Reviews for “Infusion of Love”

Infusion of Love – A Teacup Courtship Novella

Kindle Edition

When Mahala Kent’s tea party honoring her brother’s marriage turns into a brawl over tea, she’s forced out of her wealthy neutrality. A public debate on the subject pushes her even closer to her childhood friend and hoped-for suitor, Jothan Stout. Will the arrival of a tea shipment in Greenwich push Jothan and Mahala further apart—or give them a common taste for herbal infusions?

Learn more at Amazon

 

 

REVIEW SNIPPETS:

A wonderful look at life in 1774 America. Tempers run hot over the issue of a tea tax imposed on the colonies by England. The women even have their own opinions. A tea party shows how hot things are getting. How will the issues be resolved??? Read and find out for yourselves. Highly recommend.

  • ROBIN

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This is a pre-revolutionary war story dealing with the tea party. Jonathan and Mahala have been friends since their early school years. Will their dealings regarding the tea party force them apart or bring them closer? This was a short, quick read that I really enjoyed.

  • BECKY

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“Mahala Kent’s tea celebrating her brothers bride does not go as she had envisioned—it was a disaster…over tea. Will this conflict over tea between America and England divide the town and families as well? Mahala certainly has her own opinions on things, she is spirited—which I love, caring and has a secret. I really liked her childhood friend Jothan Stout, his courage, strength and integrity. I enjoyed watching Mahala and Jothan as they discovered something new in their relationship. I love the historical aspects of the story which infuses more than tea with charming characters and romance. I especially like Darlene Franklin’s dedication to her ancestress. ”

  • TINA

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Authors are always grateful for reviews and I appreciate every review I receive for one of my books. Thank you to these ladies for sharing their thoughts. Happy Reading, everyone!

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Writing News and Tips: Tanya Stowe

Before I introduce you all to Tanya, I want to let you know where else you’ll be able to find me this month online. I’ll be visiting the following sites to talk about my books.

April 17 – Kim Johnson’s blog

April 26 – CAN Marketing blog

April 28 – Shannon Vannatter’s blog

April 30 – Jo Huddleston’s blog

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Now let’s meet Tanya…

Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…gifts of the spirit and miracles, mysteries and exotic travel, even an angel or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a journey to the Old West or to contemporary adventures in foreign lands…be prepared for the extraordinary. Website, Facebook, Blog

Beginning Hooks and Saggy Middles

Hooks are little teasers—single statements or questions posed at the beginning of a book to catch the reader’s attention. But they are so much more than that. Beginning hooks can create the setting, showcase a character, and hint at the central conflict. Hooks with strong verbs, dialogue or action can set the tone and demonstrate voice. Chapter hooks, those surprising last sentences at the end of a chapter, can compel a reader to flip the page when they should flip off the light and go to sleep. Hooks can create tension and propel the story in a new direction. They can even make a saggy middle bounce again. In fact, good hooks should do all of those things!

How do you create a good hook? Craft your first few sentences carefully. Start with dialogue, action or a unique situation, something to catch the reader’s interest. Give a hint of the conflict, either the romantic or the central conflict…or both if possible. Use strong action words like stride not walked. Punched the door open not pushed. Use descriptive words like blood red instead of red. Or blossomed instead of unfold.

Choosing where to place your chapter hooks is as important as your first few sentences. Break an action scene at the pivotal moment and end the chapter. Finish the scene in the next chapter. Look for your four main plot points and create chapter hooks, ending one plot point with a finely crafted hook. Begin the next chapter the same way. Last but not least, search for your scene and sequels. Break them up. Create high-tension points throughout your story, points that will buoy a saggy middle and compel the reader to keep turning the page.

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ABOUT That Doggone Baby

Everyone thinks they can push Jaci Meadows around: her family, her boss, even her full-grown Malamute, Baby. The dog reaches Jaci’s shoulders, weighs more than the petite event planner, and has decided Jaci’s designer shoes are a favorite toy. Justin Blakely understands dogs better than most people. It’s clear to him Jaci Meadows can’t handle her own life, let alone a two-hundred-pound Malamute ready to take on the world. Can one oversized Malamute and one very discerning dog whisperer help guide Jaci back to her true path? Can she learn to say no or is she just too addicted to the need to be needed?

Available on AMAZON here

 

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April Books and Writing News

April has brought me showers of news!

You can win a copy of my three new releases this month by leaving a comment on my blog. You can also sign up at the following blot visits:

Tuesday, April 4th: Discussing Pony Express on http://liztolsma.com/

Wednesday, April 5th: Discussing To Riches Again on http://bit.ly/2oqEAjS

Thursday, April 6th:

Discussing Pony Express on https://lmckeeediting.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 7th: Discussing Love’s Compass at http://www.preslaysa.com/

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The two new books published this month came about from different sources.

Barbour invited me to submit a proposal for the Pony Express collection. I decided my heroine was looking for the father who had abandoned her as a child. Why, I asked myself? Because he had a gambling addiction. He kept promising himself he would return once he had that one big win, which never came. Caroline chases her father to his last known job, with the Pony Express—only he isn’t there.

To Riches Again grew from a Bible verse. In The Message Isaiah 32:18-20:

My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood—in safe houses, in quiet gardens. The forest of your pride will be clear-cut, the city showing off your power leveled. But you will enjoy a blessed life, planting well-watered fields and gardens, with your farm animals grazing freely.

As I meditated on those verses, I imagined a rich young woman who lost everything in the stock market crash in 1929 and headed west to discover the joys of farm life. When I was asked to write a novella for the Spinster Orphan Train series, I decided it was the perfect fit. The orphan trains ended in early 1930, which made the story even more appropriate.

Both Pride’s Fall and Love’s Compass are in set the Four Corners region. Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet at the same latitude and longitude point. Today at Four Corners National Monument a person can stand in all four states at the same time! Our stories touch on the history of the future landmark.

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And here’s a peek at the cover of my May novella—a contemporary romance called Cinderella’s Boot.

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Writing News and Tips: Patti Shene

Before I introduce Patti, I want to share my latest writing news with you all.

New Release! 

To Riches Again (Spinster Orphan Train novella #4) is available for purchase at http://amzn.to/2o6GS4H

Facebook Party!

Texas Trails Launch Party: Thursday night March 30, 6:30-9:00 PM CDT. Lots of fun and prizes! Every half hour one of the four books in the series will be given away. At the end of the night a grand prize with books from five different authors and runners up prizes from Texas Trails authors Susan Page Davis and Darlene Franklin. Sign up at http://bit.ly/2nfw9Uj

Blog post and giveaway of To Riches Again on March 31st at Sandra Robbins’ blog.

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Now let’s meet Patti…

Patti enjoys reading and writing, but most of all, she feels called to encourage others. She promotes the work of published and unpublished writers on her two blogs Patti’s Porch (http://www.pattishene.com/pattisporch) and The Over 50 Writer (http://www.pattishene.com/theover50writer), found on her website (www.pattishene.com).

She hosts a weekly radio show, Step Into the Light, on Blog Talk Radio, where she interviews guests who share their stories of ways they inspire others to make the journey from a dark time in their lives back to light.

“Friend” Patti on her personal Facebook page at http://ow.ly/ZAu730afIqf

“Like” her Step Into the Light page at http://ow.ly/AlxD30afIuX

and “follow” her on Twitter at http://ow.ly/9JY9308q8Iv

In the Beginning

It is your job as a writer to take your readers out of the world they live in and transport them into the world you have created. One of the most crucial tools you can use is your beginning.

Who is your character?

Give your character an identity. Don’t overwhelm with physical description, but do give some indication of gender and age. Is your reader peering into the life of a fifteen year-old boy or a female octogenarian?

Where is your character?

Simple details of what your character’s senses experience can identify setting without naming a specific year, season, or location. Vehicle horns blaring evoke a different setting than the crow of a rooster in early morning.

What is your character doing?

A character who awakens and slogs through his morning routine doesn’t spark much interest. A character who races through the door of a neighbor’s burning home to save a child keeps the reader glued to the page.

Why is your character doing what he is doing?

Dumping information about your character’s motivations destroys the momentum. Sprinkle your character’s past history and personality traits throughout your work.

What is your character feeling?

Emotion sets the tone. A character who taps out a beat to the music in his car evokes a much different response than the character who wraps white-knuckled fingers around the steering wheel.

How does your character interact?

Is the businesswoman comfortable and confident when addressing her boss, or do her hands tremble at the thought of a confrontation? A character’s interaction with his or her environment can also reveal a great deal.

Don’t ease your readers into the center of your world like a driver who crawls across the Golden Gate Bridge in heavy traffic.

Hurl them into the middle of it like a child who scurries across a brook in a breathless rush to get to what lies ahead – the world you have created that awaits!

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Reviews for “The Legacy Letters”

The Legacy Letters

Kindle Edition

Seven pink envelopes, addressed in Wanda Taylor’s spiky handwriting, represented her legacy to seven people she held dear. Legacy letters—that’s what they were. A last gift, though some might call it interference. People often sought her advice and her God-given gift of discernment. But not these seven, and her heart ached for them. They were good people who loved God and their families, but she saw patterns in their lives that could harm them in the future if left unchecked. Monica was the lynch pin to the entire project. The mantle of the matriarch fit her, and everyone in the family recognized it. But she needed to learn how to let go before she could take charge.

Monica would receive the first letter, one month after Wanda’s death. The others—to friends, siblings, children and grandchildren—would receive their letters in the six months following.

Wanda sealed the last letter and whispered a prayer. “Lord, use my words a final time to do Your work in the lives of those I leave behind.”

Learn more at Amazon

REVIEW SNIPPETS:

“..I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories each author wrote! I loved seeing how the lives of seven people changed and how they grew from it. It even challenged me in a couple of areas of my own life! I also liked how the authors collaborated to make a seamlessly smooth story that didn’t feel disconnected in any way. The characters were real in their struggles, seeing the relationships develop in each one was heartwarming. The faith theme was refreshing; this is why I love reading Christian fiction. How each author portrayed their own faith walk in their stories. And I loved reading the conclusion at the end, it gave hope for a brighter future for each character! A great set of stories I think anyone would enjoy reading…”

  • TRIXI

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This is a very different kind of book. Seven different women each receive a letter from Wanda Taylor after her death. I was engaged from the beginning and couldn’t stop reading until I had finished it. What wonderful advice was in each letter. Well done.

  • ROBIN

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Authors are always grateful for reviews and I appreciate every review I receive for one of my books. Thank you to these ladies for sharing their thoughts. Happy Reading, everyone!

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MARCH BOOKS: 3 Book giveaway

Drum roll please!  This month’s giveaway books are two older titles in new editions.

Lone Star Trail and Ranger’s Trail are now available in Kindle editions from Forget Me Not Romances. You have three opportunities to win:

  1. Enter the Amazon giveaway of Lone Star Trail at Lone Star Trail Amazon giveaway
  2. Attend the Texas Trails Launch Party. Sign up at Texas Trails Launch Party
  3. Leave a comment on this blog, this week and every week during March. Two people will receive either Lone Star Trail or Ranger’s Trail. Also being given away: Love’s Glory, which is my 3rd story about the Texas German experience.

Now about the books:

The Texas Trails series was the brainchild of my agent at the time, Chip MacGregor. He asked Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough and I to brainstorm a theme for our books. We decided to write about a Texas family, one book set in each decade, ranging from the 1840s to the 1890s. I wrote about the 1840s and the 1870s.

The 1840s were a time of upheaval for Texas. Texas became the 28th state in 1845, after enjoying independence from Mexico for several years. War with Mexico came on the heels of annexation by the United States, with most of the battles centered within its borders. On top of that, Germans flocked to its Texas as part of the Verein (The Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas) at the invitation of the Republic of Texas. This is the background of Lone Star Trail, the story of a German woman and the son of a man who died in the war for Texas’ freedom.

Anti-German sentiment rose high in Texas several times. This is explored in Lone Star Trail. It erupted in a range war in Mason County, also known as Hoo Doo War. It began in 1875 and didn’t fully end until the last participant died in the next century. German ranchers lost a cattle rustling case and decided to take the law into their own hands. The “American” ranchers retaliated, and the Texas Rangers dallied in bringing them to justice.  That the backdrop of Ranger’s Trail. A half-German, half-American ranger is torn between one of the victims’ widows, his own family, and his duties as a ranger.

The same animosity caused Neu Branderberg, Texas to change its name to Old Glory during WWI, which is the setting for my book Love’s Glory.

Product Details

March Writing News

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a good weekend.

Writing Updates for the month:

March 13th: Read the first chapter of Colorado Columbine  at Eileen Rife’s blogspot. SAVE THE LINK here: 1st chapter post

Watch my interview concerning A Taste of Honey in Blue Ribbon Brides at video link.

To Riches Again (historical romance for the Orphan Train Spinster series) is with my editor. (release date: April 1st)

Cinderella’s Boot (contemporary romance for the Runaway Bride series) is 54% written. (release date: April 1st

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MARCH FEATURED BOOKS:

Shh. . .Secret. . .New Edition of Texas Trails Available for a reduced price. . .come back Wednesday for more details.

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Writing News and Tips: Sandy Quandt

Before Sandy shares her writing tips, I want to share my latest writing news with you all.

Recently, I participated in a video interview with my fellow authors for Blue Ribbon Brides. This is the link to my portion of the interview.

https://youtu.be/7cFCcwssZG8

It was a cool experience!

In other news of interest, I completed To Riches Again and sent it to my editor–anticipating an April 1st release of the orphan train/stock market crash story.

 

I proofed the galleys for Sunshine of His Heart in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands. (release date: June 1)

Learn more at AMAZON.

I also received the final cover for The Captive Brides Collection, with my story His Golden Bride. (release date: October 1)

Learn more at AMAZON.

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Now let’s introduce Sandy…

Sandy Kirby Quandt is a writer with a passion for God, history and travel; passions that often weave their way into her stories and articles. She has written numerous articles and stories for adult and children publications. She has won several awards for her writing, including the 2016 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Looking for words of encouragement or gluten-free recipes? Then check out Sandy’s blog, Woven and Spun. You can also find Sandy at Inspire a Fire and Christian Devotions.

God Is Pleased When We Do What He Created Us To Do

For seven months a publisher considered my Young Adult historical novel for publication. When my novel progressed to the final gatekeeper, although optimistically hopeful, I knew signing a contract was not a given. And I was correct. At the final step in the process, the publisher decided not to offer me a contract.

Was I disappointed? Yes. Was I discouraged? Yes. Did I give up? No.

Eight days after receiving the “Thanks, but no thanks.” email from the editor who requested my novel, I submitted it to another publisher.

As I reflected on the rejection of my story, I told myself all the things we know in our hearts are true, yet sometimes have trouble living out. God is in control. His ways are not our ways. His plans are not our plans. His plans are better.

After a sweet friend heard about the rejection of my book, she shared words of encouragement I would like to pass on to you if you are in a place of discouragement with your writing.

The desire God places in us to write reflects His own creative nature. Last night God created a glorious sunset in a corner of the world where no one saw it. Somewhere in October a tree transitioned from green to reds and golds, but no one was there to enjoy it. Right now somewhere in the ocean dolphins are playing, but no one is there to watch them. However, God is pleased to see His creation doing what He designed it to do.
God gave you the desire to write and it pleases Him when you do what you were created to do.

If the person who rejects our work is the only person God intends to read it, then that has to be enough.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Reviews for “Love’s Glory”

Darlene Franklin love's gloryLove’s Glory (Christian Historical Romance short story) (Holidays of the Heart Book 3)

Kindle Edition

LIES AND DESERTION CHASE BETH FROM HER HOME TOWN.

It’s 1919. Everything is changing—cars are common and airplanes helped win the War to End All Wars. Even the German-Americans of New Brandenburg, Texas, renamed their town Old Glory to prove their patriotism.

None of that matters to Beth Smith. In 1917, her boyfriend Garan Schmidt enlisted in the Army—and left her pregnant. She left home and built a new life for herself and their daughter.

When Garan finds Beth and their daughter in May 1919, he is eager to make amends and start over. Beth is unsure if she is ready to tell the truth that will set them free.

Learn more at Amazon

REVIEW SNIPPETS:

“… The story is rich in history and characters that deal with forgiveness and overcoming mistakes. The author writes a beautiful story that takes you back to an era where struggles abounded and family was important. She gives her characters emotional twists and turns and find themselves seeking help to find their way back to their faith and trust in God.

The book is filled with a patriotic theme that ends on the celebration of Flag Day. Thank you for a moving story that shows how lies can change the course of a person’s life and how forgiveness from a town and those who love them give them hope and peace in a loving God.”

– DEANNA D.

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Choices made left Beth in a predicament. Feeling as she had no choice, she created a false life for herself until the war ends and she has to decide whether or not to reveal the truth.

This was a good read that shows God’s redemptive love and grace.”  – MARSHA B.

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Wonderful historical romance!

I completely enjoyed this book. I felt like I was right there beside the characters as I read their story. Elsbeth and Garan were great friends when he was called off to war. Shortly after, Elsbeth found out she was pregnant and to avoid shame from her family and community, she left to start a new life for her and her baby. After the war, Garan returns and meets up with Elsbeth, when her and her friend, Agnes goes to meet her twin brother Alfred coming home from the war. Will Garan and Elsbeth rekindle their feelings, will Garan come to learn that Elsbeth’s daughter, Dottie, is his daughter and if so, will he want to be a part of her life of just walk away?

This is a very good, but short book that I hated to see come to an end. I really enjoyed this book and recommend to anyone that wants a complete romance, but is a quick, short read.” – BECKY C.


Authors are always grateful for reviews and I appreciate every review I receive for one of my books. Thank you to these ladies for sharing their thoughts. Happy Reading, everyone!

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Special Announcement and Guest Connie Stevens

Coming April 1st Take a romantic ride with the Pony Express Romance Collection: Historic Express Mail Order Route Delivers Nine Inspiring Romances. As we prepare for the release of this exciting collection, each of the nine authors will share an event that happened on the anniversary of the first run of the Pony Express (April 3rd).

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Connie Stevens lives with her husband of forty-plus years in north Georgia, within sight of her beloved mountains. She and her husband are both active in a variety of ministries at their church. A lifelong reader, Connie began creating stories by the time she was ten. Her office manager and writing muse is a cat, but she’s never more than a phone call or email away from her critique partners. She enjoys gardening and quilting, but one of her favorite pastimes is browsing antique shops where story ideas often take root in her imagination. Connie has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers since 2000.

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Connie Stevens kicks off the fun with a history of the coffee mill and how coffee fueled the Pony Express–at least in her imagination.

Abundance Of The Heart

The first run of the Pony Express took place on April 3, 1860. So in celebration of the release of The PONY EXPRESS Romance Collection, the nine authors are having a bit of fun with “On This Date In History. . .” blog posts.

On April 3, 1829, James Carrington obtained a patent for a coffee mill. So I thought, “WoooHoooo! Coffee! A truly noteworthy historical event, marked by a milestone in the evolution of my most favorite beverage, to coincide with the launch of the Pony Express decades later.”

I smiled and rubbed my fingertips, readying them to uncover historical tidbits for this blog post.

While it is true, a patent was indeed issued to Mr. Carrington on April 3rd, 1829 for his coffee mill design, alas, there is no record of his mill ever being manufactured. Further research also turned up numerous patents issued from the very early 1800s through the 1890s to more than two dozen people. Clearly, the milling of coffee beans and the brewing of this delectable beverage was serious business to a great many, highly intelligent people with discriminating palates. Sadly, most of these designs never met with manufacturing success. James Carrington wasn’t the only inventor whose creation never got off the ground, likely due to a lack of funds.

So, without ironclad facts to validate my statements, it is pure speculation when I state those wiry, tough-as-nails, reckless young fellows who flew across the prairie on swift steeds, bearing the US mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California in only ten days were, without a doubt, fueled by copious amounts of coffee.

My research did reveal a pair of brothers, Charles and Edmund Parker, who were successful in manufacturing a coffee mill that eventually found its way into nearly every American kitchen over the course of a few decades. It is my opinion that one of these coffee grinders was present at most of the Pony Express outposts and stations, much to the chagrin and regret of Mr. Carrington. Or perhaps that is pure conjecture on my part.

I can tell you without a shred of doubt, everything I write is, indeed, fueled by countless cups of the rich brew, and there are numerous references to coffee as the beverage of choice in my story, ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART. In any event, I like to believe James Carrington’s efforts in his inventor’s workshop were similarly driven by his desire for caffeine.

BOOK BLURB FOR Abundance of the Heart

Two discontented hearts, both of whom must stand aside and watch others fulfill the dreams they desire, discover God has something better in mind, if only they are willing to accept it.

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Thanks for sharing, Connie. We hope you all will check out this new collection! My contribution in it will be The Gambler’s Daughter. Stay tuned to learn more in the weeks ahead.

In other Writing News:

The February issue of Book Fun magazine is free through February 14th. Featuring my now officially named column, The View Through My Door.

https://www.amazon.com/February-2017-Book-Fun-Magazine-ebook/dp/B01N80NSKA/

Also, I’m excited to share that Hearts of the West is now available. It contains my books, A Bride’s Rogue, alone with four other full length novels.

https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-West-Five-Historical-Romances-ebook/dp/B01N9YOMH6

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