Saturday, November 30, 2013

Monthly Recap: November

You are probably thinking, "Monthly recap? What recap, Amber, I haven't seen anything from you for an entire month!" Ehhhhhhh, it's true, I know. This is the first month in over a year where I had almost no time for reading--and I mean NO time. Without going into detail about how everyone was sick, sick and more sick . . . I will gladly discuss the two ADORABLE novellas that carried me through this month of bad colds and flus.

(PS, don't forget I'm doing this post in conjunction with the delightful Naomi Rawlings over at Inspirational Romance Ratings. She's got REALLY fabulous stuff there, and her site is another great resource for those looking for clean romance. You can check out her monthly recap here.)

First, one day after cleaning up, well, I won't tell you what I was cleaning-up . . . I was ready for some ME time. My FABULOUS historical author friend, Carrie Francett Pagles has written a simply delightful novella that is sure to make you say "awww" numerous times. I know I did! Reading this story, set at Shirley Plantation in VA, is like stepping back in time! And if you enjoy history like I do, that's HUGE! The hero, Matthew Scott (let's take a moment to savor the utter masculinity of that awesome name . . .) is wonderful and the heroine, Angelina, is so endearing. Both of them have secrets, both have strong feelings for one another. But in a time of war when their worlds are unraveling, can they really come together and find true love?!
I've got you at the edge of your seat, right??!! Well, Carrie will do that to you, too--you won't want to miss her WONDERFUL novella, Return to Shirley Plantation.

Book Rating: Up All Night'er

Then, late one evening when the house was finally quiet, I was desperate for a good romance, but knew I didn't have time to get into a BIG story. Enter, Melissa Jagears. It was as if I could hear her whispering, "Hey, Amber, you haven't read my novella yet, right? Now's the time!" And boy, Melissa, were you right! It was just the escape I needed! Loaded with enough tension to keep even this drama queen happy, Love By The Letter is no doubt a MUST read.
Dex is a hero you love right away. Rugged on the outside and all-the-right-kinds-of mushy on the inside, I dare you not to fall in love with him. I knew I adored him in A Bride For Keeps and it was wonderful to see him and the marvelous Rachel fall in love in their own story.
If you need something short and sweet and completely delightful, PLEASE read this. The only problem with it is, I seriously could have enjoyed 300 more pages!!

Book Rating: Best of the Best

So ladies, I know this month's recap is not loaded with books, but these two novellas are beyond wonderful, written by two extremely talented authors. I know you will enjoy these!! If you've already read them, you HAVE to tell me what you thought about them.

God bless you and have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Happy Reading!

Monday, November 11, 2013



I am sure that by now you have heard about the great giveaway/contest that my dear friend Julie Lessman in doing for her fabulous Christmas novel A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW. But if not, I am here to remedy that!!! You can thank me later. (I accept chocolate and books... *wink*)

You can find all the information you need on her latest Journal Jots entry, and you can hop over there right now to check out the DETAILS!!

But, I MUST share this great book trailer... and I must admit I did get a little sneak preview of this and let's just say, it made me want to go back and read it all over again!

Make sure you enter and PLEASE, don't forget that A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW is only .99 cents right now for the ebook!!! What a deal!! But it is ALSO available as a paperback, so if you are like me and LOVE the feel of a good old-fashioned book in your hands, you are in luck!

With no further ado, enjoy the video. (Then, go get a copy of the book and ENJOY yourself even more!!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Elusive Hope Giveaway and MaryLu Tyndall interview!!

Wowy-kazowy!! How lucky are we?! I feel so blessed to have MaryLu Tyndall with us today! Her latest book ELUSIVE HOPE is to die for. All you need to do is eat a cup of Death By Chocolate ice cream while you read this book, and you'll be dead for sure--in a good way! *wink, giggle*

If you haven't already read my review, you can find it here. And, I recommend you stop everything and do that now, then come back and finish the interview. Don't worry, we'll wait for you.

(Cue elevator music...)

Back? OK, let's begin!

Heeeeeeeeer's the interview!

Hi MaryLu! First, your hero and heroine are each very feisty and strong willed, yet they each have something very heavy they carry inside. How do you come up with such in-depth characters and what's your secret for bringing them to life?

I really believe that a writer has to have gone through a lot of their own personal trials in order to create characters who have deep internal flaws and struggle to overcome them. I often asked God why He gave me such a difficult childhood and then why did he give me such a LONG leash when I reached adulthood?  Thank God He finally yanked on that leash or I'd be over the cliff right now.  Yet, now that I'm an author, I see some purpose in all the pain. I am able to relate to many of the struggles I put my characters through. I suppose that's why, to many of my readers, my characters seem so real and end up becoming more like friends than fictional people.   Plus, I'm pretty feisty and strong-willed myself!  Just ask my husband. :-)

When you write, are there a lot of scenes that never make it to the book? Do you keep those scenes to use later or do you scrap them?  

It depends on the book. Some books I've kept every scene, others definitely needed some trimming here and there.  If I had to cut a scene in order to lower word count (which I often have to do because I'm rather verbose!) or because  it doesn't further the plot of the story, etc, and NOT because it's terrible writing, then I usually keep it. If I just didn't like the scene or thought it was poorly written, I scrap it. I don't want it turning up later after I'm dead in some English professor's class as an example of how not to write. LOL

What's your favorite part about seeing your book get published? 

There are so many different phases about the process that I love. One of my favorite parts is getting a first glimpse of the cover!  The cover is normally the first visual of my characters and story, the first resurrection from the pages into reality. If I have a video book trailer made, I also love watching it for the first time!   I guess my next favorite part is holding the book in my hands. It never seems real until you get those first copies in the mail. But my favorite part of all is getting emails from readers who write to tell me how the book impacted them, how it made them think differently, or brought them closer to God. Those emails are the best! And they give me the impetus to keep moving forward in this crazy business.

LOVE that insight, don't you, ladies?! Thank you VERY much, MaryLu--its such a thrill to get to know more about you, your characters and what its like to publish a book.

And the moment you've all been waiting for--the GIVEAWAY!! (The crowd is on their feet, erupting in cheers!) MaryLu has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of ELUSIVE HOPE, so if you would like to be entered, make sure you follow this blog and/or my FB page and leave a comment below with your email  address. IE: historicalchristianreview (at) gmail (dot) com

I'd love to know what your favorite Tyndall book is. Hands down, mine is ELUSIVE HOPE.

God bless you all and Happy Reading!