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Dani Pettrey’s Cold Shot Sweepstakes!

Enter the COLD SHOT Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey

As you know, I thoroughly enjoyed Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey. My review can be found here.

Today I am spreading the word about the Cold Shot Sweepstakes:

In COLD SHOT, the first book of author Dani Pettrey’s brand new Chesapeake Valor series, park ranger Griffin McCray and forensic anthropologist Finley Scott uncover buried remains near the Civil War battleground of Little Round Top. There’s only one problem: the bones aren’t Civil War-era.

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but when Finley discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper, the case connects them with FBI agent Declan Grey, and crime scene investigator Parker Mitchell, friends from a past Griffin’s tried to leave behind.

Soon the reunited friends realize they’ll need to confront the darkest days in their shared history if they–and those they care about–are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

To celebrate the launch of this exciting new series, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present theCOLD SHOT SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.

Timeframe & Notifications:

This giveaway starts February 16, 2016 and ends March 7, 2016 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Tuesday, March 8, 2016, and announced at


About the Prizes

Cold Shot Sweepstakes Grand Prize


In COLD SHOT, Griffin reunites with friends after they’ve drifted apart over the years. Do you have a friend you want to reconnect with? Here’s your chance to hit the road with them for a friend getaway!

Our Grand Prize winner will receive: A $250 gift certificate to, good for reservations at lodges across the Continental US, plus a $50 Darden restaurants gift card, and a Chesapeake Bay tote bag, to pack your road trip essentials.




Cold Shot Sweepstakes Second Prize
Finley has a lifelong love of travel and exploration, something captured in her cozy home decor, right down to her steamer trunk coffee table. This prize gives you a chance to have a steamer trunk just like Finley’s, and a coffee table book from the Chesapeake Bay to go with it.

Our Second Prize winner will receive: A $150 value cedar wood steamer trunk and vivid Maryland coffee table photo book.




Cold Shot Sweepstakes Third PrizeTHIRD PRIZE:
COLD SHOT is sure to leave you with a craving for the mouth-watering snacks Griffin, Finley, and the rest of the crew enjoy in the story. If you wish you could sample Chesapeake’s one-of-a-kind local fare too, this prize is for you.

Our Third Prize winner will receive: The beautifully lithographed, $50 value Taste of Maryland Tin, including the Chesapeake Bay Cookbook and famed local treats such as Old Bay Seasoning, Maple Syrup, Maryland crab soup mix, specialty dip, and Goetze’s Caramel Creams.


How to Enter:

Go to: and complete the entry box, anytime betweenFebruary 16 – March 7, 2016.

This sounds like so much fun! Who’s with me?

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Interview of Olivia Rae

headshot colorThank you for being willing to be interviewed on my blog!

1. What made you first interested in writing a book?

I always liked to write when I was a child and when I was in high school, but I never thought I had the patience to sit down and write a full book. I was an avid reader and a constant day dreamer. Yet life gets in the way–college, job, marriage, and kids. It was years later when saw a news story about a group of romance writers that met at a local restaurant every month did I truly think about writing a book. I went to the meeting and met a lot of kind and helpful people. I became a writer after a lot of conferences, workshops, writing classes, and joining a critique group. I plan to write as long as I can and as long as the stories keep coming into my head.

2. Why medieval fiction?

I have a deep love of history of any kind and I love to peruse old books, manuscripts, documents, and even maps of historical and ancient places. My second book “Revelation” was actually written before the first. My character, Julian was born after reading a story handed down through the generations about a golden-haired knight that tried to save the Cross of Christ during a battle. The cross was lost, and in reality probably really wasn’t the cross Christ was killed on, but the

story got me thinking…what if. Thus Julian, my golden knight had to have his story. But I don’t only write medieval fiction, I have penned a few contemporaries as well.

3. Which authors would you say have influenced your writing the most?

I was a struggling reader when I was young, but then one day I stumbled upon a copy of the “Flame and the Flower” by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and it turned my life around. I then picked up Margret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” and I was hooked on reading. But my all-time favorite author has to be Harper Lee. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a masterpiece. I don’t know any author who wouldn’t like to pen a book of that quality just once.

4. Fun question: of all the books you have read, which book had the best kiss/most romantic moment?

Wow. This is a tough one. In fact, I stopped and spent a couple of days thinking about this question. I have read so many romances and so many beautiful and touching love scenes I can’t really give you an answer on this one.

5. What are you working on now?

I am actually working on the fourth and last book in my “The Sword and the Cross” series. It’s actually Hugh’s story, the brother of Julian who was the hero in book two, “Revelation.” I knew when I finished that book that Hugh would have to have a story of his own. However, before that book, “Redemption,” book three, will be coming out shortly – early spring! I know I have had many readers asking about it.

I’d just like to say thank you, Embassie for giving me the opportunity to be part of your fabulous blog. You are a gracious host.

If you want to find out more about Olivia Rae, you can find her here:


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What I’m Looking Forward To

She’s the coach’s brilliant daughter, clueless about love.
He’s the dethroned football star, ready to teach Romance 101.
When dark secrets and sparks collide, there’s no playbook for what happens next.

If life were a nerd parade, sixteen-year-old Harper O’Malley would be its grand marshal. This trumpet player’s got a laundry list of accomplishments to her credit, but none of them include snagging a boyfriend. When a new guy finally catches Harper’s eye, she’ll stop at nothing to win his heart, even if it means asking for assistance from an unlikely source.

High school senior Ridley Estes’s future depends on playing football for the University of Southern Kentucky. When his past catches up with him, Ridley will need more than just a scholarship to get his ticket to college. He needs the kind of help only a brainiac like Harper can provide.

Harper knows she’s insane to agree to tutor Ridley in exchange for love lessons, but these are desperate times. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a national scandal rocks the SEC, and no one is safe from the fallout. Harper’s family implodes from the aftershocks, dredging up devastating memories she’d rather keep buried.

Harper suddenly has everything to lose–her family, friends, and even her heart. Who can she trust? When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love.

Award-winning author Jenny B. Jones returns to YA with a sweet, funny novel about first love and the power of letting go.

So Excited! I love Jenny B Jones!

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Monday Musings…Coming out Soon!

Twenty years past, in 1757, a young Redcoat, Reginald Aubrey stole a newborn boy—the lighter-skinned of Oneida twins— during the devastating fall of Fort William Henry and raised him as his own.

No one connected to Reginald escaped unscathed from this crime. Not his adopted daughter Anna. Not Stone Thrower, the Native American father determined to get his son back. Not Two Hawks, William’s twin brother separated since birth, living in the shadow of his absence and hoping to build a future with Anna. Nor Lydia, who longs for Reginald to be free from his self-imposed emotional prison and embrace God’s forgiveness— and her love.

Now William, whose identity has been shattered after discovering the truth of his birth, hides in the ranks of an increasingly aggressive British army. The Redcoats prepare to attack frontier New York and the Continentals, aided by Oneida warriors including Two Hawks, rally to defend it. As the Revolutionary War penetrates the Mohawk Valley, two families separated by culture, united by love and faith, must find a way to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

A Riveting Edwardian Series Set among Britain’s High Society

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough–not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when Rowena’s father tries to trap Brice into marrying his daughter, Brice makes a surprising decision.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to marry a notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

Trying to escape the shambles her con-man father has made of their reputation, Lucinda Curtis arrives in West Point, New York, determined to land a husband from the military academy. Campbell Conklin is first in his class and preparing to embark upon a storied career in the U.S. Army. Lucinda thinks Campbell will make the perfect husband . . . as long as he does not find out about her father.

Seth Westcott also has taken a liking to Lucinda. He’s kind, smart . . . and working extremely hard to graduate last. Tradition states that the worst cadets are assigned to the cavalry out west. And west is where Seth must head to track the swindler who stole all of Seth’s mother’s money. Seth is smart enough to vie for the top spot, but life isn’t fair and this is his chance to catch the man who ruined his family. It’s too bad Campbell is all shine and no substance, but Lucinda will surely see through all of that, won’t she?Men are optional. That’s the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts preached and why she started a successful women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive them out, Emma admits they might need a man after all. A man who can fight–and she knows just the one.

Malachi Shaw finally earned the respect he craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s plea arrives, he bolts to Harper’s Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.

While Lydia King’s reasons for joining the Teaville Moral Society might be suspect to some members, her heart is in the right place. Because of her father’s debts and her mother’s persistent illness, her best chance at a secure future and curing her mother is to impress the politician courting her. Her first task–to ask the town’s wealthiest man to donate–seems simple enough . . . until he refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas Lowe wants to help others, but prefers to keep his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, but Nicholas still intends to do things his own way. Neither predicts what they’ll learn about true charity or foresee the complications their actions will bring to the town, forcing Lydia to decide where her beliefs and heart truly align.

  So many options! Which one are you looking forward to?

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Jill Williamson’s King’s Folly

Their Battle for the Throne Has Just Begun.
But Will It Matter if the World They Rule Collapses Into the Sea?

The gods are angry.

Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, ground shakers–everything points to their unhappiness. At least that is what the king of Armania believes. His son Prince Wilek thinks his father’s superstitions are nonsense, though he remains the ever dutiful First Arm of Armania.

When a messenger arrives and claims that the town of Farway has been swallowed by the earth, the king sends Wilek to investigate. But what Wilek discovers is more cataclysmic than one lost city. Even as the ground shifts beneath his feet, Wilek sets out on a desperate journey to save his people and his world. But can he do it before the entire land crumbles?


So to say I was excited to get my hands on this novel is a complete understatement (please note that the author is also releasing this book in three parts electronically, you can get started on reading it right now!). Let me tell you, I read the first chapter and my first thought was this feels like an Old Testament Bible Story. Folks, later I found out that apparently Jill was inspired by the Old Testament (I hope you’ve been reading about the old kings!). My thoughts:

What I liked:

No shying. I immediately noticed and liked that there is no shying away from real life stuff here. Some of these guys have concubines. People die. And while the author is in no way graphic, she does not ignore that kings and princes who did not follow God…did not follow God.

The characters. There are a lot of characters in this book. To be honest, more povs than I truly care for. But Ms. Williamson handles them all with a deft hand. Props to her for having different characters who felt different. There were some points of view I really loved. And may I just say that Ms. Williamson does the male pov fabulously.

Romance. There is romance. For one guy and gal it’s fairly obvious that they should end up together. For another guy, I’m not sure which gal, it depends on how this series plays out. It’s not a love triangle (at least not yet) and I am enjoying the journey.

Court politics. I love court politics. Several characters must navigate the intricacies of court life; who to be nice too, who not to speak to, who might try to kill them…

The plot. Honestly, there is a lot going on: mysteries, destruction, court politics. But I was thrilled with where Ms. Williamson ended it. A lot happens in this book, but yet when it ends it’s totally fulfilling.

Spiritually, the novel deals with the concept of multiple gods and finding, believing, and recognizing the true God. Each character’s spiritual journey keeps you on your toes.

What I didn’t like:

Some characters povs were kind of boring to me. I skimmed. And some strange spiritual weird things (people who served false gods) happened. Like weird stuff. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but really weird.

Romance scale: 7

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to what’s going to happen next. Williamson really writes characters that make you feel.

**I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**


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Monday Musings…Cover Love

Four years after a tragic mission decimated his career and his team, Cole “Tox” Russell is persona non grata to the United States. And that’s fine–he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.

Partnered with FBI agent Kasey Cortes, Tox has to pull together a team to begin a globe-spanning search for answers–and a cure. As their quest leads them from continent to continent, it slowly becomes clear they’re not just fighting a plague–but battling against an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.

With time running out and opposition growing on every side, the key to everything may rest in an antique codex, the Crown of Jerusalem–but will Tox and his team be able to trust each other enough to break this century-spanning conspiracy of silence?

In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies that meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.


Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret, and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.


Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention away from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina and Lord Thornbeck be able to stop the evil plot?

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T.I. Lowe’s A Bleu Streak Christmas

How does the band Bleu Streak celebrate the holidays? By singing, of course. Go on tour with this zany group as they get into all kinds of mischief along the way.
And Maverick King? Oh yeah. This devilishly handsome drummer gets a special gift for Christmas. The trouble is trying to convince Izzy Walker to allow him to have her…


I so enjoyed the first book, that of course I had to read the second! My thoughts:

What I liked

Maverick. He’s not your traditional ‘Christian’ hero in the sense that he has a complicated past, tattoos and is a rock star. He was also fun, straight-forward, and he knew who he was.

The characters. It was great to be amongst this group again! I enjoyed the pranks and the love and the fun that they all have with each other.

Fame. For some reason, I do like rock star books and dealing with famous people.

Romance. You definitely saw Maverick and Izzy fall in love and I enjoyed every moment of it. Also, it’s modern. The couple dealt with real issues and it made them feel real.

Spiritually, everyone in the novel spends time praising the Lord, praying, and just living as a believer in Christ.

What I didn’t like:

Occasionally, it crossed the line and was a bit…lame instead of cute. But still very enjoyable.

Romantic scale: 8

Overall, very sweet and fun read!

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What I’m Reading This Week

I decided to step out my comfort zone and read….poetry!

William Carlos Williams wrote: “It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” Restore your spirit and infuse your soul with light as you explore these rich, redemptive poems. Award-winning poet, author and speaker Marla Alupoaicei inspires readers in a deeply moving and life-transforming journey of love, loss, redemption, and faith. Her collection “How the Light Gets In” centers around a lyric drawn from the song “Anthem” sung by Leonard Cohen: “There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.” Alupoaicei says, “A great poem not only informs the reader’s experience; it transforms it. My goal is to offer fresh ideas, surprising truths and compelling images to help my readers grow in some way, to flourish, to reflect on themselves as a part of God’s greater work of redemption in the world, and to learn to see the world and themselves in a radiant new light. As Jesus taught, we are called to be the light of the world.” As a contemporary American poet as well as a follower of Christ, Alupoaicei is one of only a handful of Christian writers successfully publishing in the secular market. She has won a variety of national poetry competitions, including the 2006 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Competition, the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition, the Writer’s Digest Poetry Competition, and more. Marla’s poetry has been published in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. She also has published several nonfiction books that are currently available on Amazon, including Prayer Warrior Mom, Generation Hex (coauthored with author Dillon Burroughs), and Your Intercultural Marriage. Fans of the work of poets such as Louise Gluck, Mary Oliver, Brenda Hillman, Carolyn Forche, Jorie Graham, and Marianne Boruch will enjoy “How the Light Gets In.” Marla’s influences in the contemporary Christian market include Ann Voskamp, Lysa TerKeurst, Sarah Young, Mary DeMuth, Sarah Mae, Beth Moore, Craig Groeschel, Mark Batterson, Francis and Lisa Chan, and more. “How the Light Gets In” explores the relationship between the human and the divine. It uses beautiful descriptive language and careful attention to imagery in order to illustrate the truth that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Enjoy reading this book on your Kindle, courtesy of Amazon Books and the author!

How many of you enjoy poetry?

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Monday Musings…Self-publishing vs Self-publishing

As you may have noticed, with In Deed and in Truth, I self-published with a publishing company.

Three reasons:

  1. They offered me an amazing discount. It costs a lot of money for me to publish a book because I hire an editor and someone to do the cover. I thought, why not cut the price in half? Well…it didn’t quite work that way.
  2. I thought that their marketing team would obviously be better than me and I could reach more readers.
  3. I wanted to try it and see what happened.

What ended up happening was, at least for me, a very discouraging process.

  1. First off, I ended up having to change some of the words in my manuscript as they didn’t comply with the standards of the publishing house such as exchanging colored for Negro. I called and spoke with the representative, assuring them that historically blacks were called colored (Duh!) and that I was black and did not find it offensive in this context. I was told it didn’t matter I couldn’t use it. I mean it really made me feel like they were concerned.-sarcasm
  2. Then, I had requested for my cover, a girl in a ball gown of some sort in a ball room. I did say that I would like it to be a 1920s dress and to keep in mind that the main character was a woman of color. I was told my request was too difficult. They sent me a link with thousands of photos and told me to pick one. At this point I’m not really sure what I’m paying them for if I’m choosing the cover (btw I promise you the woman looked like a woman of color in the stock photo. Promise).
  3. Then I had my editorial assessment and was told the story was solid, but editing needed to be done. It would only cost an extra $4000.00. Yeah, no. I’m incredibly disappointed that this book is not has fully edited as the previous one, but I couldn’t swing it financially folks.
  4. Then, I was told that due to the amount of pages in my book the retail price would be $22.95 and the hardcover $37.50. 
  5. Lastly, in regards to the marketing, I then got a call that went something like this: “What are you going to do to market your book?”

So…yeah….I would never do it again. I’m not saying it’s not for somebody. But it wasn’t for me.