Friday, July 1, 2011

Pursued, by Lillian Duncan

Congratulations to my fellow Spinner of Tales, Lillian Duncan.

Her new book is out TODAY, from White Rose Publishing.

Big-city Lawyer. Country Farmer.
In the normal course of events, their lives would never intersect...
But some accidents aren't meant to be avoided.
When attorney Reggie Meyers crashes into Dylan Monroe on the freeway, it makes a bad day even worse—or so she thinks until she discovers she’s the prey in the deadly hunt of an unknown killer. Now, trusting this man she hardly knows is Reggie’s best chance for survival. The problem? Reggie doesn’t trust anyone.
When Dylan catches a glimpse of Reggie’s ransacked apartment, his protective instincts kick in. He wants to help her, but she’s not inclined to believe a simple country farmer has what it takes. Reggie doesn’t realize Dylan knows a lot about hunting—and being hunted. He’s up for the task of trapping a killer, keeping Reggie safe, and winning her heart—if she’ll let him.

Hop on over to the Spinning Tales blog and check out this great new romance with a touch of suspense.

And check out the content we're gradually adding. Tips and tools for writing, talking about our new books, information on all the Spinners, and eventually contests to win prizes and chances to meet us face-to-face.

It'll be fun!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: No Plot? No Problem!

I want to know how Chris Baty managed to write this incredible, helpful, sometimes refreshingly silly book with his tongue so permanently fixed in his cheek, it probably popped right through!

The mad genius and benefactor behind National Novel Writing Month offers this book on the NaNo site to give guidance to those who think: A WHOLE BOOK, rough drafted in 30 days? Ain't no way, Jose!

I've been looking at the book for the last three NaNo seasons, and finally broke down and got it. Not that I have any trouble writing a rough draft in 30 days (not to be bragging, because I think it's a touch of OCD here!), but this fresh perspective on preparation, on deciding what you can ignore and what you need to focus on, and developing priorities in your weird and wonderful novelling journey ... it HELPED!

It doesn't matter if you're going to do NaNoWriMo this year, if you've never done it, if you keep thinking about it and life gets in the way: If you want to write a book, read this book. Because honestly, there is no one, hard-and-fast way to write a book. Everybody's brain is wired differently, so logic dictates (I got a very high score in logic on my GRE, so trust me on this!) that everybody comes to the novelling task in a slightly different way. This book could be the "ah hah!" moment in finding your process.

Read it. Snicker. Scratch your head. Snicker some more. Wait for the light bulb to go off.
Repeat as needed.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


In the Second Chances series by Terri Blackstock, from Zondervan Publishing.

When Dreams Cross is the story of Andi and Justin -- rich girl making good, and brilliant creative artist. They both have baggage, they both have chips on their shoulders. And they both have history.

That's the essence of the Second Chance books -- a couple separated by circumstances, tragedy, secrets, whatever ... and how they come back together.

Andi's father came between them fifteen years ago. He offered Justin mega-$$$ to go away. Justin, insulted (naturally) went away to cool off and think. Well, when he vanished for a week with no explanation, what was Andi to think when her father told her that he offered Justin $$$ to get out of her life? And of course, both of them being proud, hurting people, they hurt each other more.

Enter the fifteen years of silence.

The story starts when Andi, who is building a Bible-themed amusement park -- with the requisite opposition from the surrounding residents and businesses and Boss Hogg-type mogul -- decides she needs a cartoon theme to pull everything together, to give a face to Promised Land. Enter Khaki's Krewe, a team of wise animals ... who just happen to be the brain children of one Justin Pierce.

Can Andi and Justin not only get over their pain and distrust, work together, make Promised Land a success and discover who is willing to do anything to stop the park from opening, but learn they're still in love?

Read it and find out.

There are several books in the series, and the next one is launched by an event in When Dreams Cross. I'm looking forward to reading it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review -- ROOMS, by Jim Rubart

ROOMS, by Jim Rubart, was the "talk" of the latest ACFW conference in Indianapolis this year. So, when I found it was available in Nook, I bought it.

(Yes, I have over 115 books in my to-be-read bookshelf, but I had a B&N gift card credit burning a hole in the ether, so ...)

What can you say about a book like this? Part "Replay," part "It's a Wonderful Life." A little downright spooky in places. It reminded me of some stories by Charles DeLint, where a fictional world is impacted by what happens in a writer's life -- and that world impacts the author.

Micah Taylor, the hero, inherits a house on the beach from a weird old uncle he never met. Just the fact the house is on the beach where his mother died when he was a child -- and his father blamed him for it -- is enough to make Micah hesitate to go down to check it out. His business partner/love interest looks up the property value and tells him to just sell it, don't waste his time checking it out. His estranged father tells him to get rid of it. Micah goes to check it out.

You'll fall in love with the story with very little effort, just like Micah falls in love/like/loathing/fascination/obsession with the house.

A place where dreams come true ... means nightmares become real, when you really think about it.

As Micah faces parts of his past he has tried to forget, and rooms appear without warning in this odd, somehow-alive house ... his life in the real world gets rewritten.

Yeah, that sounds good on the surface ... but is it? Especially when you have no control over what gets rewritten and how, and who you'll lose from your life?

Read it.
Shiver a little.
Stop and go, "Hey, yeah ..." or sometimes, "HUH!?!?"


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Review -- THE GREEN VEIL, Empire in Pine book One, by Naomi Musch

THE GREEN VEIL, Empire in Pine Book One, by Naomi Musch
January 2011 release from Desert Breeze Publishing

Lovely, soft, quiet in some ways. Gritty and painful in others.
"Real" is an over-used word, in some ways. But it feels real -- the people are real, their trials and tribulations and problems and joys and sorrows and bad choices and triumphs.

An interesting view of the pioneering/growth days of Wisconsin and the logging industry. I just never thought that lumberjacks and the lumber industry would make an interesting backdrop for a romance. Naomi carried it off.

Hmm, but the funny thing is, I DID love "Here Come the Brides." (Does that date me, or what?)
(And it wasn't because of Bobby Sherman, either. I didn't even know who he was!)

I recommend this book -- and I'm not really a fan or ardent reader of historical fiction. I knew Naomi was doing a great job with her characters when I was gritting my teeth and muttering, "You dummy, don't do that!"
She made me care. When I had a dozen other things to do in the day, I always made sure I read a few chapters of the book, because I wanted to know what Colette and Manason were going to do next!

Colette and her family headed into the vast, pine wilderness, leaving behind their friends and the boy she loved -- but who certainly didn't seem to realize it! He had dreams of making his fortune in the lumber business, of traveling and seeing and doing -- certainly not of settling down and being domesticated.

Years later, after some bad choices, after the mistakes and carelessness, schemes and selfishness of others got in their way ... well, you'll just have to read the book. They certainly earn their happy ending!

Good job, Naomi!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Review -- Seasons in the Mist

I'm delighted to start my semi-regular (meaning there's no predicting when they'll show up) book reviews with a superb time-travel romance by my good friend, Deb Kinnard.

Seasons in the Mist follows historian Bethany Lindstrom as she walks down a chilly hallway in the ruins of a Cornish manor, and comes out into the history she's been studying.

And she learns that all the books in the world can't prepare a modern woman for the culture shock of everyday, little things -- food, clothes, hygiene, chores -- as well as the social strata.

I admit, I have trouble with time-travel stories, just because of those pesky laws of physics -- especially the one that says something can't be two places at the same time. The molecules that make up Bethany's present body also existed somewhere else centuries ago, so ... don't use your scientific imagination too much. It can lead to disturbing images.

Anyway ... Deb covers that question admirably, and simply, and elegantly. So that the question really doesn't come up.

After all, if the One who made all matter sends you back through time, don't you think He's going to cover little problems like that?
And Bethany definitely has been sent back through time for a mission, but like Dr. Sam Becket of Quantum Leap fame, she doesn't figure out what that purpose is until she steps down the hallway, back to her own time, and realizes that a few small details have ... changed.

The heartbreaking question for Bethany is if she'll be allowed to return to the time and the man she has grown to love.

Go check out the dozens of rave reviews for Mist on Amazon. You'll agree. Deb did a superb job, making her historical era real, sometimes even uncomfortable and smelly! Real enough that I writhed for Bethany, and there were times I didn't want to put the book down, because I had to know how she was going to get out of this little -- or big -- mess.

Read it. And look for other books by Deb Kinnard. No matter what era she's writing in, you'll love her characters, laugh with them, ache for them, and cheer for them.