

This story is not necessarily a easy read and if you have ever been or known someone that has been raped, it might bring up some issues but the story very plainly teaches RAPE  VICTIMS ARE NOT GUILTY!  

There are resource lists in the back of the book if you need help or want more information on rape.

I am giving "Not Guilty" by Teresa Pollard and Candi Pullen five stars. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Her Lost Love (Amelia Moore Detective Series Book 5) " by Linda Weaver Clarke

Book Description: 

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of her partner, Rick Bonito, the business is flourishing. 

Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.

Author Info: 
Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching and encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the mother of six daughters and has several grandchildren. Clarke is the author of an award-winning sweet romance, Melinda and the Wild West, for the "Reviewers Choice Award." She has several historical sweet romances, a mystery/adventure series, and a children's book. She has also written two non-fiction e-books: Reflections of the Heart and Writing Your Family Legacy. All her books are family friendly.

My Review" 
"Her Lost Love" by Linda Weaver Clarke is the fifth book in the (Amelia Moore Detective Series) and was a fun and exciting read just like the other four.  "Her Lost Love" by Linda Weaver Clarke, like all the other four in the series are filled with trivia and fun facts to know. There is also plenty of clean romantic, ( there is a lot of kissing between Rick and Amelia) moments but nothing that I feel would offend Christian readers.

The trivia in this book is about the web and the internet and the Coma Berenices, or Berenice's Hair which is a constellation.

Rick and Amelia traveled to many places on their cases but this time they stay in the United States in Arizona and Utah. This time the case is to find a missing man who went missing 24 years ago.  Julie Anderson, a lawyer, needs to make a big decision but cannot until she finds out why her high school sweetheart and finance, Joseph Yancy Witherbee. who after leaving to go to college, suddenly after keeping in touch through letters, sends her one that says he will be busy and won't be able to get in touch with her for awhile and not to worry. 

As in the other four books, Amelia and Rick have to figure out who is the people following them and why! I love the way they outsmart the followers but was not happy when the followers outsmarted them in the same way.

If you have read the other books in this series, you will be glad to know that Amelia and Rick are continuing with their bucket list, it isn't mention a lot in this book but I was glad to know it is still being added to and they are following it. 

Rick and Amelia are getting closer as a couple, the ending makes this reader rejoice, and I thought this is what I wanted to happen, times two. 

I love the fact that there has been five books and they all have two main characters but the plots are so different and take readers to different locations and readers can follow the story even if they don't read all the books, but then I encourage you to do so, why would you not what to learn everything you could about Amelia and Rick and their cases.

"Her Lost Love" is receiving Five stars.

There is a sixth one coming " Mystery On the Bayou"  but I don't know the date it is to be released but I am anxiously awaiting. 

I was given a copy of "Her Lost Love" for my honest review!
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

"A Path Made Plain": Seasons in Pinecraft - Book 2 by Lynette Sowell

Book Description:
Betsy Yoder lives with her great aunt in Sarasota’s Pinecraft neighborhood, far from her family in Ohio. Heartbroken by a man who left her—and the Order—to marry someone else, Betsy instead pours her time and energy into her bakery, offering the village of Pinecraft delicious desserts from her Amish heritage, and is content in her hard-working yet peaceful life.

Enter the formerly Amish Thaddeus Zook, a pastry chef who has moved to Pinecraft after working in restaurants among the Englisch. While Betsy nurses a hesitant heart, Thaddeus shows a similar hesitancy about rejoining an Amish community. Though neither can deny the attraction between them, Thaddeus is hiding a past that could threaten their future together. Betsy has lost one love already; dare she risk loving another who has adopt Englisch ways? Or will Thad listen to the call of the open road and move on again . . . without the love of his life?

Author Info:Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of twenty titles for Barbour, Heartsong Presents, and Abingdon Press. Her work has finaled and won ACFW's Carol Award and has appeared on the ECPA best-seller list. When Lynette's not writing, she spends her time chasing down news stories for her local newspaper. Lynette was born in Massachusetts, raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband, C.J., a zany Aussie-blue heeler mix, and a duo of cats who have them well-trained. She loves reading, cooking, watching movies, and is always up for a Texas road trip.
You can find Lynette at her Facebook author page:

My Review:"A Path Made Plain" is the second book in Lynette Sowell's Seasons of Pincraft Series. "A Path Made Plain" is Betsy Yoder's story. And it is just as wonderful as the first book " A Season Of Change" . 

Betsy's heart is broken because Jacob, ( her not so secret crush) has married someone else and so she puts all her talents and energy into her bakery.  

Thaddeus Zook, a former Amish man, who left the Amish to pursue a career as a chef. returns to his grandmother, who has been the only one who has ever loved him.The question is why did he return?

As in all love stories, two people have to meet and so Betsy and Thad do meet. Thad hasn't been baptized so he is still Amish but he rides a motorcycle and he is a chef, not a farmer. That makes two strikes against Thad.

Betsy has an enemy, who is jealous of her and wants to cause trouble for her in all her efforts! This just shows us that the Amish faces the same temptations and struggles as everyone else. 

This book is a love story but there is a mystery in between the pages! Who is the mystery man ( a new Amish) or is he Amish at all or does he have a evil purpose?

The ending is so perfect but I really didn't see it ending the way it did! But I loved the way it does!

I have to be honest and tell you that I was sure this book was going to be a different type of story, I was sure Betsy's story was going to be a little boring because she was going to turn out to be a selfish type person, an unlikable person, but I am happy to say I was so wrong!

This book reintroduces us to the characters that are in " A Season Of Change" and even though you don't have to read "A Season Of Change" to love " A Path Made Change" I encourage you to do so to get the full story. And there is a third book " A Promise Of Grace. I haven't read " A Promise Of Grace" it is a new release but I have it in my to be read pile and I am counting on it to be just as wonderful as the other two.

"A Path Made Plain"is  getting five stars!

I was given a copy of "A Path Made Plain" by Lynette Sowell by the Publisher for my honest review!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Love, Legends, and Lore! and a a giveaway by Rebecca DeMarino

Rebecca is launching her second book in the Southold Chronicle Series, To Capture Her Heart.  Be sure to participate in her generous giveaway, it's at the very end of the post. 

He settled himself atop his own bedding, tucking his musket close to his side. The ground was hard and the night alive with cricket chirps. Somewhere an owl hooted. He propped his hands beneath his head and stared at the heavens. The night was warm and the ink sky a dance of thousands of winking stars. An astral display fell as if the sky had parted. Some Indians believed it to be a sign of travel heroes and he glanced over to the still form of Heather Flower and hoped she’d seen it. He asked God for travel mercies as sleep claimed him. 
Heather Flower was awake before the sun rose. The crescent moon had set hours ago, but the crisp stars still illuminated the sky. She crept toward the glow of the fire and sat. She clutched the comb Dirk had given her the day before and began to pull it through the tangles in her hair. Strand by strand the snarls came undone. As the men began to stir around her, she finished a long braid over her shoulder. Cook came out to refresh the

Rebecca DeMarino writes love, legends and lore as a historical author and lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and the wanderlust gene from both parentsHer travels have taken her from Alaska to Nebraska and Florida, from Long Island to England and Italy, and from Washington DC to Texas, California and Guam. But usually you can find her at home, enjoying her grandchildren and baking crisp little ginger cakes. From Publisher’s Weekly ~ DeMarino’s … strong suit is recreating history and relating it to readers . You can also find her at, @RebeccaDeMarino, on Facebook and Pinterest.

Interview questions with Rebecca DeMarino
Congratulations on the release of your new book To Capture Her Heart. Tell us a bit about it.

Thank you so much! I am really delighted to be here. Here’s a synopsis of my second novel in The Southold Chronicles: In 1653 Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid, she is nonetheless bound by her captors and left to die—until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren. 

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of Englishman Ben Horton, a longtime friend of her people. But despite Ben’s affectionate attentions, she can’t stop thinking about the handsome Dutchman who saved her from certain death. Can she find peace again among her own people? Or will her growing affection for her rescuer draw her into conflict with everyone she loves? Loyalty or love?

1 How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?                                                                          This aspect just amazes me. I always thought I would write contemporary suspense with a touch of romance and a Christian worldview. But when I sat down to write my first novel, it was a historical about my Puritan ancestors! Talk about getting into the thick of things. So while I think there is definitely a message that comes out in my writing, I write to entertain through story and To Capture Her Heart, like book one of The Southold Chronicles, is a love story I hope my readers enjoy. The spiritual thread that touched my heart as I researched the book is that we are all God’s children, no matter who we are or where we came from.

2 What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?   
It was when I watched my dad, Howard Worley, type “The End” for his novel, The Stagecoach Murders. He began writing that book at age 87, because I was writing a novel. He would send me each chapter in a priority envelope as he finished them, and he was amazing me. Then when he was almost finished he required open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve. Two days later he had a major stroke. His recovery is a whole other story, but I was able to help him type the last four chapters while he dictated, and then we published it through Create Space. Watching him autograph a copy for me was my second greatest moment, followed closely by his book signing at his 90th birthday party. He’s 92 now!

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?   
I grew up listening to my mom’s stories about Barnabas Horton, my ninth great-grandfather and how he came across the pond from England on a ship called The Swallow, in the 1600’s. When my brother became interested in genealogy, we discovered there was a lighthouse named after Barnabas, located on Long Island. I asked my mom if she’d like to go there, and off we went. There was a lot of interesting information about Barnabas. He was a baker and a very recent widower with two young sons when he met my ninth great-grandmother, Mary, in Mowsley, England. But I could find very little about her, and I began to wonder about what dreams and motivation she had, and courage she must have possessed when she married and then left her family behind for the wilds of Long Island. A few years later, I began writing my first novel in a quest to give her a voice. While researching that book, A Place in His Heart, I uncovered a nugget of information about a Montaukett woman called Heather Flower. She is said to be the daughter of Grand Sachem Wyandanch, and I wanted to use the tidbit in book one. But the decade did not fit. So I took book two, To Capture Her Heart, up a decade and she became my heroine! The Hortons and Southold provide the backdrop of the story and sweet Ben Horton is all grown up. It was such a fun book to research and write! 

What was the greatest challenge in writing this book? 
After time management (isn’t that a problem for us all?) the greatest challenge is also something I enjoy the most – the research! Though some documents exist such as Barnabas’s will, and some that pertain to his landholdings and tenure as a magistrate, I didn’t have any diaries or letters. And I found many controversies of “facts”. Heather Flower’s existence is an example. Some believe her to be a myth, others say she existed but was not Quashawam. Though that could be frustrating at times, it also afforded some leeway which is nice when you are writing fiction!

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in? 
I was born in a car and have been on the move ever since. My dad delivered me, and my sisters can still remember standing in the picture window of our house with the babysitter and Dad holding me up so they could get a glimpse. He was a career Navy pilot and my husband a career officer in the Air Force. I retired as a service director from United Airlines in 2008 and settled in the Pacific Northwest. I’m blessed with three beautiful daughters, eight beautiful grandchildren, and when I married my sweet husband in 2006, he added a charming son and a beautiful daughter and three more beautiful grandchildren to the count. I should say we are empty nesters, with all of those kids happily settled with their own spouses, which give me time to be a fulltime writer!

What’s next for you? 
I just turned in the manuscript for the third book in The Southold Chronicles. It moves up another decade—to 1664—and Patience Terry, the young girl who sailed with the Hortons on The Swallow is my heroine. My working title was Pure Patience and I love her story! And I love the editing phase of a book, so I’m looking forward to that. To Follow Her Heart release next July!

Two Heroes, Two Sovereigns, One Island
A fun fact I discovered, and perfect for a story with two heroes, was that in the seventeenth century, Long Island was an island divided in half with two sovereigns: the Dutch on the West end and the English on the East End.
In 1621 the Dutch laid claim to Long Island, but by the end of the 1630’s the English challenged their possession with an attempt to settle Cow Bay (present-day Manhasset) on the West End. Construction of homes was barely underway when the Dutch arrested six of their company for trespassing. 
The English’s nonviolent tactic of peopling and planting a settlement was not new to the Dutch. In 1635 they expressed concern that the Bay Colony should “so little care about their Netherland neighbors of the same religious profession, should so little respect their anterior possession.” The Dutch officials recognized the Cow Bay settlement as a first step to take over the entire island. 
The Dutch could not afford a war in the colonies and released the six after they signed a pledge to disperse from Cow Bay. The pesky English did not tarry and left for the East End, far from the scrutiny of the Dutch. They commenced to remove the Dutch signs claiming “token of possession” and began colonization.
For years the two sovereigns bickered with each other, but in 1650 Dutch governor Petrus Stuyvesant signed a treaty in Hartford and traded Connecticut land claims for a clear border on Long Island. The line ran north to south, just west of Oyster Bay. And though Holland accepted the terms, England rejected all Dutch claims in the New World as illegal. 
All the same, the boundary held (though frequently tested) until 1664 when the English warships came up the sound and took over New Amsterdam. Not a shot was fired and many of the Dutch inhabitants elected to remain peacefully under English rule, including Governor Stuyvesant. 
The division of Nassau County to the west and Suffolk County to the east reflects the boundary even today. King Charles II gave New Amsterdam to his brother, the Duke of York, and renamed the fledgling city New York.
And the native people who inhabited the island thousands of years before the Europeans arrived? They were a kind and friendly people who without their expertise in farming, fishing and survival in the wilds of Long Island, the immigrants might not have survived. They traded with the Dutch and were loyal to the English.
It proved a perfect setting for To Capture Her Heart, book two of The Southold Chronicles. Two heroes, two sovereigns, one island: the home of Heather Flower, the princess of Montauk.

Long Island Map: 

The Capture:

As you can see this reader enjoyed " To Capture Her Heart" and if you want to read my review here is the link

I know this is a long post but here are two recipe from Rebecca 

My mom loved her apple trees and could bake a scrumptious apple pie! In my research for The Southold Chronicles, I enjoyed learning how the English were dismayed by the small, sour apples they found growing in the wilds of New England in the early 1600’s.
Based on stories she undoubtedly heard before making her voyage, Mary Horton most likely brought her own apple seeds. Mayhap her papa packaged one of his own little pippin saplings with love and sent it to her on a later voyage. Most assuredly he knew she would miss her English apples!
Grandmother Horton’s Pippin Pie

Pie Crust: 
2/3 C lard or 2/3 C + 2T shortening 2 C flour 1 t salt       4-5 T water
Cut lard into flour and salt until combined to the size of peas. Sprinkle in water, one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until pastry leaves sides of bowl. Hint: use ice water. Gather into ball, divide in two and roll into two pastry rounds on floured board.
¾ C sugar ¼ C flour ½ t cinnamon ½ t ginger pinch of salt
6 medium Newtown Pippin Apples or any tart baking apple 2T butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees
Mix together the dry ingredients in large bowl. Mince apples or slice thin. (Should equal 6 cups) Stir apples into flour mixture to coat. Hint: put apples and flour mixture into a large zip-lock bag and massage until coated. Line a 9” pie pan or plate (Hint: spray with canola oil) with pastry round. Pile apple mixture into pie plate, dot with chunks of butter. Cover with second pastry round, crimp edges to seal. Cut slits in top. Bake 40 – 50 minutes, until top is browned and juice bubbles from slits. Halfway through baking, brush cover (top crust) with rosewater and sprinkle with sugar. Hint: Cover edges with foil last 15 minutes of baking. 

Growing up, I always knew Christmas would soon be here when the ginger cookies baked by Grandmother Horton arrived by mail, carefully wrapped in a green Frederick and Nelson’s shirt box! She baked them for us each year and when she could not, my mother continued the tradition. I have tried to do the same, baking them each December for my three daughters and grandchildren. My 9th great-grandfather, Barnabas Horton was a baker from Mowsley, England, and I like to think the cookie genes came from him! The following recipe is Grandmother’s original. I use canola oil instead of the Mazola. These are delicious with a glass of icy cold milk, but I enjoy them with a steaming cup of coffee or tea, too!

Grandmother Horton’s Ginger Cookies
Combine 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup Mazola oil, 1 egg, 4 T. molasses, 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cloves, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 level tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. ginger.
Mix well, roll into small balls. Dip in sugar.  Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove to rack and cool.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Faith Hope and Cherry Tea

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