Monday, July 30, 2012

Writing Mondays: A Tale of Two Villains

In my new WIP, Civil War, I recently discovered I have two villains not one. They're equals. Partners in crime, really. Each has a tie to my either MMC or my FMC. Now, don't get me wrong, trying to work with two villains hasn't been easy. For instance, they aren't talking to me. Typical villain, huh? So, I briefly explained to their backs (since they weren't facing me) that I would be making this post and that they would have no say in what I posted. Despite their silence I still have a few bits of knowledge that might make them talk. Curious? I hope so!

Let's start it off with my main villain in Civil War Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Davis. He is the essence of what money can buy. He used to be strong, honest, and handsome, I must admit. But instead of helping his compatriots with organizing a rebellion he got bought out as a deadly asset to the government. What could cause him to make such a drastic turn in his value system? Well, you see his troubles began when-.

Davis: I think you've said enough about me and my past. 

Me: Does this mean you're finally willing to tell me-?

Davis: No.

Me: Is there anyway I can-?

Davis: No. 

Me: Would you stop saying that?

Davis: No. 

Me: Whatever. I'll move on to your partner, Colonel Diana Granger. Miss Diana is a different form of evil, maybe even more severe than our friend Greg.

Davis: It's Gregory, not Greg.

Me: Shut up. As I was saying.... Diana is bigger and badder news. Before the government takeover, she was sitting her butt in jail serving time for murder and a white-collar scam. But then the government was taken over. So they changed her status and made her an even better asset to them than Greg. But don't tell him I said that.

Davis: I can hear you, you pathetic blogger. I know people. People that could-.

Me: I can kill you in three words.


Me: Sorry about him. He can be a real pain in the butt. Oh dear, I think I've run out of time... At least I got Davis to speak!

Have you ever had trouble with your villain? Tell me how you got them to cooperate in the comments! Or, if you haven't yet, feel free to share your frustration. Hehehe.... Until next time, friends!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Review: My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

My Stubborn HeartKate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother
asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance,
takes a leave of absence from her job as a social worker, and the two of them set off.
Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man her grandmother has hired to renovate the house. From the first moment
she meets Matt, Kate can't help but be attracted to him--he's got a combination of good looks and charisma that draw and tug at her. But she knows there's zero chance of a romance between them. Matt's in love with his dead wife, and even if he weren't, Kate realizes that she's way too ordinary for him. For Matt Jarreau is no ordinary guy. Kate discovers that he was once a great NHL hockey player who left the sport when his wife--an honest-to-goodness former Miss America--was diagnosed with brain cancer. Matt's been hiding from people, from God, and from his past ever since. Yet Kate is absolutely determined to befriend him, to try to reach him, to help him in some small way.
No, Kate's not looking for love. She knows better than that by now. But when the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and
Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?

My Review:
I opened up this book with an open heart and mind. I didn't know what to expect but I was ready to make the plunge into Becky Wade's written world. Due to the craziness of my life lately, when I picked this up and began to read I felt transported Redbud, Pennsylvania for a little while. It was a very pleasant trip too!

Ms. Wade did an awesome job with her debut and I am pleased to say her characters were very well rounded and full. To the point I was laughing and crying with the characters. Kate is definitely my favorite character. At some points in the book I felt I had a connection with her, how she was feeling, etc. It made my reading experience all the more amazing.

Generally, I don't read the "boy meets girl" type plots but I'm glad I read this one. The humor entwined with the romance warmed my heart on the rainy day I read it. I look forward to see what Ms. Wade has planned for the future!

I highly recommend this book!

Interested? You can purchase the book here!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: Love in Disguise by Carol Cox

Love in DisguiseDelightfully Engaging Blend of Romance, Suspense, History, and Humor. When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk. Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments--until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven's mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow . . . or to fall head over heels for Lavinia's captivating niece, Jessie. But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn't exist?

My Review:
Wow! I could tell from the back of the book (and the cover) that I would love this book, and boy was I right!

Miss Cox did an excellent job devising the plot! Things were never dull and they certainly never appeared slow. I particularly enjoyed how Miss Cox kept the identities of the bad guys a secret, it was something different and I liked it. I loved Pickford and how a simple difference in identity in a small town could change how people treat you. The setting and townspeople felt incredibly real and full.

Also, I was completely enthralled with Ellie and Steven! The two were an excellent pair! Ellie is introduced to us with her own set of flaws and problems; but her biggest problem is knowing where her next meal is coming from. Suddenly, a job opportunity appears with the nation's greatest detective agency, little did Ellie know this job would change her life.

Steven is a man who’s sworn to stay honest in his business, a business that is falling apart at the seams due to incessant thefts of his silver shipments.  He continues to pray that God will provide him a way to keep his mining company. So when a mysterious elderly lady comes into town looking to invest in a mine, he thinks his problems are solved…But are they?

All in all, I loved Love in Disguise. Its fresh plot and lovable characters wrapped me into the story. I highly recommend this book!

Interested? You can purchase the book here!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1)A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.

Yancey, Alaska was a quiet town...until the truth of what was hidden in the depths off the coast began to appear.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a small town. She's returned to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash and is determined not to stay even an hour more than necessary. But then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can handle the deep-sea dives and helping the police recover evidence. He can even handle the fact that a murderer has settled in his town and doesn't appear to be moving on. But dealing with the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart, but she is not the same girl who left Yancey. He let her down, but he's not the same guy she left behind. Can they move beyond the hurts of their pasts and find a future together?

My Review:
I have to confess my love for the cover. The design team really did awesome on this one!

As for the pages within, I felt Ms. Pettrey did a wonderful job with her debut novel, Submerged. This book is right up my alley! It has all the things I love wrapped up inside (romance, suspense, mystery). From page one I was sucked into the adventure of Ms. Pettrey's creation.

The plot was deep and had many twists that kept me guessing! Ms. Pettrey also added an inspiring message of Jesus's love and forgiveness, which I loved. Something else I really loved about this book was the fact that there was a whole past we hadn't read about. A past we know nothing of, yet all the characters do. To me, that added an extra layer of mystery as I was left to piece things together.

The characters were very well presented and rounded. Especially Bailey. What wasn't there to like about her? She's flawed, she loves the Lord, and she has a common struggle I know I have- seeing yourself the way God sees you. That little flaw allowed me to relate to her on a level I don't with some characters.

Speaking of other characters, I really loved the McKenna family. And Landon. :-) Piper caught my heart instantly and Gage and Kayden weren't far behind.

There isn't much I have to say about the setting, except for the fact it really works well with the McKenna's job and the plot. Alaska is a beautiful place!

Interested? You can purchase the book here!

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Writing Mondays: A Character Interview

Hey everyone! I thought it would be fun to spoil you with an interview with my main character. :-) So without any further ado, I'd like to introduce you to Kelsey Brian! (Bold is me, regular is Kelsey)
Amanda Seyfried no holds barred in 'Gone'
Kelsey Brian via
Hello, Kelsey! Welcome to my blog! Hello. 

Tell us a little about yourself. Well, my name is Kelsey Arianna Brian. I grew up mostly in Southern Georgia, but when my father passed away my mother and I moved to Texas. I was twelve. 

Oh, I'm sorry. You must miss him. Some days, but most he's my motivation to move forward. 

I see. Mind telling us about your day job? I don't think I'm allowed to. 

Well, give us a clue. I'm a Lieutenant Major in the Rebellion. I can't really give you any more than that.

Okay, fair enough. I would ask you about Cap but I don't think the two of you have met yet...Who's your best friend? Finally, an easy question! My best friend is Tyrone, but I'm the only one who calls him that. He's known to others as Tank because he's in charge of the big artillery in our Unit.

Cool! Is he your only friend or...? I have several other acquaintances...

What's your favorite past-time? I enjoy sketching, as well as throwing knives.

What is your strong suit, shooting guns or knife-throwing? I'm a pretty good shot, my father was a sniper and he taught me all I know, however, my knife skills are a close second to my shooting.

Right, well, I do believe we are running out of time so one more question then you can go home. Do you believe the Rebellion has a chance? I think so, yes. 

Great! I will let you go now. Thanks for stopping by! 

If you have a question for Kelsey, leave a comment! I'm sure I can corral her back here to answer them. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Own Personal Interview :-) Come see if you were tagged!

  Here's your chance to find out more about me! :-D You can thank Sarah and Becki. Let's begin with the rules shall we?
Mention who tagged you and give the link to the blog. (The lovely Becki tagged me.)
Create ten (10) interview questions, of any subject matter, that you would love to answer.
Answer the questions in at least two sentences.
Tag at least five fellow bloggers to continue the activity in their own blog post!
Sarah's trying to start a fun trend, so feel free to tag as many people as you want, or even add a rule or two, if you feel up to the challenge.  It would also be great if you mentioned you were tagged by the blogger to help them get more views.

Okay, so, 10 questions. Let's get started!

1. What is the craziest thing you've ever done?: Hm... I'm going to have to say when my best friend and I were in the car and we waved at this total stranger as we drove by. He waved back.
2. What's your favorite food and why?: Well, I really like Corkscrew pasta and Alfredo sauce. The corkscrews are just awesome in my opinion and then I really like alfredo sauce. 
3. What book genre do you write?: (Yes, Becki, I stole your question. :p) Truthfully, I haven't really established "my" genre yet. I've written a historical and I'm working on a fantasy/thriller right now. 
4. What is your favorite book?: Hehe, Against All Odds by Irene Hannon. One day I SHALL have her autograph. :-)
5. Where do you live?: Hah. Well, I just moved to Ohio to be near family and friends. We're still making this place home. 
6. How many family members do you have?: There is five in my immediate family. My parents and two other siblings, both younger. 
7. What's the name of your favorite made-up character?: Oooh. I give myself tough questions. I'm going to pick Kelsey. She's in my new project Civil War so she's my new baby. 
Kelsey: Baby? I'm not your baby!!
Me: ....Go away Kelsey.
Kelsey: Humph. *leaves*
8. How do you plot/plan/outline your novels? On the computer or on paper?: Paper. I love drawing things on the page as I think of stuff and they relate to other things. 
9. Where did you go on your last family vacation?: Branson, MO. It was a really, really, fun trip enjoyed by all. 
Last question! 10. Who is your inspiration?: My Father in Heaven. Without him, none of these ideas would have ever come to life. <3

Alright, below are the people tagged!

Aidyl Ewoh at Aidyl Ewoh

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Review: Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

 Glamorous IllusionsIt’s the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington’s life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, but someone dear to Cora is failing as well.

In one fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discovers a terrible secret about her past…a secret that will radically change her future.

Cora is invited to take the “Grand Tour” of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person’s eduction, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France, with kin she’s never known, Cora encounters the blessings of a family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning….

The first book in the Grand Tour series will take readers on a journey of cultural refinement, but moreover, explores what truly informs a person’s sense of identity

My Review: 
I was very curious when I learned about Miss Bergren's latest. When I started reading I was instantaneously transported to Montana, 1913. I truly felt like I was there, invisible to the characters but still very present. And that's something I loved about this book.

Cora, the main character, is told a massive secret that has been kept from her, her whole life. Then, shortly after, she is swept away to be apart of the Grand Tour with family she's never known. She quickly realizes she has several battles and obstacles to face before peace can be made.

Her journey on the Grand Tour is not only one to see Europe, but it serves as a time for Cora to discover who she really is, and who she isn't. Miss Bergren made Cora feel very real to me, and I loved it! Cora's spirit and courage is so admirable.

I was not expecting other viewpoints in Glamorous Illusions, however, I'm happy with the choices Miss Bergren made.

As for the setting, I am very, very, pleased with everything. I'm a fan of Downton Abbey so that should explain a lot. The separation of classes was very much present before WWI, and it was interesting to see that transition.

Before I end this review though I must confess I'm in love with that gorgeous book cover. I highly recommend this book!!

Interested? You can purchase the book here!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review: Tributary by Lisa T. Bergren

Tributary (River of Time, #3.2)TRIBUTARY, a novella (1/2 the length of a normal novel), picks up a year after BOURNE... Lia struggles to overcome the fear that constant battle has heaped upon her; Gabi and Marcello face an unexpected crisis; and Lord Greco just may be ready to leave the grief and loss of his past behind him, so that he might grab hold of the future... 

My Review:
Yay! Another triple-awesome-fantastic read from Ms. Bergren!! I wasn't entirely sure where Ms. Bergren would be taking us in her final installment, but I'm very happy with the end result. I've noticed, in other reviews, people commenting on the switch from first person to third person. I must admit it was a little difficult to get used to, but I adapted well before the middle of the novella.

As for the writing, story, and characters, they were their usual excellence. I loved the introduction of Alessandra and her story. She felt very real- just like the other characters. She had her own personal struggle and a different outlook on the situation than we're used to. She is a Fiorentini after all...hehe.

Lia shone under the spotlight for a second time in Tributary. This time, however, she was facing the repercussions from the previous battles. Warrior's guilt, regret... She refused to lift a bow and arrow for a year. (The time span between Bourne and Tributary.) Ms. Bergren handled Lia's emotions concerning this very well and, in my humble opinion, resolved them just as perfectly.

I won't say any more to withhold from spoiling, but I must say, if you liked the previous books this one shall not disappoint. :-)

Interested? You can purchase the book here!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Review: Intervention by Terri Blackstock

Intervention by Terri BlackstockHer last hope is the beginning of a new nightmare.Barbara Covington has one more chance to save her daughter from a devastating addiction, by staging an intervention. But when eighteen-year-old Emily disappears on the way to drug treatment - and her interventionist is found dead at the airport - Barbara enters her darkest nightmare of all.Barbara and her son set out to find Emily before Detective Kent Harlan arrests her for a crime he is sure she committed. Fearing for Emily's life, Barbara maintains her daughter's innocence. But does she really know her anymore? Meanwhile, Kent has questions of his own. His gut tells him that this is a case of an addict killing for drugs, but as he gets to know Barbara, he begins to hope he is all wrong about Emily.The panic level rises as the mysteries intensify: Did Emily's obsession with drugs lead her to commit murder - or is she another victim of a cold-blooded killer?

My Review:
There are so many words of praise I could use to describe this novel. It was so real, and the message so powerful. Barbara Covington, a single mother, strives to provide for her two children Lance (14) and Emily (18). But to add to Barbara's daily strife, Emily is a strong addict. When Barbara finally bites the bullet and schedules an intervention, things go well. Emily willingly agrees to go. The flight goes well. But then the interventionist is murdered and Emily disappears.

Barbara skips town with Lance, abandoning the job that might save her financially, to find her missing daughter. Up until that point things seemed slow, but then Ms. Blackstock takes us on a fast-paced roller coaster that thrills you until the last page.

This novel opened my eyes to how addicts affect their families. And in some cases it reveals why some may turn to drugs or alcohol. Once I started, I couldn't set the book down very easily.

To conclude this review, I must note that the message of God's unconditional love and forgiveness as well as why and who Jesus died for warmed my heart. I wish more people could know and understand what it all means. If you're seeking a thriller, this book is for you.  

Interested? You can purchase the book here! 

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Writing Mondays: My new WIP and an update :-)

Since I "finished" Concentration back in May I've placed it on the "need-time-away-from" shelf. While I learned a lot, it still is a hard topic to write about. Especially because I'm one of those people who will pull their hair out to make it realistic....Yup, I'm not looking at this one for a while.

I am, on the flip-side, VERY excited to tell you all the title of my new and shiny baby WIP! Ready for it? I've titled it Civil War. That's all I'm going to share right now, but I'm pretty sure your first guess is going to be wrong. ;-)

As for an update on my personal life, the move went great. I don't have internet at the house yet so I'll try to swing by the library once a week or so to keep up with posts and etc. Right now I'm on a road trip with the family. Our trip to Colorado Springs was canceled due to the outbreak of wildfires so we're going through some other states instead. I'll get home around the 4th. Hopefully, things will return to normal in a month or so. :-D