Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Q&A with Anita Higman:





How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

Growing up I longed to be a writer. When I was very young (I don’t remember my age) I started working on a novel about a man from Mars who wanted to go to college in New York. I never finished that novel, but it left an impression on me. I knew deep down that writing was my dream, even though I didn’t get around to fulfilling it until I was in my thirties. 

When a reader finishes Home at Last, what do you want them to come away with?

I would love for them to be inspired, challenged, and entertained. If I accomplished even one of those things I would feel my writing time wasn’t wasted. 

Where did you come up with the idea for the story, Home at Last?

The inspiration came from watching the latest movie version of Jane Eyre over and over and over. I love that story. I read Jane Eyre a few months ago, and I was truly awed by Charlotte Bronte’s writing. I high recommend it if you’ve never read this masterpiece. 

Any hobbies you especially enjoy?

I love decorating. I know that sounds awfully girly, but it’s exciting to see the right drapes and the right colors and flooring and accessories all come together to make a pleasant room—a place where you want to spend time and a place you want to share with your family and friends. 

Home at Last deals with orphans and abandonment. Those are elements that show up frequently in your work. Why is that?

There were times growing up that I felt lonely and abandoned. But instead of sharing all of these details of my past in interviews, I infuse my novels with those intense emotional memories. That is one of the many blessings of creating art—to be able to sift through, study, and then hopefully, through the miracle of writing, let go of some of the painful pieces and burdensome baggage of our pasts. 


If you could have dinner with two special people, who would they be?

Josh Groban, because his music inspires me, and Leif Enger, because I love the way he writes.

What are the fun things about a book signing? The uncomfortable parts? 

If I’ve invited friends, it’s always great to see them and catch up. If strangers trickle by, and I’m able to tell them about my book, or if I can encourage them in some way I feel like the book signing was successful. The uncomfortable parts can be when people automatically think you’re an employee at the bookstore and ask where the restroom is located. Too many of those kinds of responses can lower the level of enthusiasm significantly. Before I head into a book signing, I usually pray, and the prayer goes something like, “Lord, if the sales are wonderful help me not to become haughty about it, and if the sales aren’t so wonderful please help me not to become discouraged.” 

Home at Last also deals with dysfunctional families, estrangement, and then also forgiveness and reconciliation. Why do you gravitate toward those themes?

Because they are powerful and compelling themes, and because they are ones I understand on a personal level.

You’ve been published, so what do you dream of now? 

I would love to have one of my books made into a movie. In the process, I’d like for these stories to entertain as well as inspire people to see that God cares for them deeply and that His gift of grace is a present just waiting to be opened. 



How can readers connect with you?

Please feel to stop by my website at www.anitahigman.com or chat with me on my Facebook Reader Page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorAnitaHigman 



Friday, March 28, 2014

DANCING WITH FIREFLIES || RSVP for April 10th Facebook Party and enter to win a Kindle HDX from @DeniseAHunter!

Don't miss Denise Hunter's latest Chapel Springs Romance, Dancing with Fireflies. Reviewers have already labeled Dancing with Fireflies "swoon-worthy" and "the perfect love story." 



Join Denise in celebrating the release of her new book by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway and RSVPing for her April 10th Facebook party.



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One winner will receive:



  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX

  • Dancing with Fireflies and Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 10th. Winner will be announced at the Dancing with Fireflies Facebook Party on April 10th. Connect with Denise for an evening of prizes, book chat, and an exclusive look at the next book in the series.





Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter



About the Book (from the back of the book):

Growing up in the midwestern river own of Chapel Springs, Indiana, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden. When she left, she thought she'd never look back.  Now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years.  While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right in with the boisterous McKinley family.  He's loved Jade for years, but she always thought of him as a big brother.  now that she's back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right.  God seems far away, she's hiding secrets from her family, and she's strangely attracted to the man who's always called her "squirt."  Returning home may prove more difficult -- and more wonderful -- than she ever imagined.




About the Author:

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!




My Review:

I REALLY enjoyed this book.  It really pulled me in and made me feel a range of emotions.

Jade leaves home to make a new life after she loses the love of her life.  She just needs a clean break... so she moves to the big city and gets a job and apartment with a  friend.  After only a short time in the city, she heads home broken, alone and pregnant.

Throughout the book, I hoped for a happy ending for Jade. She's been through so much and deserves a happy ending, even if she doesn't believe it herself.  Can Mayor Daniel Dawson help her find that happy ending?  Can he find the love he's been looking for these many years standing on the sidelines of Jade's life?

This book is a story of harsh reality, hope and love.  It's a wonderful read... a beautiful story.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone that likes a love story with a thread of redemption running through it.



It Had To Be You by Susan May Warren, a review

About the Book:

     Eden Christiansen never imagined her role as her younger brother Owen's cheerleader would keep her on the sidelines of her own life.  Sure, it feels good to be needed, but looking after the reckless NHL rookie leaves little time for Eden to focus on her own career.  She dreams of making a name for herself as a reporter but is stuck writing obits -- and starting to fear she doesn't have the chops to land a major story.  If only someone would step up to mentor Owen...but she knows better than to expect help from team veteran and bad-boy enforcer Jace Jacobsen.
     Jace has built his career on the infamous reputation of his aggressive behavior -- on and off the ice. Now, at a crossroads about his future in hockey, that reputation has him trapped.  And the guilt-trip he's getting from Eden Christiansen isn't making things any easier. But when Owen's carelessness leads to a career-threatening injury and Eden stumbles onto a story that could be her big break, she and Jace are thrown together... and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all. 

Learn more and purchase a copy at Susan’s website.




About the Author:

Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award–winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women’s events about God’s amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors. Visit MyBookTherapy.com to learn more. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com 




My Review:

Wow! What a great follow up to the first book of the Christiansen Family series-- Take a Chance on Me!  

It Had To Be You is the story of Eden Christiansen, the one Christiansen who feels she has no talent or purpose in life.  She's everyone's cheerleader and for the last many, many years, she has been her brother Owen's cheerleader, laundress, maid and whatever else he needed.  Unfortunately, this has caused her to sit on the sidelines in her own life.  Eden finds herself frustrated .... with her job, with her lack of committed boyfriends and friends and with life in general.  

I believe that most everyone can relate to one character in this book or the other.  Maybe you are the shadow... on the sidelines of life and cheering everyone else on or maybe you have a reputation that you don't want and maybe don't even deserve.  God is bigger than both of these situations and so much more... He has a plan for your life.  

This book is a great read. Not only does it have a beautiful love story (that most girls want), but it also has an uplifting and encouraging message.  I would definitely recommend this book to a friend (or stranger!).  While you don't have have read the first book in the series, I would suggest that you do.  Once you read one, you'll want to read them all.  Included in this book is a free novella, the love story that started-- I Really Do Miss Your Smile.





Monday, March 24, 2014

A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare, a review


About the Book(from back cover):

Can a quilt bridge the gap between two cultures?

After her husband is killed, Frankie Chasing Bear wants a fresh start, a new way of life.  But in 1951, that's not easy, especially for a Lakota woman.  Frankie quickly leans that raising her son, Harold, to revere his Lakota heritage will be a challenge in the white man's world.

Searching for a way for her son to respect his ancestors but also embrace a future of opportunity, she beings a Lakota Star-pattern quilt -- something that will not let him forget where he came from.  As she tells him, "A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars."

But Frankie's determination is not without trouble.  Federal Agent Nick Parker, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust.  he's not a true Lakota-- and he's Christian.  Will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient for her son's quilt -- and life itself?



About the Author: 

Linda S. Clare is an award-winning author of books, essays, short stories, and poems.  She edits and mentors writers and is a frequent conference speaker and church retreat leader.  She anther husband have four grown children. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their three wayward cats.




My take on the book:

So far, I have really enjoyed the Quilts of Love books that I have read.  Unfortunately, this one was not my favorite.  For some reason, I just couldn't really get into the book... it didn't draw me in and actually at times irritated me.

If I skimmed over the parts that irritated me (the constant mention of Frankie putting her hand in front of her face as was Lakota tradition or the constant mention of Nick being a half-breed and not truly a Lakota), then the book is really good.

The story line itself is good... a young Lakota and widowed mother of one wants to be the best mom and give her son the best life he can have and she can give him. She attends the local Indian school and works in the kitchen while Harold goes to the Indian school as well.  As she struggles through the day-to-day life of a Native American living in the white man's world, she remembers the words of her grandmother, "A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars."  With these words in her thoughts and her grandmother's faith and Lakota traditions on her mind, she works on a Lakota Star Quilt for her son.

Nick is a half-breed and he feels it.  He struggles with his father's demons-- the bottle and anger, that became his own and trying to fit in the white man's world as well.  As with anyone with a mixed ethnic heritage, Nick doesn't know where he belongs or how he can honor both ethnicities/heritages.  When he meets Frankie Chasing Bear, his heart feels a pull, but after being burned in a first marriage, he isn't sure he wants anything to do with her.

How can Frankie raise her son to be proud of his heritage, but also make more of his life than to be a drunk like his father?  How does Nick stay sober while being a go-between for the Native Americans and the federal government. And where does GOD fit into it all??

As I said, a good story-line and an enjoyable read.

Check it out here:  http://www.amazon.com/Sky-Without-Stars-Quilts-Series/dp/1426752792

http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/a-sky-without-stars-linda-clare



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