Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Book Blast & Giveaway: Beyond Jerusalem by Yvonne Crowe

Nicolina Fabiani and David Baron team up once again to save Jerusalem from itself.

Now David is faced with an impossible choice.
Duty on the one hand, love on the other.
What choice will he make?

In the Eternal struggle for Palestine, David wages war, and Lina the journalist, covers it.


“I need you here in Tel Aviv now,” the voice barked in his ear.



“This will play havoc with my lectures.”

“Tough, get here.”

David sighed and disconnected. His Unit Commander in the Operations Branch of The Institute, the Israeli Intelligence Agency, was of the opinion that his agents had no personal life. They belonged to him body and soul. Any other commitment was an inconvenience.

“What is it?” Lina sat up and scooted across the bed towards him.

“Avron. Wants me in Tel Aviv today.” He ran his hand through his hair.

I am a successful writer who enjoys writing provocative mystery/thriller novels including the popular Nicolina Fabiani series.

When I am not living out little princesses' fantasies and puzzling over teenage boys' take on life I create fantasies for adults, armed with nothing more than an active imagination, a great deal of research and a burning interest in other people's cultures and their countries

Living in New Zealand, which is about as far away from the world's hubs as one can get, I love travelling to places to find ideas and characters for my novels.

Please open your minds and hearts to events we don't understand and are currently overwhelming us. Check out my latest topical novel: BEYOND JERUSALEM

HELP SOMEONE WITH CANCER. Check out my story of how I beat this dreadful disease which kills hundreds of thousands of women worldwide every year:

I had a run in with Stage 4 breast cancer, but chose to treat this successfully with a natural therapy. No surgery and no chemotherapy. I have been cancer free now for five years.

Link to Amazon Book Sale Page:

Link to Twitter:

Yvonne will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Review: To the Moon and Back by Kathi Macias

To the Moon and Back by Kathi Macias is a story of family, faith and forgiveness.

Rachel's life has changed drastically since the accident that made her husband a semi-invalid. Nothing, however, could have prepared her for the forgetfulness, fear and confusion that seem to happen more and more often. Their daughter, Lilly, lives hours away and is dealing with her own issues. As the darkness threatens to overwhelm them all, they must seek the unconditional love of the One who will never fail them. But how?

Macias has always been one of my favorite Christian authors. It's been way too long since I've read one of her books. When we reconnected on Facebook, she sent me a copy of her latest novel that deals with the effects of Alzheimer's on a small family already struggling with other issues.

The author has a way of writing the most heartwarming stories. It's rare I don't cry somewhere along the line. I've always loved how she writes in conversations with God and shows the characters' journeys back to Christ in realistic ways. One can't help but be uplifted right along with her characters. Reading To the Moon and Back made me realize how much I've missed Macias' writing. I'll definitely need to add more of her stories into my reading schedule this year.

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 19, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1975940237
ISBN-13: 978-1975940232

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Can’t Believe I Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Read

This is possibly the worst book I've ever read. It was required in my first year of high school and I found the violence utterly disturbing. I know it's a classic and I know it has a powerful message. Still dislike it. 

There was not a single character in this book I liked. Some were slightly less despicable than others, but the whole town was a bunch of rotten people. It was well-written, but I couldn't get over how I couldn't relate or like a single person. 

This was an interesting book and well-researched, but its style turned me off. Long narratives that interrupted characters' conversations and the characters relaying events as if they were a third-party narrator instead of war participants made it a long read for me. 

Ridiculously funny, but the vulgarity and obscenities made me realize I wouldn't read anything else from this author again. I think I'm too old for raunchy. 

This is a biography of Rose Wilder Lane, Laura and Almanzo Wilder's daughter. In this book, the author feels like setting straight the record on Lane's contributions toward her mother's classic children's books. His view of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her writing ability irritated me. I'm shocked I finished it.

Decent book overall, but really felt more like non-fiction than fiction--possibly because it's based on true events. I think the largest challenge is it just wasn't my kind of had a great ending, though.

This is one of the few books I had to abandon simply because I couldn't take it anymore. I bought it so I could learn more about the 12/21/2012 prophecy (curious minds like to read about different things), but it really was just the author pontificating about the evils of capitalism, fascist Christianity and Islam, and the destruction of our planet.

I can't believe I even attempted this one considering the characters and the subject matter. Simply did nothing for me. Even though I tried to make it through to the end three times, that just didn't happen. 

Ask me my favorite genres and science fiction will never make the list. Because I knew the authors and because every once in a while I look to step outside of my comfort zone, I read this short story collection. I loved it. 

This is another one of those books I never thought I would read. It takes place in New York City. The main character, Arissa Illahi, is a Muslim artist and writer working in the city. Her husband goes to work in the World Trade Center on September 11 and never returns. Suddenly, Arissa finds her world turned upside down and that people treat her differently since the terrorist attacks. Saffron Dreams is a deeply touching novel that won numerous awards. For me, it's a book whose main character was different from me in some ways, but so like me in others. The writer truly made you feel her pain and loss. 

What are some books you can't believe you read...or maybe couldn't even finish? 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Musing Monday - January 29

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…


It's the last Monday of January and I'm not even sure where the month went. This past weekend was in the high 40s and our extended forecast looks to be wetter but more rain than snow. I'll take that.

Since my last Musing Monday post I reviewed The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse (excellent book) and am almost done with To the Moon and Back by Kathi Macias. In addition, I competed STORYSTORM a few days early and began Project De-Clutter at home.

Next up I'll be reading Abuse of Discretion by Pamela Samuels Young.

Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice?

Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.

What is happening in your world this week?

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Friday 56 - January 26

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.


  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
  • (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
  • Post it.
This is from around 156 in this novel by one of my favorite Christian authors, Kathi Macias.

I'm not very hungry, but I don't want to hurt Pete's feelings. He went to all the trouble of ordering Chinese food--even my favorite sweet-and-sour chicken--so the least I can do is sit down here and have some with him. I don't know why we can't eat at the kitchen table, though. I really don't like listening to the news while we eat. It's never good news, and it gives me a headache. 

You can visit this week's Friday 56 at Freda's blog and discover more books to check out. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Review: The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

The Mayflower Bride  is a moving story of love, faith, and new beginnings.

Mary Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 along with her father and brother, David. They have plans to start over in the New World. It will be a good change for them after the loss of her mother. Looking for opportunity, William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter. He is also to keep a keen eye on the Virginia Company's interests in the new colony. Storms, hunger, and illness plague the weary travelers. Mary isn't certain they'll even make it to their destination. But she rises to the challenges before her, leaning staunchly on her strong faith. And once she meets William, her world is destined to change in ways she never expected.

What a fabulous story. Historical details, intriguing characters, faith and a touch of romance swirl together to create an emotional read. Author Kimberley Woodhouse's engrossing tale of these two people's journey to the New World and the obstacles they faced along the way will touch your heart. The reader is delighted to witness the evolution of Mary and William throughout the story, and the ending will not disappoint.

I'm eager to read the next book in The Daughters of the Mayflower series, The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo. I'll also be on the lookout for more of Woodhouse's work. The Mayflower Bride sets the bar high for this series. I'm eager to see what comes next.

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower (Book 1)
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (February 1, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1683224191
ISBN-13: 978-1683224198

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Beyond the Books: Foods that Remind You of Childhood

Beyond the Books is a weekly feature hosted right by Kissin Blue Karen. Beyond the Books is a weekly writing prompt where she throws out a topic (mostly non-bookish) and others blog about it.

Today's Beyond the Books topic is: Foods that remind you of childhood

This is going to be a fun topic. I joke around that I've blocked out most of my childhood for self-preservation, but I do remember some fun stuff too. My uncle, a widower, lived next door to us and he came over for supper every night. My mom, while a decent cook, was not an imaginative one. Possibly also because of our skinny budget, we mostly ate the same things week after week.

Sunday after church we had roast beef and mashed potatoes. Every Sunday was eleven o'clock mass followed by roast beef and mashed potatoes. Then the family played board games the rest of the afternoon and had a light supper. 

Considering that Wednesdays were Prince spaghetti days in my childhood--check out this classic commercial-we had spaghetti once a week. But it wasn't Prince. It was Mueller's and the sauce was Ragu. 

One might not be able to call themselves Canadian if they didn't eat French meat pie or French meat stuffing around the holidays. My sister makes them both well. I've been aching to try my hands at making meat pie. I could buy it frozen, but it wouldn't be the same thing.

Speaking of the holidays, every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, my mother would buy a bag of walnuts in the shell. She would put them in a large bowl with steel nut crackers. I buy mine already shelled these days.

We would also have a little bowl of buttermints--not that I knew they were called that. These pastel candies practically melt in your mouth. They were a rare treat in my childhood home.

No pantry of the 70's would be complete without a can of SPAM. I wouldn't touch the stuff now, but back then SPAM helped you stretch your dollar and a can could feed all five of us. 

There was also Deviled Ham, which my mother would use to quickly make ham and pickle, AKA ham salad. 

Remember my uncle who lived next door? He liked a food that to this day I can barely stand to look at. My mother would only make it once in a while and, on that day, she would also make our meals at the same time. Our family would all sit down to supper and there would be my uncle with his gross looking liver and onions. Yuck!

What are some foods that remind you of  your childhood? Do you still eat them now? 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

I have to admit this is frustrating when it happens. As an author and blogger, I want to be sure to spread the word about books I've enjoyed time and again. It's hard if you don't remember enough about them. 

Remember the basics, but not how things unfolded or the ending

Remember it was Civil War fiction and the ending that made me angry

Civil War fiction, slaves, and a pool--that's all there is in my pea brain

I remember being fascinated by this novel, but not much else

This is one of my favorites from Kathi Macias, so you think I would remember more about why I liked it

Gordon Butler is introduced in this novel, but I don't recall much else 

Remember there was a vampire and the island was creepy

I recall loving this and talking about it more than once, just not much else 

This had a neat premise and I loved the story, but I don't recall much about it

Loved this series, but drawing a total blank on this one 

How about you? Ever enjoy a book and not be able to remember much about it later? 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Musing Monday - January 22

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you prefer true Biographies or fiction that tells the life of someone?

How is it Monday again? I must really be getting old if time passes this quickly.

Not a ton happened last week other than the mundane stuff of life. The kids ended up with three days off because we had two and then a snow day. That's not conducive to my getting work done, but it's fun to have them here.

Right now I am reading a couple of books:

I'm working on my goal to read at least one writing craft or writing business book a quarter.This one is due back to the library soon, but I'll be done with it this week. I'm enjoying the writing exercises. More information on it can be found on Goodreads

What a fabulous question Ambrosia has posed this week. I love historical fiction and I love biographies. They both serve their purpose. Often times I am inspired by historical fiction to research the real lives of historical figures; usually that happens with movies more than books because movies can only scratch the surface of fascinating people. I do feel, however, if you are going to call something a biography, what it contains must be factual and able to be proven through research. Biographies can be engaging and true with the right author. If a story is based on true events, like the Little House books and television shows or Melanie Benjamin's novels, then I don't have the expectation that everything happened the way it is portrayed. It's up to the writer to make that clear up front so that credibility doesn't suffer. 

That's it from me for now. Hope you have a great week.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Friday 56 - January 19

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.


  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
  • (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
  • Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
  • Post it.
Took this bit from page 156 since page 56 is blank. 

"I always feel like I need a shower after our visits, Jones. Why don't you just fill me in on the shit you dragged in with you this time? I could practically smell it when I walked in the building."

You can visit this week's Friday 56 at Freda's blog and discover more books to check out. 

Pre-Order: Turquoise Mountain by Diane J. Reed (Giveaway)

Author: Diane J. Reed
Publisher: Bandits Ranch Books
Pages: 270
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance

He's a fierce protector of his land and sacred heritage--and only a strong woman can capture his wild heart.

Dillon Iron Feather is dangerous and he knows it. Hardened by his championship fighting career, he returns to his remote Colorado ranch to heal, only to discover that city girl Tessa Grove is determined to stake her claim to the old mine she inherited on a corner of his land. Stubborn to the bone, Tessa soon digs up precious gems from deep within the earth to use in her custom-made jewelry business. But those stones turn out to be sacred, and sparks fly as they begin to guide her to the secret chambers of Dillon's heart.

“I’m Tessa Grove, and when my grandfather passed away, he left his mining claim to me. It doesn’t expire for another six months, which means I have legal title to that mine.”
“You only have mineral rights to a hole in the ground.” Dillon Iron Feather nodded in the direction of the mine. “Which means you can’t set foot on my property.”
“What?” Tessa crossed her arms.
“You heard me. This piece of paper entitles you to dig behind that old wooden door. That’s all. And my land surrounds every inch of it. Which means you’re breaking the law by getting anywhere near that mine. So get lost.”
“Wait, you can’t deny access to what’s legally mine!”
“Can’t I?” Dillon’s face broke into a wry smile. For a moment, his eyes sparkled at the prospect of challenge, lighting them up to a warm, charming brown.
Damn! Tessa cursed to herself. That’s all I need right now is a guy who gets more good looking when he taunts me—
Fuming, she boldly yanked the mining claim and map from his hand to scrutinize them. According to her documents, it looked like her ancestor was the one who originally built Grove Road that led to this mining parcel, which sat right smack dab on the stranger’s property. Okay, so he was right—her quarter acre didn’t include any of his buildings, but it connected to the road. And nowhere did it specify that she was required to get permission from any stranger to use that dirt lane. But how could she convince him of that?
“Listen,” Tessa sighed, “I know it might seem out of the blue that I’m here. But my grandfather meant a lot to me. And this place—this gold mine—it’s…it’s kind of sacred. What I mean is, my great-great-grandfather found it only because a Native American outlaw gave him some powerful medicine. That might sound crazy to you, but it’s true. His name was Iron Feather—”
“Your great-great grandfather knew Iron Feather?”
Tessa nodded. “He was Benjamin Grove the First, and he helped Iron Feather and the Bandits Hollow Gang hide from a posse.” She dug into her purse and held up the sacred owl feather. “All Iron Feather had to give him in return was this, but it was rumored to have, you know—”
“Special powers.”
To Tessa’s amazement, Dillon’s face darkened in thought. He studied the feather for a long time as though it were a precious artifact. Then he looked out over the mountain tops at the threads of garnet in the sky that had begun to spread from the dipping sun. His eyes seemed very far away.
It’s the feather, Tessa realized. He knows something about that feather…
Dillon returned his gaze to Tessa. Yet when he reached for the feather, she seized her moment and surprised him by lunging for his shotgun. She managed to grab it and run several strides, when she whipped around.
“Back off!” She aimed the shotgun straight at him and pumped it awkwardly, barely remembering how from when her grandfather taught her fifteen years ago. “I want to see that mine,” she demanded, her body visibly trembling. “And I’m not leaving till I do.”
Dillon smirked, his gaze tracing her wild blonde hair that had fallen across her face, her blue-green eyes spitting fury. What Tessa hadn’t noticed in her panic, of course, was that her purse had fallen from her shoulder and spilled onto the ground. He crouched carefully to the grass, keeping his eye firmly on the gun barrel, and picked up some of the contents before standing to his feet.
“Where do you expect to go after this if I’ve got your ID and credit cards, city girl?” Dillon smiled, noticing the blush that suffused her cheeks. Her eyes darted to the drivers license and MasterCard he held in his hand, and that was all the opening he needed. With an expertly aimed kick, he knocked the shotgun from her grip and sent it twirling in air, then caught it. He set the butt down on the ground.
“You should know your opponent a whole lot better before you start a fight,” he scolded. “Now you don’t have your purse or a weapon. Fortunately, you’re far too pretty for shooting practice today. But don’t press your luck.”
Another blush warmed Tessa’s cheeks, and she cradled her arms tight to try and stop the tremors. To her astonishment, Dillon threw down his gun and caught up to her within a couple of strides. Before she knew it, she was born aloft by his strong arms, her body next to his warm, hard chest. Despite her kicks and screams, he set her gently on the grass and pulled a long piece of baling twine from his pocket, then proceeded to tie up her hands and feet.
“What the hell are you doing!” Tessa screamed, wriggling on the grass like an angry caterpillar. “First you threatened me with a gun, and now kidnapping? You’re going to face the law for this!”
“For your information, lady, I deliberately shot out the truck mirror and fired the second shot in the air to scare you off. I have no intention of killing anybody today. But I will make sure you have a soft bed and a good meal in your belly, since you appear to be stranded, no matter how hot headed you are.”
With that, he pulled a bandana from his pocket and stuffed it in Tessa’s mouth. She kept thrashing violently while he picked up the scattered items on the meadow and returned them along with her ID and credit card to her purse.
But he slipped the owl feather into his pocket.
Just then, Tessa saw vivid red and blue lights trace over the cabin and barn as the shrill sound of a siren echoed off the hillsides. A police cruiser appeared at the front gate, and an officer stepped out.
“Dammit, Dillon!” The officer called out. “What have you done to this poor woman? For crying out loud, are you that desperate for female company?” He walked boldly toward them. “Good thing Dusty went to town and called 911 after you shot out the mirror on his truck.”
Dillon laughed. “As a matter of fact, Barrett,” he replied, picking up Tessa’s squirming body and heading toward the cruiser, “I was about to bring her to you anyway. She’s lost, and if she hadn’t been so pig-headed about refusing to leave, I would have driven her to town and put her up in a hotel myself without hog-tying her. Watch out—she’s a feisty one.”


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Diane J. Reed is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight January 31
  • Winner will be contacted via email on February 1
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

USA TODAY bestselling author Diane J. Reed writes happily ever afters with a touch of magic that make you believe in the power of love. Her stories feed the soul with outlaws, mavericks, and dreamers who have big hearts under big skies and dare to risk all for those they cherish. Because love is more than a feeling—it’s the magic that changes everything.



Thursday, January 18, 2018

Beyond the Books: Interesting Posts from Around the Web

Beyond the Books is a weekly feature hosted right by Kissin Blue Karen. Beyond the Books is a weekly writing prompt where she throws out a topic (mostly non-bookish) and others blog about it.

Today's Beyond the Books topic is: Interesting Posts from Around the Web

This one should be fun because I like visiting blogs to see what's going on lately.

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening was talking about the beginning of a new gardening year.

Caffeine & Fairydust had a powerful post about overcoming comparision.

Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf shared a review of Into the Guns (America Rising) by William C. Dietz.

Fit Foodie Finds posted a yummy looking recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars.

Finally, Carrots 'N" Cake shared a high-intensity Kettlebell workout video.

What are some posts that caught your attention from around the web this week?