Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday--Chasing Fireflies

This week I've been reading Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean. Ms. Dean is a new author to me and I only picked up this book because it's part of the Power of the Matchmaker series, but there was a lot to like!

The book is set in China, which in itself gives the story another dimension. Our heroine, Savannah, was told at a young age by the matchmaker that she would marry a man named Paul and she's been searching for the right Paul ever since. Her search takes her to China where she will teach English, but her main goal is to meet a famous entrepreneur named Paul that she read about in a magazine. (Her quirky colleagues give a nice secondary cast to the entire China trip and I hope some of them get their own story!)

While she's experiencing China and all it's exotic flair, she meets an American cook at a restaurant called Burger, Burger. Julian seems to have a thing for her, but she's finally met Paul and things are going well between them. Things come to a head when she's torn between following the matchmaker's prediction she would marry a Paul or pursuing what she feels for someone not named Paul. She has a difficult choice to make.

I had a hard time getting into the story at first, and getting used to the first person narrative, but about a third of the way in I really started to identify with our heroine and the pacing picked up for me. I was a bit annoyed about the references to the Red Bird Incident that we aren't given any idea about until near the end, but I loved the setting of China and thought the author did an outstanding job with that. I loved the way the romance was developed and our hero was definitely sigh-worthy. I will definitely look for other titles by Ms. Dean.

Here's the back copy:

My sisters think I’m crazy.

But, I’ve never forgotten the mysterious woman from my childhood who told me Paul is the name of my one true love.
She told me to search far and wide for him.
I haven’t stopped looking ever since.

When I stumble across an article about a successful American entrepreneur named Paul who lives and works in China, I’m intrigued. When the opportunity to teach English in China presents itself on the same day, I know it’s not a coincidence.

It’s destiny.

My sisters say I’m chasing a dream.

Just like the fireflies we tried to catch on the warm summer evenings of our youth, the dream seems beyond my grasp. Will my quest for the elusive Paul always be just short of fulfillment?

My sisters tell me it’s a fool’s errand.

Until I remind them of the day we saw the Red Bird.
The memory silences them.
The Red Bird Incident remains inarguable—and proves my search for Paul is not a silly fantasy.

I will find Paul . . . I will.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Captain Is On Elite Reviews!

Remember when my novel, The Captain, received a five star review AND a Crowned Heart for Excellence? Well, it's now been included in the Elite Reviews video the magazine puts out! I'm so excited. (The Captain comes up at 1:23 if you want to skip ahead).

I really do love this story and I'm so glad other people are enjoying The Captain, too! *watches the video again*

Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review: The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep is a lush historical romance set during colonial times in America. Our heroine, Eleanor, is an English governess who is sent there to escape a lecherous employer. Eleanor has a letter of reference for when she arrives, and a bit of money, but both of those things are stolen. Eleanor has no choice but to be sold into indenture. A trapper, Samuel Heath, who is full of secrets and a past that won't leave him alone, decides to marry Eleanor in a marriage of convenience so he can have a mother for his young daughter. Yet, Eleanor and Samuel come from such different worlds, can they ever find common ground and truly be a family?

I really enjoyed the expertly drawn characters of Samuel and Eleanor. They both had quite a bit of emotional baggage going into the marriage and their efforts to overcome it all and understand each other is what makes this book so intriguing. The mystery of Samuel's past teases us throughout the book, but once revealed, gives us a three dimensional picture of this character and what drives him. Eleanor is trying to find her place in a new world---almost the opposite of the one she was brought up in. She is a fish out of water, but works hard to belong, which makes her relatable and likable since we all have that drive to be part of something. The setting is well done and the prejudices against Native Americans is poignant and realistic. And if that wasn't enough to draw in the reader, there is a little spy story on the side that will keep you turning pages.

Michelle Griep is a new author to me and I will definitely be looking for more from this author.

Here's the back copy:

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

You can preorder your copy here

Friday, August 26, 2016

Freebie Friday!

Today's Freebie Friday is a romantic comedy by Janette Rallison called Masquerade that I can't wait to read! It sounds funny and I love that.

Here's the back copy:

A little white lie never hurt anyone.

When Clarissa takes a much needed job under slightly false pretenses, she doesn't think it will be such a big deal. She may have told her movie-star boss that she was married but that shouldn't matter. After all, she doesn't want anything to do with men for a long, long time.

It's hard for a woman to keep up the masquerade when her boss is as handsome as Slade Jacobson and the job takes her to Hawaii with him. In between handling his whirlwind four-year-old daughter and dealing with a whole cast of Hollywood personalities, Clarissa has to keep a tight hold on her heart.

Masquerade is romantic comedy at its best--clean and funny with lots of heart.

Download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Creativity Survival Habits

For so many years I've had young children and my writing time has consisted of rushing to the computer to write in small snatches of time when Barney or Peppa Pig was on. Nowadays, however, my youngest is in kindergarten and I have several hours of uninterrupted time per day. It's strange, actually. I have noticed, however, that my habit of writing in small increments has made a groove in my brain that is hard to change.

Every morning when I sit down to write now, I have to take a break every fifteen or thirty minutes. No Facebook or social media, of course, but I have to stand, get a drink, or walk around for a minute. Then, when I sit back down again, my brain seems ready to work. It's very strange, but it's how my creative self has survived all these years. I was at the computer for three hours today, did some great revisions and wrote two new chapters on my work in progress. The only price I paid was having to move around every so often. So, it's working for me, but I'd still like to work on changing how my brain functions when I'm writing now.

I hope that once I get into a new flow, maybe I won't need those breaks as much anymore. I think they're actually more healthy for my body, of course, than just sitting at a desk for hours and hours, but just having my creativity be able to keep going for more than thirty minutes would be awesome. We will see if that changes.

Entering into this new stage of life where I have more time to myself was a little scary at first. I've had little ones for so many years I wasn't sure how I would deal with it. But so far, it's been a wonderful change. My productivity is up, my house is cleaner for a little longer, and I get to listen to all the new experiences my little one is having at school. It's a win for everyone!

Do you have creativity survival habits? How have you dealt with them when surviving wasn't the issue anymore?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I've been reading Rachael Anderson's new book, The Fall Of Lord Drayson. I've really enjoyed her contemporary romances so I was excited to see how she'd do with an historical romance. She did not disappoint!

Colin Cavendish has been handed the earldom and he's evaluating all the properties that aren't entailed. Deciding to sell the family home of Tanglewood, he realizes he's going to have to turn out the deceased vicar's wife and daughter from the dower house. It's unpleasant, but surely they will understand his wishes.

Lucy greets the earl's news with a slam of the door. How can such an odious man turn them out like that? He obviously didn't have half the honor his father did. They have nowhere to go and Lucy can hardly think of what they will do without the house they'd come to call home.

But then Colin is found injured and unconscious and when he awakens he doesn't remember who he is or why he was anywhere near Tanglewood. Lucy decides to teach the earl a lesson and tells him he was her servant. But as she gets to know him, she realizes that maybe all isn't as she thought. But how could he ever forgive her for such a terrible lie?

I thought the background was well done and the characters full of humor and depth. The romance was sweet and I was caught up in the story and couldn't wait to see how it all turned out. Colin is such a dashing hero, and I thoroughly enjoyed how he interacted with Lucy. She was a great heroine in her own right, with sass and spunk, but a lot of uncertainty about how to tell the truth and still keep Colin's regard. A great afternoon read for anyone who loves historical romance.

Here's the back copy:

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience?

Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact.

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?

You can download your Kindle copy here

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cover Reveal For My New Novel!

I'm so excited to share with you the cover of my new novel! This one is a romance and I hope that all my suspense fans will still love it.

*drum roll*

Don't you love it? I can't stop looking at it. It will be released Oct. 8th and I am anxious to share it with you all!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Blast & $100 Giveaway!

Thirty four Going on Bride

Don't Miss This One!
(And be sure to scroll all the way down and enter the giveaway!)

Thirty-Four Going on Bride by Becky Monson

Julia Dorning is about to lose it. Between her over-the-top wedding that her sister, Anna, took upon herself to create, and the under-staffed popular bakery that she runs, she can barely find time to breathe. All Julia ever wanted was a quaint wedding on the beach with family and friends. But now Julia has to contend with not only her sister's plans, but those of her future mother-in-law, as well. Not wanting to step on anyone's toes, especially her mother-in-law's, Julia just goes along with it. She can only take so much, though, and when her newest employee, Kate, makes things harder at the bakery, Julia has to find a way to simplify her life. Can she do it or will she end up a basket case? Find out how she does it in this hilarious conclusion to the Spinster series!


Becky Monson

Author Becky Monson

By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last... but it probably won't.

Praise for the Book
"My favorite of the series!" - Author Jennifer Peel
"Becky Monson did it again!" - Amazon Reviewer
"It’s rare that I want to give a book six stars, but this is certainly one of them." -Blogger Connie Fischer, Bookworm2bookworm

add to goodreads


“Pick it up, Julia! You can do this!”
I’m in the seventh circle of hell.
“Come on! Let’s move faster!” My sister Anna yells over the construction that we’re currently passing. As expected, we get a few whoops and whistles tossed at us from the workers. Pity flattery, I’m sure. Well, maybe not for Anna, but certainly for me. There’s absolutely nothing attractive about me right now.
To start, I don’t know if I’ve ever sweated this hard in my life. I look like I’ve taken a shower fully clothed. I’m sticky and perspiring, and it’s not even that hot outside. It’s a typical day near the end of May in Denver, Colorado. How did I let Anna convince me to do this? Oh that’s right, there was no convincing. She forced me. “It’ll be good for you,” she had said, lying through her devil teeth.
At this point I don’t know if my lungs will ever be the same. They actually ache with pain. And then there’s the ache in my calves, and really every other part of my body. Whoever thought of running as an extracurricular activity should be shot. A form of torture, yes. Exercise? I’d rather get a tooth pulled without Novocain.

$100 Blast Giveaway
amazon paypal
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 9/1/16
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is an inspirational women's fiction from Annette Lyon called At the Water's Edge. She is an award-winning author and I've read a lot of her work and enjoyed it! I'm excited to try this one.

Here's the back copy:

Annela grew up in Helsinki feeling alone and unwanted. Now she has decided to begin a new spiritual life. In her heart, she knows that this new path will lead her to the happiness and peace she desires. But shadows from her past keep reappearing, stalling her progress and making her ultimate goal seem unreachable. First her boyfriend, Tommi, pledges his love, all the while acting in ways that destroy her faith in him. Then her mother, Helena, keeps a dark secret from her that could change Annela's life forever. Then Kenneth appears in her life, but during his brief stay in Finland, will he help her find the love and happiness she’s looking for, or will he prove to be one more complication?

Download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Books Were Highlighted Today!

My Hostage Negotiation Team series was highlighted on Clean Indie Reads today! This website caters to those readers who want flinch-free fiction, stories that entertain but don't have graphic violence or gore, sexually explicit scenes, or offensive language. I was excited to be included on their blog!

Click here for the link so you can see my books, and maybe look around for some ideas for your "clean reads" shelf!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I just started reading Most Eligible Cowboy (Peach Valley Romance Book 1) and so far it's been a light and entertaining read. If you're spending your last days before school starts at the beach, this might be fun to take along! (And did I mention it's free right now?)

Here's the back copy:

Can an ailing man’s ultimatum be Jackson and Maya’s greatest blessing?

Amateur photographer Maya Vance needed a do over after catching her husband of eight months cheating with her best friend. Her favorite aunt Patty provides just the escape. She’s recently opened a sixty-five acre bed and breakfast in her small town called the Palace in Peach Valley and asks Maya to take pictures for her marketing brochures.

Permanently unattached Jackson Bale was supposed to take over his family’s ranch, but his ailing father won’t hand over the reins until he proves he’s ready to settle down. His father has given him sixty days to find a woman and marry her or he’ll sell the ranch to some corporate big wigs that have been after the land for years.

Within hours of his father’s ultimatum, the whole town knows. Women he hasn’t heard from since high school start coming out of the woodwork, flaunting their feminine wiles in the hope of catching Peach Valley’s most eligible cowboy.

It isn’t until he meets the vibrant Maya Vance that he thinks marriage might be a possibility. But she’s heard of the ultimatum too and wants no part of it. Jackson isn’t to be deterred. Despite his father’s wishes and the land, he knows he’s met the love of his life and will do whatever it takes to win her over.

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Literary Auction--You Gotta Come See What's Up For Bid!

I'm really excited to be part of a literary auction to benefit fellow author Dennis Gaunt. There are some amazing items up for bid (including a Book Lovers Basket from me if you are a reader and a 50 page edit from me if you are a writer) but there is something for both readers AND writers! I've seen all kinds of books and book bundles, signed editions and special editions for the reader on your list and for the writer there is critiques from New York agents, edits and more from some of the best in the business!

Go check it out here

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway!

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for H.B. Moore's new novel, Exodus: The Moses Chronicles. I know I've been talking a lot about Ms. Moore's books lately, but she really is one of my favorite authors.

This book is no exception. The first two books in the series dealt with Moses and his time in Egypt before he fled into the wilderness. This book deals with Moses coming back to Egypt to give Pharoah the message that he must "let the people go." The research and realistic details make this story really come to life.  Ms. Moore excels in weaving a well-known scripture story into a novel that will make you think about things from several different angles.

Moses is such an interesting person in his own right, but this book really gives him more dimension as to how he could have felt in not wanting the Egyptians who he was raised with or the Israelites, who he belonged to, really suffer. He wanted the best for each of them and the drama surrounding the plagues really brought that to the forefront. The relationships he has with those he loves is also expertly woven into the story and how each part of their story reflected on the bigger picture. Every character was well-written, but it is the setting that makes it a standout for me. The careful inclusion of research details really lets the reader experience this book rather than just read it.

An engaging novel that will make you think of the Moses story in a thoughtful way.

Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom and enter the giveaway!

You can buy your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Let my people go . . .

A plea has been made in behalf of the children of Israel. Now comes the epic climax years in the making—the final showdown between two of the most powerful men in history—one fueled by pride, the other guided by the word of God.

Moses has received an extraordinary call from the Lord: he is to lead the exodus of the Hebrew people out of Egypt, ending generations of bondage. And he must return to the land of his birth to boldly petition a man he does not want to challenge . . . or lose to: Ramses—pharaoh of Egypt. Ramses, harboring years of feeling betrayed by his best friend, is determined to stop Moses no matter the cost. He will not yield, even as a dark veil of plagues and pestilence descends over the land of Egypt.

What follows is a powerful chronicle of the struggles of the children of Israel as they traverse uncharted territory, both physically and spiritually. Amid the horrific catastrophes devastating their land and through the dramatic events that follow, the Hebrews must face their fears and their faltering faith. For even in the darkest of times, there are manifestations of the Lord’s constant care to inspire their hope for a bright future.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is Marcia McClure's historical romance Desert Fire. If you're looking for a fluffy afternoon read, this might be the book for you!

Here's the back copy:

She opened her eyes and beheld, for the first time, the face of Jackson McCall. Ruggedly handsome and her noble rescuer, she knew in that moment he would forever hold captive her heart, as he then held her life in his protective arms.

Yet she was a nameless beauty, haunted by wisps of visions of the past. How could she ever hope he would return the passionate, devotional love she secreted for him when her very existence was a riddle? Would Jackson McCall (handsome, fascinating, brooding) ever see her as anything more than a foundling-a burden to himself and his family? And with no memory of her own identity, how then could she release him from his apparent affliction of being her protector?

Download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I Learned All About Facebook Tabs Today

With the new Facebook layout for Author pages, I've been spending some time trying to familiarize myself with it. The first thing I noticed was all the tabs underneath my profile picture and I decided I wanted to make some custom tabs specific to me!

So, the first tab I made for my author Facebook page was Free Books For You!

I made this custom image on Canva so all people would have to do would be to click on the tab link when they were on my author page:

it may look simple, but it took some time! LOL (And if you click on it here, it won't take you anywhere. It only goes to the free books when you are on my Facebook page!) :)

The second tab I made was a More About Me tab and here's the graphic I made for that:
I thought it was kind of pretty and I love that blue background. 

After those were done I did a Twitter tab and then stopped for the day. It was fun and definitely a learning curve, but I think it adds a lot to my author page. 

You can visit here to see my author page tabs for yourself! (And if you haven't signed up for my exclusive readers group and gotten your two free books, now is a good time!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Last week I mentioned I was reading Slave Queen (An Omar Zagouri Thriller)  by H.B. Moore which I am loving! But I recently found out that First Heist, an Omar Zagouri novella, has now been released on its own (it was previously in a collection) so I decided to read that one this week. I'm glad I did! It gives some great background information as to how Omar meets Mia and really shows a depth to them as characters, even though it's a novella.

There are several Omar Zagouri thrillers and this novella is reminding me of how a few angles to the relationship between Omar and Mia came to be. Well worth an afternoon of reading!

Here's the back copy:

Mia Golding, an undercover agent is about to make a handoff to co-agent, Omar Zagouri. But before she can complete her assignment, her cover is blown, and she finds herself escaping with Omar. The only problem is, her boss warned her about Omar and his sketchy history of landing himself in the middle of danger. After losing her mother in an attack planned for Mia, pulling off any heist with a man like Omar is the last thing she needs for her career . . . or her life.

You can download your .99 cent Kindle copy here

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My Books Are Available At Wal-Mart!

I was really excited to see three of my books available at! Somehow it feels like I've arrived. They're even offering them at a sale price.

If you've been dying for a paperback of my novel, The Captive, Wal-Mart has it on sale for only $13.59 here!

You can get a paperback copy of Ring Around the Rosie for only $12.74 at Wal-Mart here (And this is the book where you meet Jake Williams, the main character in The Captive!)

And last, but not least, you can get a paperback copy of On the Edge for $12.74 at Wal-Mart here

So, with all the back to school shopping everyone is starting to do at stores like Wal-Mart, I know I'm going to be stopping into their book section to see if I can see my books on the shelves as well as the online store. Silly, but still exciting for this author!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Sweet Heather B. Moore Historical Novella Only .99 Cents!

Heather B. Moore had a novella called A Fortunate Exile in the Timeless Romance Anthology Winter Collection, but now you can buy it standalone for only .99 cents! I am a big fan of Heather's work and this one is no exception. Lila and Peter's story will have you closing the book with a happy sigh.

You can see my original review of it here

Here's the back copy:

From USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore, comes A FORTUNATE EXILE, a historical romance novella in which Lila Townsend finds herself the victim of a broken heart—broken by the most notorious bachelor in 1901 New York City. If that isn’t bad enough, her father sends her to Aunt Eugenia’s remote farm where Lila must wait for her father’s anger to subside and the gossip columns to find new fodder. When Lila meets her aunt’s boarder, Peter Weathers, she discovers a man who isn’t afraid to stand up to her formidable family and take a chance on a woman with a sullied reputation.

You can download your Kindle copy here

Friday, August 5, 2016

Two Freebie Friday Deals!

Today's first Freebie Friday deal is The Reluctant Bachelorette, by Rachael Anderson It's a fun romantic comedy that is perfect for a weekend read! (You can see what I thought of it here)

Here's the back copy:

Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town’s charity event, Taycee Emerson wants out. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it's up to the viewers--not her--to decide which bachelors stay or go.

Coerced into participating, Taycee does what any self-preserving girl would do. She launches a subtle attack on Luke’s good name with the hope of getting him voted off the show. Unfortunately, Luke's an eye-for-an-eye kind of guy, and when he discovers what she's up to, it means revenge.

You can download your free Kindle copy of The Reluctant Bachelorette here

The second Freebie Friday deal is The Cove by Julie Spencer. It's an LDS fiction and just in time for the Olympics since it features an Olympic swimmer!

Here's the back copy:

Some accomplishments are easier than others… For Olympic swimmer Gail Pederson, gold medals came easy. Finding true love and marrying him in the temple? Not so easy. Especially with three men competing for her attention, and temptations leading her further and further from her goal. Choices have consequences, and each choice Gail makes affects all four of them. One choice changes their lives forever, and leaves unexpected consequences in its wake. Innocence lost, promises broken, and friendships destroyed. Gail may choose how to live her life, but she can’t choose the consequences.

You can download your free Kindle copy of The Cove here

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Going Sugar Free Is Hard

In an effort to be healthy, I've been trying to eliminate refined sugar from my diet and it's been so much harder than I thought. I honestly had no idea how much of my food had refined sugar in it, for one, and how addicted I truly am.

I decided to go cold turkey because I don't think I have enough willpower to try to wean myself off. I got rid of my candy stash and made a conscious effort not to even look at sugary foods. In the first few days, though, I got a terrible headache. I was a bit cranky.  Sugar foods were calling my name, but I persevered. Thankfully the headache left, but sadly, the cravings didn't.

I've been trying to overcome the cravings by fueling my body with healthy foods. I've also been actively trying to get the proper amount of sleep so I can have my head in the game when the cravings come. My friend who successfully cut out the sugar said that the cravings eventually go away. I hope that's true. And I hope it happens sooner rather than later. I mean, I want to live a healthier lifestyle, but I don't want to white-knuckle through it forever, you know?

Have you ever tried to go off of sugar? Have any tricks or tips for me?