Posted in Uncategorized

Monday Musings…More Books to Look Forward To

I’ll admit that I was disappointed with the last Dee Henderson novel, but she is a fabulous story teller.

I LOVE Robert Whitlow’s books and not just cause I’m a lawyer ;). The strength of his relationship with God shines through every novel he writes.

Have I showed this one already? I’m sorry if I did, but Laura Frantz is a fabulous author!

I really enjoyed the first one! Looking forward to reading this one!


Are there are books that you’re looking forward to? Any recommendations for me?

Posted in Interview

Interview of Ronie Kendig

Thank you for willing to be interviewed!

1.      When writing military fiction, what comes first, the people or the situation? Almost every time when I write my fiction, the characters come to me first. Before I step into the tricky—sometimes muddy—waters of the plot, I make sure I know the characters. To me, that’s essential because in order to know how the plot plays out, you have to know what your characters will do in the situations the plot presents.

2.      You have a couple of different countries and cultures represented in Talon. How much research did you have to do for Talon? There is always an incredible amount of research. I’m easily distracted, so I often have to turn off the internet to write, but in doing so, I also end up cutting off a tap for information. Research doesn’t necessarily come before I write. It’s an active part of my process. I’ll get my characters into a  situation, want them to do “X,” and wonder—can they even do that? And off I go to dig out the plausibility from research tools, either via email, books, or internet searches.

3.      When you started writing the A Breed Apart Series, how far in advance do you plan the subplots of the other main characters? Or do they surprise you? Subplots often develop of their own accord in my stories and/or develop organically from the characters or something else already happening in the story. Sometimes, however, they are a plot device I use to give readers a peek into another aspect of the story. For example, while writing the third book in the series, Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog, I needed readers to see a different viewpoint to what was happening. . .and I wanted something a little different, so I gave a minor character a very prominent subplot role. The effect—at least to me and my editor—was incredibly powerful.

4.      You have written quite a few novels. Has there been any one character that has stayed with you the longest? Max Jacobs is still *right there* in my mind. He’s a commanding character, and I just haven’t felt as if he’s been willing to step down and leave me alone. I still would love to see him take center stage in a movie or made-for-TV drama or something. The guy has a lot of “presence” and skills.

5.      Can you tell us about what you’re working on now? Currently, I am working on Raptor Six, the first book in the Quiet Professionals. This series focuses on the OA452 group (Green Berets) that readers meet through the A Breed Apart books. I think readers will really enjoy this series because there is a constant team-camaraderie that is similar to the Discarded Heroes series. . .but maybe a smidge more intense.

Posted in Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

Ronie Kendig’s Talon


Book 2 in the riveting A Breed Apart series from author Ronie Kendig delivers another action-packed story starring military war dogs, our unsung heroes. Aspen Courtland wants her brother back—dead or alive. But only his traumatized combat tracking dog, Talon, knows where to look. Can he muster the courage for one more mission?


Exhilarating. Fast-paced. Action-packed. Romantic. These are just some of the words describe that this book in a nutshell. When you start it, you won’t want to put it down. I’ve been looking forward to this book since Trinity came out and it didn’t disappoint. I admired Aspen’s love and commitment to her brother. She was willing to go through all kinds of lengths to find out what happened. One thing I really appreciated about Aspen was her positive attitude. Sometimes its nice to read about an upbeat heroine. I found her a nice contrast to Dane. Dane is an equally fascinating character with a complex background. You will enjoy diving in and learning more about him. If you’ve read the first book, the whole team makes an appearance in this one and Talon is (clearly) the star of the show (If you noted in my previous review on Trinity, you will realize and understand that I do not comprehend fascinations with animals, but I still enjoy these books!). I will say, though, that there is a LOT that goes down in this book: family problems, different countries, shoot-em-up scenes, kidnapping, etc. Spiritually, you’ve got Dane finding his way back to God and Aspen learning how to trust Him. Great Book! Really anticipating the next one!

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not effected in any way.**

Posted in Contemporary

Beth Vogt’s Catch a Falling Star


Is life about accomplishing plans . . . or wishes coming true . . . or something more?

Dr. Kendall Haynes’s plans to have it all—a career, a husband, a family—are eluding her. Now that she’s thirty-six, she needs to stop wishing upon a star and face reality: Some dreams just never come true.

Air Force pilot Griffin Walker prefers flying solo in the air and on the ground—until a dangerous choice ejects him from the cockpit. His life becomes even more complicated after the sudden death of his parents makes him the guardian of his sixteen-year-old brother. There’s no way his life will ever get back on course now.

When their lives collide during a near tragedy, Kendall and Griffin must decide if they can embrace the unexpected changes God has waiting for them.


Now this was a book I couldn’t put down! I found Kendall to really be a woman of her times as she has to deal with having an important profession and her desire to have a family. I really enjoyed the journey that she went through as she realized that just because she’s single doesn’t mean that she’s half a person; that God has given her a life and she doesn’t have to wait on a man for it to start. I found Griffin utterly fascinating and really I only wanted to know more about his life and his background. I really liked the focus on forgiving yourself and moving past your past. God does, so why don’t you? I also liked to watch his relationship unfold with Ian. If I had any problem with this book, it was that I felt there needed to be one more scene to kind of solidify the relationship between Griffin and Kendall. I don’t want to give anything away, but I felt that Griffin could have been there a bit more for her at one point in the novel. That said, fantastic book. I’m now sold on Beth Vogt and I look forward to her next book!

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

Posted in Uncategorized

Monday Musings…Alpha vs. Beta

I completely stole this idea from Elizabeth Camden’s blog: You should read it and check it out. But if you don’t have time, I will summarize it. In romance novels you either have the Alpha, dominant, in control male, or you have the Beta, who is a kinder and gentler male. A lot of secular romances have Alphas and a lot of Christian fiction novels have Beta (though there are clearly many exceptions to this rule). 

When I first read this article, I couldn’t decide which type of hero I preferred so I started thinking of my all time favorite heroes: Marcus in A Voice in the Wind, Red Shirt from Courting Morrow, Matt in My Stubborn Heart, Canyon in Wolfsbane. Total Alphas. That’s not to say I don’t like Betas, but my favorite books by any one author always features an Alpha. And if he is a Beta, he has to have at least one Alpha moment. 

So is this just a female thing? Or are Alphas just better than Betas?

Posted in Interview

Interview of Morgan Busse

Thanks for willing to be interviewed!

1.      Since this is book two in a series (and I’ve heard those can be tricky books to write) what was the one thing you wanted to accomplish in Son of Truth?

My goal with each book I write is to leave a piece of the story inside the reader; that the reader will resonate with one of the characters or plot lines. Son of Truth explores the issues of how does a person change after a spiritual encounter? What happens to one’s faith when God doesn’t come through? Why does God allow bad things to happen? If my readers walks away with the story still brewing inside their mind, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

 2.      Which novel has been the easiest for you to write? Daughter of Light or Son of Truth?

Son of Truth was by far easier. Daughter of Light went through many rough drafts and rewrites as I was learning the craft of writing. When I wrote Son of Truth, I was able to focus more on the story and less on learning how to write. I also knew the characters and plot, so writing Son of Truth was merely continuing the story.

 3.      When writing sci-fi/fantasy, what are some constraints you come up against, if any?

The reaction of people. Really J. For the longest time I hid what I wrote because some of the people I knew viewed fantasy and science fiction as wrong. Of course, now everyone knows what I write. But people can still be hesitant to pick up my book because they think it will be “too weird”; that it will be filled with elves and dwarves and dragons and stuff. They think they won’t be able to relate to my book. Getting past people’s prohibitions is the biggest hurdle I have. But when I do, I have readers coming up to me saying they never read fantasy, but they loved my book. And that makes my day!

 4.      You have a lot of great characters: Rowen, Lore, Caleb, and Nierne. Is there any specific inspiration for any of them? Or did they just unfold as the story was told?

Every story I write begins with an image of a character. I look at them and ask: “Who are you?” “Where do you come from?” “How did you end up here?” When I first met Rowen, I saw her in the field with the wolves attacking (a scene from Daughter of Light). When I first met Caleb, he was assassinating a man (another scene from Daughter of Light). Lore morphed from a very hard, cold man, to the Captain of the Guard. And I met Nierne in the dungeon after her city was taken over.

As you can see, I met each character and started asking them those questions and the story began to unfold as they revealed who they were and what happened to them.

 5.      Can you tell us anything about book three?

Book 3 will be a book of revelations. Many of the questions I have planted throughout the series will be answered, like what happened to the Eldaran race? Who are the Shadonae? Where did Caleb’s mother come from? Why couldn’t Rowen’s father stop the Shadonae?

Relationships will develop and the fate of the country of Kerre will be revealed. Rowen will meet the Shadonae and the final confrontation will happen. One thing I will say is there will be no family revelations. No Star Wars “I am your father” kind of moments J.

Posted in Historical

Kaye Dacus’s Follow the Heart


Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, Follow the Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money.
At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America.
Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess.
While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake?
Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?


When I saw that this book took place in regency England there was no way I was going to pass on it. And it had all the things I really enjoy in a regency novel: class issues, subtle conversations, and romance. I found Kate to be a likeable character and really my favorite character in the book. But Christopher brings an interesting perspective as well. I enjoyed this book, but I did think that the characters fell in love a bit too quick for my taste, and I only say this because I didn’t feel as invested in the romance when trials came. There was the two guys and one girl plot here, but, I didn’t find it tiresome (though I did kind of feel bad for the guy who lost in the end). Overall, though, this is a lovely read. Spiritually, Kate has to realize that God does care, even about the small things and you can only get direction when you seek his face. Good book!

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

Posted in Personal

Monday Musings…What Elements Must a Romance Have?

I know I’ve talked about the romantic formula that should be followed before, but this weekend I read a novel where the romance was quite clear and on display, yet it was still lacking something. So that got me thinking, what elements must a romance have to entice my heart?

1. The hero must be a hero. I just saw 42 this weekend, the sort-of-biopic on Jackie Robinson and I really loved the marriage represented in the movie. Particularly, all I could think of was how nice it must be to be married to a man with a purpose. The hero in the novel does not need to be Superman, he doesn’t need to save you from a bad guy. But, he should make you feel safe and perhaps save you from yourself at moments.

2. Specificity. I want to know why the hero fell in love with the heroine. Why her? Why now? Hence why I hate insta-love. I understand instant attraction, but I need more! There should be a reason (though I am fully aware that real life may not happen in this way)!

3. A smart heroine. What do I mean by smart? Not an annoying one. It’s annoying to have a great guy in the book with a heroine you want to slap. Annoying heroines are: girls who can’t make up their minds, incredibly deceptive, playing hard to get (when you know you’ve been gotten), creating problems that don’t exist. It’s easier to respect a heroine if she has respect-worthy characteristics. I think of the famed Pride & Prejudice. You could respect Lizzy and all the decisions she made because there was a solid foundation to them. Had she been like Lydia, I doubt the novel would have been as famous.*

4. Togetherness. I can’t stand novels where the hero and the heroine are not together. The best aspect of the novel should be when they are together, so you can see the romance unfold on the page. It makes more sense for them to fall in love on screen than off screen. It’s even better when  they sees each other in a bad light and they still love the other person anyway. It gives more substance to the romance.

5. Don’t be obvious. I know that’s a weird one. Romance novels are obvious. But it should be so obvious that the characters will get together that you’re beating me over the head with it. Even if I know that they are going to get together in the end, there should still be some hesitance, some way that when the character is upset you’re upset (and not rolling your eyes). Or if the character is thrilled, then you’re thrilled (and not want wanting to throw the book across the room). So, I know this is a weird one, but the romance can’t be too obvious. lol

Looking back on these suggestions, I realize that I’ve grown as a romance reader and I pretty much demand a lot from my authors. But let me tell you, once you’ve read a good thing, its hard to go back to an ok thing. Got any other elements that must be in a romance?

*No doubt, I mention this in every post, but there are a lot of annoying females out there!

Posted in Uncategorized

Feature Friday….Linda Windsor

Linda Windsor is one of the first christian romance authors that I fell in love with. She writes both straight up fun romances and historical romances. I thought I would showcase some of hers and I promise you that you will enjoy them!

This was the first book I ever read by Ms. Windsor and what a treat!

So cute! And so funny!

A classic!

Holds that wonderful humor of hers!

If I had to pick a favorite….this one!


She has written many more, but these are some of my favorites of hers. If you haven’t read her before, check her out! If you have, which novel of Ms. Windsor is your favorite?

Posted in Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Jill Williamson’s Captives


One choice could destroy them all. When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed by enforcers, and many—including his fiancee, Jem–taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Land, a walled city that seems anything but safe. Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away to Denver City, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land like nomads and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Land has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams. Meanwhile, Jem is locked in a cell, awaiting the Safe Landers’ plan to protect their future by seizing her own. Can Levi uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land’s facade before it’s too late?


You can’t help but get excited when another novel by Ms. Williamson comes out! In this novel you have three brothers who are very different going through the same or similar situations. Can I just say that Mason is my favorite? I feel like he’s the voice of reason while his brothers stumble along. The book takes place in a futuristic America that is very different yet very much the same as our times. There were some moments when I was slightly confused about how the society worked, but this doesn’t last long. Overall, this book immediately drew me in and had me captivated. There was a certain point were it slowed a bit (I think because for me, certain character’s points of views were more interesting than others) and I wasn’t sure where it was going, but it picked right back up and when I reached the last page I was upset to discover that it was over. Spiritually, since this is America, God is still the same in this book and many characters recite and meditate on the scriptures. I have a feeling, He will become even more important as the series continues. Great start to a new series and I can’t wait till the next one comes out!