First Line Friday — A Novel Proposal

24 Mar

Happy Friday! It’s finally Spring here in the sunny south, but a freeze turned all of our azaleas brown. 🙁 Boo! I’ll have to content myself with beautiful book covers 😉 . One I am sharing today — A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter. A book with a lovely cover that I am sure is lovely inside as well. I will be posting a review in a few weeks, but first here’s the first line:

Sadie Goodwin’s literary dreams came to a shuddering halt in the middle of her favorite SoHo coffee shop.

When western novelist Sadie Goodwin must pen a romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: she’s never been in love.

Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer and devote herself to this confounding genre. After all, where better to witness love than on the beautiful South Carolina shore?

But Sadie soon finds many ways to procrastinate the dreaded task—like getting to know the beach regulars and installing a Little Free Library on the property. She even attempts conversation with Sam Ford, the frustratingly stubborn neighbor on the other side of the duplex. But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie finds inside her library an abandoned novel with a secret compartment—and a beautiful engagement ring tucked inside.

Suddenly, locating the ring’s owner becomes the perfect way to put off writing that romance. Sadie draws a reluctant Sam into her mission. And as the two close in on an answer to the mysterious proposal, she discovers a tender side to him. She begins to wonder if he just might make the perfect hero for her romance novel—or maybe even her heart.

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a sweet and sizzling story of a romance writer surprised by her own happily ever after.

To purchase, click HERE

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than forty novels, three of which have been adapted into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 Club and been featured in Southern Living and Woman’s World.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories, peopled with layered characters who have real-life issues. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling, drinking chai lattes, hiking, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest and two beautiful granddaughters.

You can learn more about Denise through her website http://www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter.

Mini-Review — Heirlooms

23 Mar

My book club is discussing Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd this month. I would characterize this novel as women’s fiction with strong themes of family and friendship. The book shifts back and forth between two time periods, and the main characters are Helen and Eunhee and their granddaughters, Cassidy and Grace. Cassidy arrives back on Whidby Island, Washington following her grandmother’s death and is tasked with sharing long kept secrets as well as continuing her grandmother’s legacy. I really liked this book with its juxtaposition of challenges the women faced. Both storylines are compelling, and the characters are well-developed. There is a reference to a Korean saying that is translated as a taste of her hands, indicating how each woman takes the traditional and adds her own unique take. While the phrase originally relates to cooking, I loved how the author applies it to other traditions/expectations while showing how a person to forges a new path. I love this saying and have found it pertinent in many things in my own life. There is a strong faith thread that runs naturally throughout the book.

I really liked Heirlooms and heartily recommend it. You are going to want to talk about it too, so grab a reading buddy or your book club and dig in. (Note: the author has a great book club resource available on her website.)

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Answering a woman’s desperate call for help, young Navy widow Helen Devries opens her Whidbey Island home as a refuge to Choi Eunhee. As they bond over common losses and a delicate, potentially devastating secret, their friendship spans the remainder of their lives.

After losing her mother, Cassidy Quinn spent her childhood summers with her gran, Helen, at her farmhouse. Nourished by her grandmother’s love and encouragement, Cassidy discovers a passion that she hopes will bloom into a career. But after Helen passes, Cassidy learns that her home and garden have fallen into serious disrepair. Worse, a looming tax debt threatens her inheritance. Facing the loss of her legacy and in need of allies and ideas, Cassidy reaches out to Nick, her former love, despite the complicated emotions brought by having him back in her life.

Cassidy inherits not only the family home but a task, spoken with her grandmother’s final breaths: ask Grace Kim—Eunhee’s granddaughter—to help sort through the contents of the locked hope chest in the attic. As she and Grace dig into the past, they unearth their grandmothers’ long-held secret and more. Each startling revelation reshapes their understanding of their grandmothers and ultimately inspires the courage to take risks and make changes to own their lives.

Set in both modern-day and midcentury Whidbey Island, Washington, this dual-narrative story of four women—grandmothers and granddaughters—`intertwines across generations to explore the secrets we keep, the love we pass down, and the heirlooms we inherit from a well-lived life.

The author of more than fifty books, Sandra Byrd’s work has received many awards, nominations, and accolades, including a starred review, PW Pick from Publisher’s Weekly, as well as multiple starred reviews and Best Book selections from Library Journal. Other awards include the Historical Novel Society’s Editor’s Choice award, two Christy Awards nominations, a Bookpage Top Pick for Romance, and inclusion on Booklist’s Top Ten Inspirational Books of the Year list.

A dedicated foodie, Sandra cooks through the topic and location of every book she writes. In addition, she collects vintage glass and serve ware in her free time, loves long walks with her husband, and Sunday Suppers with her growing family.

Visit her at sandrabyrd.com or http://www.sandrabyrdbookcoach.com.

Spotlight on Contemporary Amish Romance — On The Golden Cliffs

22 Mar

On the Golden Cliffs JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for On the Golden Cliffs by Christen Krumm with Tricia Goyer, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About The Book

Title: On the Golden Cliffs
Series: Big Sky Amish #2
Authors: Christen Krumm with Tricia Goyer
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: March 21, 2023
Genre: Christian Contemporary Amish Romance

One wrong post has sent influencer Lyla Taylor’s social media empire crashing to her feet. To save it, she’ll have to escape to rural Montana. Six weeks in a high-end spa won’t hurt…except, she’s not booked into a spa, but at a rustic Amish B&B. Suddenly, her roommates are racoons, and her daily activities include hanging laundry. Thanks, but no thanks. Lyla is ready to hit delete and head back to civilization.

Amishman Reuben Milner has a secret…one that could destroy his world. For now, however, he’s kept his life as a novelist under wraps, focusing on providing for his family after the tragic passing of his father. Renting the dawdi house seems the right move—until the wrong woman moves in. However, she comes with ideas to help improve their B&B, and that, along with her feisty personality, is something Reuben can’t ignore. Even if the elders want him to focus on joining the church and finding a wife.

When going home isn’t an option, Lyla decides to help the Milners spruce up their rental. It does help distract her from her problems online. The more Lyla works on the rental with Reuben, the more she wonders if returning to her former life is worth it. However, is it the simple life that Lyla’s heart longs for—or a particular guarded Amishman with secrets of his own? And when those secrets are discovered, what will it cost them both?

Book two in the delightful and sweet Big Sky Amish Collection.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub | IndieBound

Excerpt

He, Reuben Milner, was an author. He held the evidence in his hands.

A breeze pushed up from the lake below, and the sun rose a little higher in the sky, its rays warming his face. Smoothing the pages of the book—his book—Reuben clutched it a little tighter so it wouldn’t end up in the lake below.

It was abnormally warm for April in West Kootenai. Last week they’d had a snowstorm, evidence still sparkling on the ground, and this week they were pushing the upper fifties. Another breeze blew, sending Reuben clutching for the straw hat on his head. At least the wind coming off the Canadian Rockies was still cold, still predictable.

Cold wind, rain, a snowstorm couldn’t keep him away from his cliff. It was where Reuben came when he needed to think or process or just be out of the house and away from his five sisters. Today he was here to celebrate. His gaze fell back to the object in his hands.

Hidden Hero, the title read. A real book that he’d written. His finger brushed the woman on the cover, who wore a long skirt similar to the ones his mem and sisters wore. Only this woman’s hair was free, blowing in the wind as she looked into the distance. A biblical story set in an old Western town. He still couldn’t believe this was what had captured the attention of a New York publishing house.

More Books in This Series

Beyond the Gray Mountains Under the Blue Skies


About The Authors

Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer writes out of her passion for God and her love for family and others. The author of more than 70 books, she writes both historical fiction and nonfiction related to family and parenting.

This USA Today best-selling author has won a two Carol Awards and a Retailer’s Best Award. She was also an ECPA Gold-Medallion Nominee and a Christy Award Nominee and won Writer of the Year from the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Tricia’s contemporary and historical novels feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She is a beloved author of Amish fiction, having written the Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series.

Whether for fiction or nonfiction, Tricia’s writing style is vivid and heartwarming, allowing readers to take home more than engaging stories, but also messages that inspire faith and hope. Her goal is to write stories that matter.

Connect with Tricia by visiting triciagoyer.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Christen Krumm is the author of the young adult romcom It Happened At Christmas. She lives with her husband and three barefoot wildings in the middle of the world, Oklahoma. She drinks way too much coffee and reads too many books, but creating stories with her Creator is her favorite.

Connect with Christen by visiting christenkrumm.com to follow her on social media, subscribe to email newsletter updates, or listen to her podcast, Exploring the Blank Page.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a print copy of On the Golden Cliffs and a $10 voucher to the Sunrise Shop!

On the Golden Cliffs JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight March 20, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 27, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Top 10 Tuesday — My Husband’s TBR List

21 Mar

Happy Tuesday! Today is a REWIND day at TTT, so I am mashing a few of the prompts and presenting my husband’s specially curated TBR list. Curated by yours truly. 😉 I have created a little shelf consisting of books I have read that I think my husband might like, plus books that I purchase for him for birthdays, Christmas, or whenever. His TBR doesn’t dwindle much, but it sure does grow. I hope you find a book that you or that special man in your life may enjoy.

For more REWIND lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books I Have Added to My Husband’s TBR List

The Barrister And The Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson

As a barrister in 1818 London, William Snopes has witnessed firsthand the danger of only the wealthy having their voices heard, and he’s a strong advocate who defends the poorer classes against the powerful. That changes the day a struggling heiress, Lady Madeleine Jameson, arrives at his door.

In a last-ditch effort to save her faltering estate, Lady Jameson invested in a merchant brig, the Padget. The ship was granted a rare privilege by the king’s regent: a Letter of Marque authorizing the captain to seize the cargo of French traders operating illegally in the Indian Sea. Yet when the Padget returns to London, her crew is met by soldiers ready to take possession of their goods and arrest the captain for piracy. And the Letter–the sole proof his actions were legal–has mysteriously vanished.

Moved by the lady’s distress, intrigued by the Letter, and goaded by an opposing solicitor, Snopes takes the case. But as he delves deeper into the mystery, he learns that the forces arrayed against Lady Jameson, and now himself, are even more perilous than he’d imagined.

Blood Mountain Covenant by Charles E. Hill

The factual account of a late nineteenth-century Georgian mountain town, “Blood Mountain Covenant: A Son’s Revenge” is the story behind the gruesome murder of John Lance, a man who preached the word of God and was loved by the friends and family of his small town. 

Trouble begins for John Lance and his family when Jim, the narrator of the story and son of the late John Lance, is attacked by a group of notorious outlaws and viciously beaten. This incident serves as the catalyst for John Lance’s outcry of injustice over this violent assault, and ultimately leads to his murder and his son’s revenge on the people who committed this act against his family. With photos, documentary pages and actual testimony from the trial of John Lance’s murder, Charles Hill’s “Blood Mountain Covenant: A Son’s Revenge” paints a detailed picture of the people and daily life of a North Georgian town in the nineteenth century, and one family’s struggle to walk the path of righteousness, while warding off the treachery in their midst.

The Eagle’s Claw by Jeff Shaara

The factual account of a late nineteenth-century Georgian mountain town, “Blood Mountain Covenant: A Son’s Revenge” is the story behind the gruesome murder of John Lance, a man who preached the word of God and was loved by the friends and family of his small town. 

Trouble begins for John Lance and his family when Jim, the narrator of the story and son of the late John Lance, is attacked by a group of notorious outlaws and viciously beaten. This incident serves as the catalyst for John Lance’s outcry of injustice over this violent assault, and ultimately leads to his murder and his son’s revenge on the people who committed this act against his family. With photos, documentary pages and actual testimony from the trial of John Lance’s murder, Charles Hill’s “Blood Mountain Covenant: A Son’s Revenge” paints a detailed picture of the people and daily life of a North Georgian town in the nineteenth century, and one family’s struggle to walk the path of righteousness, while warding off the treachery in their midst.

Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill

After her rescue of nearly fifty kidnapped children made international headlines, Amara Alvarez gets what she’s worked for: a transfer to San Antonio’s Homicide Division. Reality sets in quickly, though, as her first case, the suspicious death of a teenager at a crowded local water park, brings chaos to her personal life.

As the investigation moves forward and she increases the pressure on the suspects, Amara finds herself under attack by cybercriminals. Her every move is being potentially watched online, and she’s forced to resort to unconventional methods to find the killer. With few leads, she fights to keep her first murder investigation from ending up in the cold case files.

Tom Threadgill is back with another riveting page-turner featuring the detective who is willing to put everything on the line to see that justice is served and lives are protected.

The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal

After a rough mission in Rome involving the discovery of a devastating bioweapon, Company spy Ben Calix returns to Paris to find his perfectly ordered world has collapsed. A sniper attack. An ambush. A call for help that brings French SWAT forces down on his head. Ben is out. This is a severance–reserved for incompetents and traitors.

Searching for answers and anticipating a coming attack, Ben and a woman swept up in his misfortunes must travel across Europe to find the sniper who tried to kill him, the medic who saved his life, the schoolmaster who trained him, and an upstart hacker from his former team. More than that, Ben must come to grips with his own insignificance as the Company’s plan to stop Leviathan from unleashing the bioweapon at any cost moves forward without him–and he struggles against the infection that is swiftly claiming territory within his own body.

Award-winning author James R. Hannibal ratchets up the tension on every page of this suspenseful new thriller.

The Scepter And The Isle by Murray Pura and Patrick E. Craig

CHANTICLEER INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS FINALIST — HEMINGWAY 20TH CENTURY WARTIME FICTION

It did not end with Guadalcanal. It did not end with one island. There were more islands… an island with snow-capped peaks, friendly people, blue seas, where Bud found love with his Tongan princess. Where Billy breathed the clean air of mountains where no danger lurked. Where Johnny found a way to drain the hate that drove him mad. They found life again after the death-filled frenzy of Guadalcanal But the God of war was not done with them. More islands sent their siren call from beyond distant horizons and they were cast upon dark shores. Islands with coconut palms, dense green jungle and death. Islands that took more life than they ever gave back. Islands where women killed like men, islands filled with the most brutal soldiers the Japanese Empire could offer. Tarawa. Saipan. Islands that had to be endured. Islands they had to survive. There was no other way to bring the war to an end. There was no other way to get home again.

Spirit of The Rabbit Place by J. R. Collins

Gold can capture the heart of most common men. Its lustful color is said to have been the downfall of many throughout the known history. Few are safe from its deeply rich, heavy, golden pull. The Southern Appalachian Mountains of 1829 laid as a proper haven for the lost ones who would venture there in search of this absolute treasure. Riches beyond their wildest dreams danced in their minds as they trailed to lands they’d never seen. A quest to find streams filled with the easy haul of pure gold nuggets. Jebediah Collins, a lad of Irish descent, and his best friend Wolf, a Cherokee boy of pure ancestry, faced the challenge of living with this invasion of gold lookers. A greed uncommon to their way of life. This coming requires them to fight for their way of life in a valley the Indians call “Place of the Rabbits”. The settlers knew it as “Choestoe”, pronounced Cho-E-sto-E, or “Land of the Dancing Rabbits.” This spirit, known only to a few, but respected by all that experience it, exists in the heart of Chosestoe. The Cherokee knew it as Ga-lv-quo-di-a-da-nv-do Tsi-e-tsi-yi-i. Me and Wolf as . . . Spirit of the Rabbit Place.

Happy Release Day! — A Novel Proposal

21 Mar

A very happy release day to Denise Hunter! Her newest contemporary romance, A Novel Proposal, is now available! A struggling author, a seaside setting, and a mysterious ring hidden inside a book — I cannot wait to dig into this novel. And it’s available in paperback, ebook, and audio — perfect for however you read. Find out all about it below.

When western novelist Sadie Goodwin must pen a romance novel to rescue her lackluster sales, there’s only one tiny problem: she’s never been in love.

Desperate to salvage her career, Sadie accepts an invitation to hole up at her friend’s beach duplex for the summer and devote herself to this confounding genre. After all, where better to witness love than on the beautiful South Carolina shore?

But Sadie soon finds many ways to procrastinate the dreaded task—like getting to know the beach regulars and installing a Little Free Library on the property. She even attempts conversation with Sam Ford, the frustratingly stubborn neighbor on the other side of the duplex. But things take an unexpected turn when Sadie finds inside her library an abandoned novel with a secret compartment—and a beautiful engagement ring tucked inside.

Suddenly, locating the ring’s owner becomes the perfect way to put off writing that romance. Sadie draws a reluctant Sam into her mission. And as the two close in on an answer to the mysterious proposal, she discovers a tender side to him. She begins to wonder if he just might make the perfect hero for her romance novel—or maybe even her heart.

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a sweet and sizzling story of a romance writer surprised by her own happily ever after.

To purchase, click HERE.

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than forty novels, three of which have been adapted into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 Club and been featured in Southern Living and Woman’s World.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories, peopled with layered characters who have real-life issues. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling, drinking chai lattes, hiking, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest and two beautiful granddaughters.

You can learn more about Denise through her website http://www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter.

Spotlight And Author Interview — Sylvia’s Mother

19 Mar

About The Book

Book: Sylvia’s Mother

Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 26, 2023

She’s an overprotective single mother…

…He’s a former protector who can’t give up the role.

But who will guard their hearts from scheming high school matchmakers?

Eileen Avery is determined her daughter Sylvia won’t experience the heartaches she did. Even if it means taking parenting lessons from her mother, the dragon lady. But she is not like her mother. Not even remotely.

If only Sylvia could see that.

But she wants independence. How much is a good thing? And how much is too risky?

Besides, Sylvia is in love and needing a little freedom. It’s not like she’s about to run away to a commune and become a hippy. However, she is willing to try about anything to get her mom to loosen up, even play matchmaker. Maybe if her mother had her own love life, she’d quite trying to put Sylvia’s under a microscope.

But will it all blow up in her face?

Seth Matthews thought he’d said goodbye to Kokomo until an on-the-job injury with the FBI changed his plans. This town holds more than his family, and those memories had better stay buried for all concerned. But how was he to put his honed instincts on the back burner and stop safeguarding the ones closest to him?

He was willing to help his family with almost anything. But pretending interest in some woman to help with his nephew’s romantic endeavors? That was one thing he couldn’t see himself doing.

Until he realizes there was more than coincidence at play.

Forget about Women’s Lib. Return to 1972 Kokomo, Indiana for the second installment of The Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue series—Sylvia’s Mother—and the fight for personal independence. Join Sylvia, her mother, Eileen, and the kooky mix ups that all point to romance in this small town romp. If you enjoyed the Weather Girls and Judy in Disguise, then this book is a must read.

You will love Sylvia’s Mother, inspired by the pop 1960s song by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, because everyone dreams of a second chance with a first love.

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

Historical Christian Romance author, Jennifer Lynn Cary, likes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl. Now transplanted to the Arizona desert, this direct descendant of Davy Crockett and her husband of forty plus years enjoy time with family where she shares tales of her small-town heritage and family legacies with their grandchildren. She is the author of The Crockett Chroniclesseries, The Relentless series, and The Weather Girls trilogy as well as the stand-alone novel, Cheryl’s Going Home, her novella Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café, and her split-time novels The Traveling Prayer Shawl and The Forgotten Gratitude JournalSylvia’s Mother is the second book of her spin-off series The Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue.

More from Jennifer

Do you remember your high school prom? The one in Sylvia’s Mother is based on an actual prom—the Stardust Ball at Kokomo High School. I didn’t attend it—I’d gone to the Autumn Prom, but not the Stardust Ball in 1972, so I had to contact fellow classmates to get the scoop.

The date in the book is actually when it really occurred. And there are a couple other real events and personalities added to this otherwise fictional dance. It was fun to have friends tell me of their memories and to find out what some of the nominees were doing now.

Something else I learned that made me want to write this story. I had been researching and found an old interview by Chuck Buell who used to be a disc jockey for WLS in Chicago. I’d always liked him so when I ran across the interview, I wasn’t too worried about getting anything specific—it was pretty much a stroll down memory lane.

And then he told a story about meeting up with Dr. Hook. They were hanging out in Monterey, California on the good doctor’s houseboat when he offered to introduce Chuck to the guy who wrote the lyrics for “Cover of the Rolling Stone.” Turns out the guy lived a couple boats down the marina, so they walked over and Chuck Buell met Shel Silverstein for the first time.

Yep, the man who wrote The Giving Tree and those childhood collections of poetry—Light in the AtticFalling Up, and Runny Babbit—got his start writing rock and roll lyrics. Among them are “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” “A Boy Named Sue,” and “Sylvia’s Mother.” And once I learned that, I couldn’t help hearing his style (“voice”) in the songs since I had taught from his books in my elementary classrooms for many years. The thought made me smile and I had to write a story from one of those. “Sylvia’s Mother” fit the plan for my new series, so I borrowed the title.

I hope you will enjoy the story, even if you’ve never heard the song. But if you do know that old pop hit, I think you will enjoy a couple Easter egg surprises I hid along the way.

Q&A with Jennifer Lynn Cary

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I wrote my first story when I was in third grade. My mom had just bought a new typewriter and let me try it out. After that I wrote my own version of Cinderella as a play and cast my friends in the roles so I could direct. In high school my sister got me to write a short story for her class—she said she couldn’t come up with anything and knew I could do it over lunch. Well, it took a bit longer. I had my friends in class help me and then I delivered it to her room saying I’d found her homework. Okay, I didn’t always make the best choices back then, but I did get practice with writing.

Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My mother. When I was in elementary school, she started a correspondence course in writing. I don’t know why she didn’t stick with it—probably a combination of life and another baby—but I think she had talent. And she encouraged me to write along with her. She died when I was in 8th grade so doing what she used to do has brought me some closeness with her.

Why did you choose Christian historical romance genre?

Oh, that’s a roundabout story. I’d retired from teaching and wanted to start writing again. I’d written two books before but hadn’t published them. I had no ideas and that was bugging me the most. So I prayed about it. For six months. January of 2018 my hubs and I were watching the Ken Burns documentary about Viet Nam. Then in the morning I did my quiet time before going to our daughter’s to babysit. I started praying on the way, like I did every day, only this time I felt like God was saying I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. I thought about the documentary and about what I’d read that morning in Ruth and suddenly I had an idea. What if I retold the story of Ruth but set in in 1968 Viet Nam and Indiana (substitute cornfields for wheatfields). I was so excited, and the result was Relentless Heart. I thought that was it, but I ended up adding two novellas and one more novel to complete that series. And it brought back a lot of memories of growing up in Kokomo, Indiana. So, after writing Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café about my parents’ restaurant, I wanted to stay in that time period for writing. Then while listening to the oldies station, the songs “Sunny” and “Stormy” were played back to back. I started thinking about them, remembered the song “Windy” and came up with the idea for The Weather Girls. But I didn’t want these books to be too serious. They needed a lighter touch, a nod to romcom. Only in 1970. It has snowballed from there. Technically they are historical romances, but the whole point is for them to be fun and quirky. It’s like I’m carving out a new niche in my genre and I’m calling it Retro. 

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

I want them to sigh and feel like they’ve enjoyed a fun romp down memory lane—or their grandmother’s memory lane. Ha! But what I really hope for is the lingering feeling that God loves them, He is for them, and no matter what, He is faithful.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for asking that. Sylvia’s Mother is book two in the Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue series. My plans are that this will be a long series of standalones. As long as I can write and can come up with 60s music that contains girls’ names in the titles, I’m in business. But for now, I’m in the middle of book three, Runaround Sue, and hope to start book four very soon—Cracklin’ Rosie. Sue is a church secretary with a secret and Mac is a Viet Nam vet with one of his own. I’m really liking the two of them together and can’t wait for you to meet them, hopefully in July/August. Then, with Cracklin’ Rosie, she’s a chiropractor. She’s starting to want her story told but Sue was here first so Rose must wait her turn. The plan, that might need to be changed, is for a fall release for Cracklin’ Rosie. But I’m thinking there should be some real excitement with that book. 

You can stay up to date with what I’m doing either on my website https://www.jenniferlynncary.com  or better yet, go to my website and join my newsletter family. They are the first to learn of things and I like to give out goodies every once in a while. Hope to see you there. Thanks so much, Beckie.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 17

Texas Book-aholic, March 18

By The Book, March 19 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, March 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 21

Sylvan Musings, March 22 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, March 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 23

Connie’s History Classroom, March 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, March 25 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 26

Blogging With Carol, March 27

Pause for Tales, March 28

For Him and My Family, March 29

Beauty in the Binding, March 30 (Author Interview)

Books I’ve Read, March 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card and an eBook copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

First Line Friday — Left on Main

17 Mar

I had a fun weekend with 3 book-loving friends and a small literary festival. I enjoyed meeting so many authors and, of course, buying their books. 😉 Crystal Jackson lives in my neck of the woods, so I just had to buy one of her books. Left on Main is set in the real town of Madison, Georgia. I love the cover of this contemporary romance and am looking forward to digging in!

Here’s the first line:

Libby Reynolds listened to the rhythmic sound of sneakers against pavement as she ran through the historic district.

Libby Reynolds is having to reboot her entire life after a sudden divorce and relocation. Seth Carver has let work become his whole life, becoming himself the kind of anachronism he surrounds himself with in the antique store he owns. They’ll fall together, but can their love withstand a visit from the past she’s left behind? Left on Main is the first in the Heart of Madison series.

Left on Main is Crystal Jackson’s first novel in the Heart of Madison series, an ongoing southern romance set in the charming real-life town of Madison, Georgia, where she lives with her two wild and wonderful children. A former therapist turned author, her work has been featured on Medium, Elephant Journal, Elite Daily, and The Good Men Project. When she’s not writing for Medium and working on her next book, you can find Crystal traveling, paddle boarding, running, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, doing yoga, or curled up with her nose in a book.

Audiobook Mini-Review — Agent 355

15 Mar

I have never listened to an Audible Original before, but when looking for audiobooks included in my subscription I discovered Agent 355 written by Marie Benedict, a favorite biographical/historical author, and decided to give it a try. This audiobook focuses on the mysterious Agent 355, a still unknown woman who was part of Washington’s spy ring during the Revolutionary War. A quick Google search showed that Benedict chose one of the theories surrounding this woman and ran with it. It’s part history, part romance, and a riveting listen. At just over 2 hours its novella length was perfect when I needed a quick and easy book. It includes historic figures and true facts and events in New York City around the time of Benedict Arnold’s discovery as a traitor. I enjoyed it very much. The historical details gave the book authenticity and the romance was bittersweet. I loved that the author explored an otherwise unknown piece of American history involving a heroic woman. Although there is no way of knowing if the suppositions in Benedict’s novella were true, I appreciated her dedication to make the era come alive to a modern reader/listener.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Agent 355 was included with my Audible subscription. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

From Marie Benedict, New York Times best-selling author of The Only Woman in the RoomThe Mystery of Mrs. Christie, and co-author of The Personal Librarian, comes a captivating work of historical fiction about a young female spy who may have changed the course of American history.     

The tide is turning against the colonists in the Revolutionary War, and 18-year-old Elizabeth Morris cannot sit by idly. Quietly disdainful of her Tory parents, who drag her along to society events and welcome a British soldier into their home during their occupation of New York City, Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands. She realizes that, as a young woman, no one around her believes that she can comprehend the profound implications of being a nation at war – she is, effectively, invisible. And she can use this invisibility to her advantage. Her unique access to British society leads her to a role with General George Washington’s own network of spies: the Culper Ring.

Based on true events, Agent 355 combines adventure, romance, and espionage to bring to life this little-known story of a hero who risked her life to fight for freedom against all odds.

Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a commercial litigator at two of the country’s premier law firms. While practicing as a NYC lawyer, Marie dreamed of a fantastical job unearthing the hidden historical stories of women — and finally found it when she tried her hand at writing. She embarked on a new, thematically connected series of historical fiction excavating the stories of important, complex and fascinating women from the past with THE OTHER EINSTEIN, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein’s first wife, a physicist herself. She then released CARNEGIE’S MAID, the story of a brilliant woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie toward philanthropy, followed by the B&N Book Club pick and NYTimes bestseller THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM, the tale of the Golden Age of Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr who made a world-changing invention, and LADY CLEMENTINE about Winston Churchill’s wife. She then wrote the Costco pick and NYTimes bestseller THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE which focuses on the real-life disappearance of Agatha Christie and the role it played in shaping her into the world’s most successful novelist. In her first co-written novel with the talented Victoria Christopher Murray, Marie released the NYTimes bestselling and Good Morning America Book Club pick THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN about Belle da Costa Greene, the personal librarian to J.P, Morgan who hid a secret about her identity — and that was followed by HER HIDDEN GENIUS about the brilliant British scientist Rosalind Franklin who discovered the structure of DNA but her research was taken and used by James Watson and Francis Crick. Coming this January 2023 is THE MITFORD AFFAIR, an explosive novel of history’s most notorious sisters — the brilliant, aristocratic Mitfords –, one of whom will have to choose her country or her family as the sisters get caught in the crosshairs of WWII.

Top 10 Tuesday — 2023 Spring TBR

14 Mar

Happy Tuesday! Spring has definitely arrived in central Georgia. All the pollen! I am not sure how there can be so much! LOL! But the blooming trees and shrubs, the green grass, and the warmer temps are surely welcome. Today I am sharing my Spring TBR. It’s a rather short list since I am trying to read on a whim. But I have my eye on a few to add to the list later. This list is a mix of book club, review, and just because books. I hope you can find one to add to your TBR.

For more bloggers’ Spring TBR lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 2023 Spring TBR

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter

The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin

The Vanishing at Castle Moreau by Jaime Jo Wright

The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy

Audiobook Mini-Review — The Chase

13 Mar

I am so behind on my reading, especially when it comes to series I have begun. I read The Escape by Lisa Harris several years ago with my book club. I had all intentions of finishing off the next 2 books in that series as they were released. That was a big fat fail. LOL! So I decided to download the audiobook of The Chase a few weeks ago as I had resumed my walking routine. The romantic suspense featuring two US Marshalls was an easy listen that could be picked up for an hour or so every day. While the novel does continue a thread begun in the first book, The Chase mainly focused on a bank robbery and subsequent fugitive hunt. It was generally entertaining with lots of action. However, I found some of the things the Marshalls did hard to believe. They get themselves in several sticky situations that would have been prevented with proper backup. I am not in law enforcement, but having read and watched numerous police novels and TV programs, I am kind of an expert. 😉 Seriously, I think going into a situation without adequate communication or without someone knowing what you were doing seemed farfetched. Will this keep me from reading the next book in the series? Nope, I am committed to the conclusion of the continuing thread begun in book 1 and explored in this book. I just have to know what’s going on and whodunit! I also am eager to get the two main characters into a romantic relationship!

The Chase was an okay read for me, but I like this author and the characters too much to give up now!

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

US Marshal Madison James may not be sure who shot her three months ago, but she does know one thing–it’s time to get back out into the field. When her partner, Jonas Quinn, receives a message that a federal warrant just came in on a man connected to a string of bank robberies, Madison jumps at the chance to get back to work. What she and Jonas find is a bank robbery in progress that’s gone wrong–and things are about to get worse.

For these bank robbers, it’s never been just about the money. It’s about taking risks and adrenaline rushes, and getting caught is not part of the game. When the suspects escape, Madison and Jonas must hunt them down and bring them to justice before someone else–someone close to them–gets hurt . . . or worse.

From Seattle to the San Juan Islands, bestselling author Lisa Harris takes you on a nonstop chase where feelings are complicated and failure isn’t an option.

USA Today and CBA bestselling author LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom, Port of Origin, and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 (Blood Covenant) and 2015 (Vendetta) from Romantic Times. She has sold over half a million books.

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, photography, gardening, and traveling. For more information about her books visit http://www.lisaharriswrites.com.