Friday, August 30, 2019

A Little Inspiration---Review of The Best is Yet to Come & a Giveaway!

I was really excited to be part of the tour and giveaway for Clint Pulver's new inspirational talk on CD The Best is Yet to Come. Even though this is geared for teens, I actually gained insight into things I can do differently in order to design a life of significance. (I really like that idea) Mr. Pulver outlines four areas in his talk and uses personal stories to illustrate each point he makes. I thought he had an easygoing and friendly style that would appeal to all ages and a perspective that will make you think of ways you can improve your life and decision-making long after the talk is over. As a mother of teens, I know I'll be using this one in our home and talking about the principles Mr. Pulver teaches.

So, if you are looking for inspiration mixed with a little laughter and fun, for you or your teen (the twenty seconds of insane courage story was funny!) then you should pick up this talk today.

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

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Making decisions in life can be extremely challenging. The toughest part is knowing which choice is the right one, especially during times of doubt, uncertainty, and pressure. We sometimes find ourselves asking questions like, "What if I make the wrong choice? What if I fail? What if things don't work out?" In this high-energy and inspiring talk, Clint Pulver outlines a road map for how to live a life by design and not by default. With hilarious stories and examples from his own life, he shares simple and effective tools, strategies, and ideas for anyone who is trying to find direction and wants to get on track and on purpose with the Lord. Clint says that sometimes our best plans hit roadblocks, but often in life, "good things fall apart so that better things can fit together." He says that with the help of our Heavenly Father, we can design a life of significance, not just success, and we can know that when things look bleak, the best is yet to come.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Historical Romance Freebie!

I recently had Elizabeth Camden's books recommended to me, so I was excited when I saw that her book, A Dangerous Legacy, is being offered for free today! If you need some holiday weekend reading, this one might be for you!

Download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

Lucy Drake's mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin's connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they're wading into will take them.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

In The Non-Fiction Corner---Deep Conviction

In The Non-Fiction Corner With Lauren

Deep Conviction: True Stories of Ordinary Americans Fighting for the Freedom to Live Their Beliefs by Steven T. Collis is a powerful book about citizens who have helped pave the way for us to have the religious freedoms we all enjoy. As Americans, we know that we have religious freedoms, but what exactly does that mean? Where is the line? Collis explores exactly that. In this well-researched and riveting read, Collis recounts four cases in America that have helped shape religious freedom laws. I was curious to see how all the cases ended, so this book was hard to put down!

My favorite was the first and oldest case. A Catholic priest in 1813 was brought into court after refusing to give the name of a criminal, because the criminal admitted to the crime during a sacramental confession with the priest. It had never occurred to me before that this would be a problem, as I was not familiar with Catholic sacraments. However as I got into the case, I found myself wondering and worrying what the outcome would be. A later case that was more familiar to me involved a gay couple and a bakery in Colorado. It was great to read the case in a way that was a captivating story and was also fair to both sides. Religious freedom is important to all of us, and I think sometimes we take it for granted. I would recommend this book as an excellent read for learning about who helped us gain those freedoms that we all enjoy.

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Deep Conviction features four ordinary Americans who put their reputations and livelihoods at risk as they fought to protect their first amendment right to live their personal beliefs. Though these individuals couldn’t be more different, they share a similar conviction and determination, and the principles of religious freedom apply equally to all of them.

In 1813, a Catholic priest in New York City faced prison after a grand jury subpoenaed him for refusing to divulge the identity of a jewelry thief who admitted to the crime during the sacrament of confession.

In 1959, an atheist in Maryland was forced to choose between his job and his beliefs when the state required him, as part of the hiring process, to sign an oath that said he believed in God. The United States Supreme Court would decide his fate.

In 1989, a Klamath Indian man walked into the highest court of our nation to fight for the right to practice the central sacrament of the Native American Church after the state of Oregon had declared it illegal.

And, finally, in 2017, a Christian baker and a gay couple took their cases to the United States Supreme Court after the baker declined to create a custom wedding cake to celebrate the couple’s same-sex marriage, fearing it would violate his duty to God.

Chosen for their universality and for the broad principles they represent, these true stories reflect the diversity of beliefs in the United States, the conflicts between religious freedom and other interests, the perils individuals face when their right to live their beliefs is threatened, and the genius of America’s promise of religious liberty for all.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Do You People Watch?

I've mentioned a game before that I sometimes play with my kids while we're waiting in line or at carpool or whatever. We people-watch and try to make up stories about what people are doing and why. Like, maybe that guy is wearing bright purple socks because he's just learning how to use his new magical powers and instead of reciting the spell that would help him fly, it turned his socks neon purple, things like that. We've come up with some really awesome stories that way, laughed a lot, and made fun memories.

The more I think about it, though, the more I realize how much I love people watching and thinking about characters who might look like them. For example, I went to the grocery store early one morning and in the produce section there was this beautiful woman, her hair done up, she had a gorgeous dress on with five inch heels. I mean, this woman looked amazing, like she was about to go for a night on the town. As I quickly grabbed the stuff I was there to get, I kept thinking about her. Why would someone come to the store first thing in the morning dressed to the nines? Was she hoping to pick up a cute guy in the produce section? Had she just come from a party? A funeral? Maybe she was a model heading off to a shoot and forgot her breakfast. My mind was going in all directions as I left the store and I thought, I'm going to put her in a book someday.

For writers, I think it pays to be observant. People watching can spark character development. It's an exercise that can really keep your imagination healthy and working. Then, when you need that imagination for your story, it will be ready. Not to mention, people-watching and thinking of stories that might explain their circumstances is fun!

Do you people-watch? Or am I just weird?

Monday, August 26, 2019

Freebie for Sports Romance Fans!

If you love sports romance, Charming the Shortstop, is free today! I haven't read it, but it looks like a fun read.

Download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

He’s not looking. She’s been burned. But sparks fly, and they decide to go on a date. Just this once.

When professional baseball player Axel Diaz travels back to Belltown University for a friend’s wedding, he’s not planning on bringing a date. Until he meets Brighton West, the flight attendant who he can’t get off his mind. Although dubbed “Cold Axe” by some of his female fans, Axel asks Brighton to be his date to the wedding, all the while wondering why of all times and places he is breaking his no-dating streak. But the more he gets to know Brighton, the more he realizes she may be the one woman who can melt his cold heart.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Almost Freebie for Historical Romance Fans!

Stacy Henrie's inspirational historical romance, Beneath An Italian Sky,  is only .99 cents today! This one looks so beautiful and tender.

You can get your bargain copy here

Here's the back copy:


American heiress Clare Herschel made what she hoped was a love match when she married the handsome, witty Emmett Markham, the Earl of Linwood. A little over a year into her marriage, though, Clare finds herself wintering in Sicily--alone. She is sure the mild climate is the answer to avoiding another miscarriage and Emmett's apparent indifference, so she's determined to remain in Italy as long as possible. The last person she expects to show up at the villa is her husband, especially when Emmett confesses he's there to convince her to return to England.

As the only surviving son of a marquess, Emmett has done everything his father has asked of him--even agreeing to run for a seat in the House of Commons. However, this latest task comes with a nearly impossible caveat. He must convince his wife Clare to come back to England with him in order for them to appear to be a happy couple for his political campaigning. Emmett isn't confident Clare will agree to the plan, though, not when she seems to want nothing to do with him or the life they'd begun building before she abruptly left him for Italy.

When a massive earthquake strikes Messina, Sicily, claiming the lives of thousands, Clare and Emmett must set aside their mutual misgivings about their marriage in order to survive and lend a helping hand to others. But in the wake of the destruction, they begin to realize they've been given a chance to decide if their love is stronger than the upheavals of the past.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Romance Is In The Air In Real Life!

My son got engaged tonight. I got to be part of it, helping to pick out the ring and helping to get ready for his proposal (he set it up like they were going to watch a movie, but after the opening credits of the show, it went to a slideshow of them set to their song and he proposed at the end. *le sigh*)

I am just so happy for them! We love Katie and think she's the perfect match for our son. They are so happy and in love.

Yeah, I can't stop smiling.

How did your husband propose to you?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Dreaded Typos

I go over and over my books before release, I have beta readers and editors, but I still have one or two typos that get through. Gah!

This meme really resonated with me today, especially since I have a new book out. (If you found a typo would you tell the author? I always go back and forth on that issue myself.)

Fingers crossed the typos are few or non-existent in my new book!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Freebie for Romance Fans!

With the kids back in school, you might have a bit of time to yourself, maybe even enough to sit down and enjoy a novella or two. Well, you are in luck!

The Blind Date novella collection (six stories from six different authors) is FREE today! Some of my favorite authors are in this one!

Grab your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Six Blind Dates . . . Six Chances to Fall in Love.

Three Historical Romance Novellas

THE PROMISE THAT KATY DID, by Annette Lyon: After the death of Sue Ellen, the closest thing she has to family, Katy knows it’s time to leave the house she’s lived in as a guest and start over in the city. She quickly secures a job, but before leaving, she must honor the unusual promise she made to Sue Ellen on her deathbed: meet with Mr. Balmer. The elderly gentleman arranges for his grandson Barrett to escort her to a town dance. That evening, shy Katy quickly feels at ease with her partner. If her new position weren’t taking her from town, perhaps something could develop between them. But Barrett may not feel the same about her, and besides, they don't have enough time to find out.

A LADY OF SENSE, by Sarah M. Eden: Eleanor Sherwood has lived her entire life under her parents’ thumb with little hope of escape. When they choose the unbearable Mr. Broadstead to be her future husband, she begs her father for another option. He arranges for her to meet Peter Havensham, who quickly proves himself a good and kindhearted gentleman, completely different from Mr. Broadstead, and utterly undeserving of a forced engagement. Eleanor cannot bring herself to prey upon Peter’s honor, but neither can she imagine a life with Mr. Broadstead. What is a lady to do when faced with such an impossible choice?

A SECOND CHANCE, by Heather B. Moore: Virginia needs a new start in order to recover from her broken marriage, so when her best friend Millie invites Virginia to Chicago, she goes to live with her friend’s family. But when Millie asked Virginia to participate in a double-date, Virginia knows she’s not ready to start dating again. Reluctantly she agrees, only to find out that Max might just be the man who can repair the cracks in her heart.

Three Contemporary Romance Novellas

BRAELYNN’S BLIND DATE, by Victorine E. Lieske. When Braelynn agrees to go on a blind date, she thinks she’s hit the jackpot. Tyler is gorgeous and the perfect gentleman. Of course she should have known it was too good to be true. It turns out that Tyler really wasn’t Tyler, but a random stranger who went along with Braelynn’s mistaken assumption. So, she chalks it up to a dumb mistake until she gets to work Monday morning and discovers that her gorgeous blind date is now her new boss.

BIANCA’S HOPE, by Rachel Branton: A blind-date-gone-wrong is not the way Bianca would have chosen to celebrate the news that she might be losing her business, but saying no to the sister who took care of her after their mother’s death proves impossible. So for one date, one torturous evening, she’ll endure the company of an infuriating, heartless man she has no intention of ever seeing again. She doesn’t expect her heart to have other plans. Bianca soon learns that sometimes the unexpected is not only what you need, it’s exactly what you’ve been waiting for all along.

BLIND SPOT, by Sariah Wilson: Ria has prepared most of her life to meet her prince, trouble is, her mother keeps yanking her back to reality. So when Ria reads about a country teeming with princes, she drops everything and applies to grad school. But every blind date goes wrong, and while Ria commiserates with her roommate Tessa and Tessa’s totally un-prince-like brother Paolo, Ria discovers that all the things she thought she wanted in a man are far from what she really needs.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Classroom Library Update!

It's the first day of school! I just wanted to show you a how-it-all-turned-out picture of my daughter's classroom library that I've been working on for the past few weeks.

Isn't it great? I was so glad to have found not only the books, but also the animal print blankets and pillows. I'm so proud of this little library! I hope the kids love it, too. And that it's a great year in sixth grade!

Is it back to school for your family?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Interview with Award-Winning Author Sian Ann Bessey!

I was so excited to welcome Sian Ann Bessey to book club this month. Not only does she write amazing books, but she also was born in England and raised in Wales and has a great accent. I could have listened to her all night!

We did a fun video interview, though, for those of you who couldn't make it, and she answered a lot of questions. If you'd like to see it, you can click here

Sian has a new historical romance coming out in November and I think I'll be first in line to get my copy!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

I'm Celebrating My New Release With A Giveaway!

The Marquess Meets His Match is LIVE! I am so excited that this day is finally here!

To celebrate, I am offering three awesome prizes, a book basket, a $25 Amazon gift card, and an autographed copy of The Marquess Meets His Match. Don't forget to tell your friends!

If you can't wait, you can get your copy here or scroll down and enter the giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

Lord Christian Wolverton―known as Wolf in a covert group operating during the war against Napoleon―has been called home from his military duties. For the moment, his family responsibilities require him to suspend his more clandestine activities. But information falls into his hands that a traitor will soon try to tip the scales back into French favor and Christian doesn't have much time to stop it from happening.

Going to the one person who can help him, the powerful Duke of Huntingdon, Christian comes face to face with Lady Alice. She’s a beautiful member of the ton with a very big secret―she’s also a trained agent and already on the case. Forced to partner with her to lure the traitor out of hiding, Christian wants to quickly close the case himself, before Lady Alice is more closely involved. But Lady Alice has ideas of her own and she’s going to prove her theories correct―with or without him.

Danger is closer than they think, however, and it’s a race against time to expose the traitor’s identity before British lives are endangered. Both Christian and Alice have strong opinions on who he is, but which one will be proven right?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Paperback Version Is A Day Early!

Look what is available a day early! The paperback version of The Marquess Meets His Match! Woohoo! I am so excited for the big release tomorrow, but this was a nice surprise.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Lord Christian Wolverton―known as Wolf in a covert group operating during the war against Napoleon―has been called home from his military duties. For the moment, his family responsibilities require him to suspend his more clandestine activities. But information falls into his hands that a traitor will soon try to tip the scales back into French favor and Christian doesn't have much time to stop it from happening.

Going to the one person who can help him, the powerful Duke of Huntingdon, Christian comes face to face with Lady Alice. She’s a beautiful member of the ton with a very big secret―she’s also a trained agent and already on the case. Forced to partner with her to lure the traitor out of hiding, Christian wants to quickly close the case himself, before Lady Alice is more closely involved. But Lady Alice has ideas of her own and she’s going to prove her theories correct―with or without him.

Danger is closer than they think, however, and it’s a race against time to expose the traitor’s identity before British lives are endangered. Both Christian and Alice have strong opinions on who he is, but which one will be proven right?

Monday, August 12, 2019

My Favorite Spy Show Alias

I've been re-watching my favorite spy show Alias with my son and his wife. We finished the series finale tonight and I admit, I loved watching Sydney and Vaughn again. I love that the show stayed true to their romance and we got our happy ending.

Of course Seasons one, two, and three are my favorites where we are being set up for a lot of big reveals and unraveling the msyteries of Rambaldi. I love that the writers made even the most unbelievable plots believable. It was fun to see Sydney attending college one day only to be recovering Rambaldi artifacts in the Antarctic the next day. Her relationships with her father and mother were complicated, her interactions with co-workers were so believable and, of course, her chemistry with Vaughn was off the charts. It had it all in the character department and was a really fun spy show. I really, really wish they would do a reboot of it. The series finale definitely left that door open.

Did you watch Alias? Do you have an old series favorite that you like to watch over and over?

Friday, August 9, 2019

My Library Project Update---I'm So Excited!

Do you know how I mentioned I've been working on my daughter's 6th grade classroom library and the theme is "We're Wild About Reading?" Well, guess what I found on Amazon? 

Elephant bookends! 

I am so ridiculously excited about using these in my little project and just had to share! I can't wait to show you a picture of the finished library when I'm all done!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Marquess Is Almost Here!

We are only ONE WEEK AWAY from the release of my first full-length historical romance, The Marquess Meets His Match! I cannot wait to share Christian and Alice's story with you.

If you want to get the special preorder price of $2.99 and have it downloaded to your Kindle first thing on release day be sure to click here

Here's the back copy:

Lord Christian Wolverton―known as Wolf in a covert group operating during the war against Napoleon―has been called home from his military duties. For the moment, his family responsibilities require him to suspend his more clandestine activities. But information falls into his hands that a traitor will soon try to tip the scales back into French favor and Christian must stop it from happening.

Going to the one person who can help him, the powerful Duke of Huntingdon, Christian comes face to face with Lady Alice. She's a beautiful member of the ton with a very big secret―she's a trained agent and already on the case. Forced to partner with her to lure the traitor out of hiding, Christian wants to quickly finish the mission himself, before Lady Alice is more closely involved. But Lady Alice has ideas of her own and she's going to prove her theories correct―with or without him.

Danger is closer than they think, however, and it's a race against time to expose the traitor's identity before British lives are endangered. Both Christian and Alice have strong opinions on who he is,but which one will be proven right and can they catch him in time?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Book Review: The Lady in the Coppergate Tower

Nancy Campbell Allen's new book, The Lady in the Coppergate Tower is so awesome. I really enjoyed this one.

I never thought I would love steampunk, but Ms. Allen has intertwined Victorian era romance and mystery with wonderful imaginative gadgets and 'tons. This one also has a Dracula-esque feel to it as well with the mysterious Count Petrescu on the scene to reveal some dark secrets to our heroine Hazel. Luckily, Sam is willing to help Hazel unravel her past, though there are a lot of twists and turns on the journey!

I thought Ms. Allen did an amazing job in highlighting intellect and contrasting that with gifts that defy explanation. Her setting is beautifully done (the underwater scenes were incredible!) and the characters have warmth and depth, (even Eugene. Loved him!), but Sam and Hazel will all have you on the edge of your seat to see if they can make it out alive and find their happily-ever-after. We do get glimpses of previous characters from the series, but you can read this as a standalone and not be lost. (Though I highly recommend the other books in the series. It's one of my favorites!)

I can't wait for the next book to come out already! This is definitely one for the keeper shelf.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.

Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.

Their potential relationship is derailed one evening when a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the truth about her past: she was abducted at birth and her twin sister has fallen dangerously ill.

Hazel agrees to travel to Romania with Count Petrescu in order to save her sister, and Sam insists on accompanying her. The count has secrets, though, and the journey grows more sinister with every mile that draws Hazel closer to her homeland. Even as her feelings for Sam become deeper and more complicated, she fears she might not survive the quest to save her sister with her heart intact, not to mention her life. She must learn to draw on gifts she doesn’t know she has if they are going to ever return home again.

Hazel and Sam must fight their way past dark magic, clockwork beasts, and their own insecurities as they try to reach her sister in the impenetrable Coppergate Tower before time runs out.

New Movie Spotlight & A $50 Giveaway!

I'm excited to tell you about a new movie coming out that looks so good! The director of Out of Liberty also directed The Saratov Approach and Freetown. This one looks just as tense and action-packed and will be released next month!

Mr. Batty answered a few questions about making the movie with a funny story at the end that you won't want to miss. Oh, and don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway for $50!

1. Where did the concept come from for Out of Liberty?

I love a good Western, and I've wanted to do one for a while. The events at Liberty Jail involve a triangle of conflict between the jailer, the mob and the prisoners. It seemed like an intriguing plot to explore. Amidst some of the better known occurrences were attempted jailbreaks, repeated appeals to the legal system and an impromptu court hearing. With 1830’s Missouri as a setting, it’s the perfect backdrop for a powerful western.

2. What were some high points during the creative process?

Working in independent film is extremely difficult. It requires a lot of talented, passionate creative individuals to make things come together. Stephen Dethloff brought in the first several drafts of the script, and it was a high point to see that there was a cinematic story in Liberty Jail. Then, to be able to cast Jasen Wade, Brandon Ray Olive and Corbin Allred (who came back to acting after a 5 year hiatus just for this role) was a dream come true. Another high point was getting to see the set of the jail. We built 2 different sets, to cover interiors and exteriors. To step onto each set after they were completely prepped for filming made everything feel real.

3. What was your favorite scene on set?

The entire shoot was extremely cold, and the pressure to get everything just right probably impeded me from being able to feel like I had a favorite scene during the shoot. But now that the film is done, I can look back at some of the scenes and more accurately choose favorites. There’s a lot of recorded stories about the friendship between Joseph (Brandon Ray Olive) and Porter (Corbin Allred.) The scenes in which we tried to portray that friendship have become some of my favorites. Also, the jailer, Samuel Tillery (Jasen Wade) has a classic western stand-off with one of the characters. I’ve loved that scene from the moment it was in the script, through the final edit.

4. Any learning moments you want to share?

Any film presents opportunities for learning moments. Whether in the research phase, fundraising phase, production, post, or distribution, I’m always learning more and more about the process. One lesson that relates specifically to OUT OF LIBERTY was learning to respect the humanness of whom the story is about. Often I read historical accounts, but fail to recognize that they are written about real people, who deal with the same human hopes, dreams, faith and fears that I go through. So I learned to not only show their actions, but to help the audience understand the human emotion that was driving their actions. So in a moment of weakness, when Sydney Rigdon (Brock Roberts) doesn’t live up to my expectations, appreciating his humanness helps me to be more understanding of his actions.

5. What is the inspiration behind the story?

OUT OF LIBERTY is based on the true events that happened at Liberty Jail in 1839. Mob rule and public opinion collided with religious liberties and expressions of faith. It lead to a conflict that escalated beyond what either side wanted. Today, with ever-present social media and opinionated commentators stirring up reactions and attacks toward any differing belief, the similarities felt very relevant. Fortunately, we see in both cases, that principled individuals, dedicated to the good of society, can make a difference.

6. What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?
Stop aspiring, start doing. We need great storytellers!

7. If you had to summarize the film in one line what would it be?

OUT OF LIBERTY is a western drama about a jailer caught between his civic job to keep Missouri’s most wanted men held for trial, and his personal duty to protect them from those who want them dead.

8. What do you hope people take away from this film?

When audiences go to the theater to see OUT OF LIBERTY, I hope they come away thinking “Wow, that was an awesome film! Let’s see it again.” It’s really a cool story, and to see it in theaters brings it to life in a way that no other format can.

9. What most surprised you in the making of this film?

One of the surprises along they way was how dedicated and committed the cast and crew were to telling this story. One example of this is with the character of Caleb Baldwin played by Adam Johnson. I’ve been friends with Adam Johnson for years, and have loved watching him in everything from CHARLY to The Outpost on The CW. He was gracious enough to come do this movie as a favor for me. I anticipated he would show up, deliver a good performance, keep the set fun, and be on to the next project. But Adam surprised me. He brought a performance that gave a level of humanity and depth that turned Caleb Baldwin into a real person for me. It was humbling, inspiring, and it has stuck with me. Every actor gave their all, and it shows on screen. It was really quite a nice surprise to have that caliber of talent on this film.

10. What scene was the most difficult to film?

Each scene had its own set of challenges, but for this project I’d have to say the first day of shooting was the hardest. The film is dedicated to my mother-in-law, who unexpectedly passed away only two days before filming began. With this personal tragedy very much on my mind, it was difficult to try to focus on the film. I was grateful to be surrounded by a supportive cast and crew, and a wonderful family. One message of the film deals with enduring extremely difficult circumstances, so that inspired me throughout the shoot.

One fun story
- I was holding auditions, and was surprised when Jasen Wade showed up to audition. We had never worked together, and it was an honor to have him audition. He read for a role and did a great job. But I felt I should ask him to read the part of the jailer, Samuel Tillery. He looked a little disheartened, but agreed to read for the part. He was perfect for it! About a week later, we offered him the part and he graciously accepted. I asked him to make some time for a call so that we could discuss his approach to the character. As we discussed the character, he paused for a minute, then said “Wait a minute… I’m just playing the jailer, right?” He was shocked to find out that the jailer was the protagonist of the film. He was expecting it to be just a small supporting role.

Movie Synopsis
Winter 1839. LIBERTY, MISSOURI. Local jailer, Samuel Tillery (Jasen Wade) is tasked with watching Missouri's most wanted men as they await their upcoming hearing. Caught between the local Missourians' increased drive to remove the prisoners, and the prisoners' desperate efforts to survive, Tillery is pushed beyond what any lawman can endure. Based on actual recorded accounts, Out of Liberty is an intense, evocative western, with an outcome you have to see to believe.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Book Review & A Giveaway!

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Jen Geigle Johnson's new historical romance, A Lady's Maid.

The book starts out with lady's maid, Molly O'Malley trespassing and throwing rocks at the Prime Minister's house in order to call attention to the plight of women's suffrage. Luckily, she isn't arrested and Thomas, a footman, brings her home. Molly wants to help the cause that Lady Amanda Halloway has introduced her to, but has to rein in her enthusiasm a bit. Turning her attention to an orphanage and the children, Molly is pulled into a web of criminals and conspiracy that could cost her everything. Thomas who has been waiting patiently to act on his feelings for Molly is now in a race against time to find her. Both Molly and Thomas were well-drawn characters that represent the servant class well and how they were also affected by the suffrage movement. There were definitely some laugh out loud moments with these two as well as some very serious ones as Molly's heart tries to heal from past love.

A Lady's Maid also has a second romantic arc featuring Lady Chloe, a friend of Lady Amanda's, and Lord Annesley, who is given a mission to spy on the women's suffrage movement. I really enjoyed the intrigue and growing relationship between these two. Lord Annesley is in between a rock and a hard place as he's required to report on the activities of his friends, and yet he agrees with many of the things Lady Chloe, Lady Amanda, and Molly are fighting for in regards to women's rights.

I thought the author did a wonderful job in weaving the history of the women's suffrage movement into the story and creating three-dimensional characters to witness and let us see this slice of history through their eyes. The romances had plenty of twists and turns, and combined with a side of danger and intrigue, make this book one for your keeper shelf!

Here's the back copy:

Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.

Get your copy here

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

Monday, August 5, 2019

My Little Classroom Library

My daughter is a sixth grade teacher and I've been helping her set up her classroom library. It has been a fun little project for me!

I went with the theme, Wild About Reading, and I've been collecting pillows, blankets, and a rug with cheetah, giraffe, and elephant fabrics. I even found elephant bookends! The biggest thing of course, is the books, and I have been scouring all the thrift stores to find some series and books that sixth graders might like to read. I scored some real finds! But there is never enough, you know? Stocking a library is harder than it sounds!

But I have been having way too much fun. (And I brought a shelf's worth home of books for my own kids! Which means I need to make some room. LOL)

For me, though, as a former teacher, an author, and a mother of eight, sharing books is one of my favorite things in the whole world. Working on this little library in my daughter's classroom has warmed my heart because I know there will be students who will discover a new series or author and their eyes will light up as they step into that story.

And that makes it all worth it.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Freebie Friday For Romance Fans!


 I haven't read this sports romance by Jennifer Youngblood, but it looks like an interesting series! And it's free today!

Download your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

There's only one thing superstar quarterback Rigby Breeland wants more than his career--a chance to win back the heart of the girl he loved and lost.

When star quarterback Rigby Breeland punches a reporter and gets put on suspension, his agent demands that he lay low for a few weeks. He goes to the one place where he knows he can stay out of trouble--coastal Clementine, Alabama, Rigby's hometown. There's only one complication--Scarlett Foster, the girl Rigby never got over, the one who broke his heart and turned her back on him. One look at Scarlett and Rigby's heart goes into overdrive and he knows he won't rest until he wins her back. Too bad she's engaged to the town doctor who has no intention of giving Scarlett up for anyone, least of all hot-shot Rocket Breeland.

When an accident threatens to destroy Rigby's career, he and Scarlett must decide if they're willing to sit on the sidelines and watch their dreams go up in flames or jump back in the game and land the perfect catch, which just might score them the love of a lifetime.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A Book Deal For Romance Fans!

Do you love a great book deal? Laurie Lewis is an award-winning author of heart-tugging romance and her Great Expectations series of TWO full-length books, Love on a Limb and Love on the Line, is on sale today for only $2.99 or FREE in KU! If you love movies like Me Before You and The Fault in Our Stars then you have to pick this one up!

Get your sale copy here

Here's the back copy:

"When great love alone isn’t enough, you just might need to believe in miracles."

They are two lonely strangers from very different worlds. He's wealthy. She's working class. He's an adopted, only child. She's the princess and only daughter with seven military brothers. But when Matthew Grayken faces terminal cancer, he proposes to Nurse Mikaela Compton out of need, and Mikaela accepts out of compassion. Love was not supposed to be part of the plan.

But Mikaela has her own needs, and Matthew's gentle manner and tender eyes fills them. But for how long? And would the joy of sharing a few friendly months with him be worth the pain of saying goodbye?

Mikalea's way of making every day valuable causes Matt to question to his decision to simply die in peace, reigniting will to fight for more time . . . time to live fully, time to do good, and hopefully time to love this good woman for a lifetime in whatever time they might have.

This two-volume, award-winning set is the Graykens' story.

A story of love against all odds.
About choosing joy.
About faith in adversity.
About knowing that when love alone isn’t enough, you just might need to believe in miracles.