Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Birthday Bash Day 3 with Special Guest Ginger Garrett!

Y'all, this has just been the greatest week ever, and we're only at the halfway point!!!  If I haven't personally thanked you yet in the comment section, let me take this moment to let everyone know how much I have appreciated all the birthday wishes and comments.  :o)  Yesterday was indeed a wonderful birthday, and from now on, I'm convinced that I will forever be "29."  My new boss took me out for a wonderful lunch today, and my husband and I spent the evening with my family at one of my favorite Italian restaurants.  And even better...I actually did get to eat a *real* slice of coconut cake.  :o)

But now, time for today's special guest--Ginger Garrett!!


If you could choose one place in the whole world to visit for your birthday, where would you want to go and why?

Texas! My birth place and favorite place on earth. I'd visit the Alamo and say hello to the picture of James Garrett, a martyr who died there. We claim him as part of our family, but I don't know how certain that is.

My husband has been to Texas a couple of times, and the farthest I've ever been inside the state is Texarkana (doesn't really count, in my opinion).  :o(  I really would like to actually visit someday!

Do you have any special memories of the year you turned 30?

I had been told I would never have children, and had lost a pregnancy after a car accident. I was heartsick beyond repair. But my husband invited all my friends and family over for a birthday party, and I looked around the room, seeing all these smiling faces. It healed me. I was loved. And for that night, it was enough.

Sounds like you have a keeper of a hubby.  :o)

If you could only give one book to me for my birthday (not including your own), what book would I find underneath the wrapping paper?

Beowolf in hard cover. I named my beloved Bearded Collie after Grendel, so it's a story I will always cherish. Nothing ever made me giggle more than waiting in the vet's office, and having a technician call out, "Grendel's mother? Come this way please..." If you know the story, you know that she was the most horrid, ugliest monster in all the world!

And the most important question of all. What's your favorite flavor of birthday cake? :o)

German Chocolate!!

Oooo, that's one of my favorites!  I could eat the icing alone by the spoonful!


Well, I hope all of y'all grabbed your slice of German Chocolate cake today!  I know I did!  And while you eat it, take a look at today's present--a copy of Ginger's latest book, Desired.  :o)

First of all, isn't that cover just gorgeous?!  And secondly, if you haven't had the chance to read this vivid retelling of Samson and Delilah, then I hope you'll sign up for today's giveaway.  Just like the previous two days, simply fill out the form below to be entered in the drawing.  Contest is open until Sunday, December 4th, and winner will be announced Monday, December 5th. US addresses only, please.

Also, if you missed Monday or Tuesday's post, click here for Monday's visit with Vickie McDonough plus a giveaway of her newest book, and here for Tuesday's post for a chance to win a pack of three books!!

Thanks for stopping by again today!  I hope you've been having a blast with all this fun this week!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Birthday Bash Day 2 with Giveaways Galore!

Thank you so much for stopping by for Day 2 of my Birthday Bash!

And ya know what... is my birthday!  The big 3-0!

Of course, we're going to have cake today, too, so grab a glass of milk, a cake plate, and put that fork in my most favorite flavor--yummy, delicious coconut cake!  I have loved coconut cake since I was a kid, mostly because of my fond memories of making them every summer with my grandma.  I would spend anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks with her every year, and we would make a coconut cake at least once, usually in time for Sunday lunch with my parents when they came to pick me up until the next visit.  Those cakes were sooooo moist that when she divided up the leftovers, she basically had to spoon it into a container!  (Then I had to "fight" with my dad to get as much as I could in the days that followed!)  

So, enjoy that virtual, melt-in-your-mouth coconut cake today!  What I wouldn't give to have my grandma here so we could make the real thing.  :o)

Now, while you're here, let's celebrate because I've got LOADS of books to giveaway!  I can't keep all these books, and I need to share the book love.  No doubt about it, there's sure to be something down there that'll strike your fancy.



House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson
False Witness by Randy Singer - ARC
 Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren


Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis
 A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
 Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love


 Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis
 A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes
Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer


There you have it!  Three different packs, and LOTS of great books!

Enter to win one pack...enter to win them all!  Simply fill out the form below to be entered in the drawing.  :o)  Contest is open until Sunday, December 4th, and winner will be announced Monday, December 5th. US addresses only, please.

And if you missed out on yesterday's present, click here to be taken to a fun interview with historical author, Vickie McDonough, and a chance to win her newest book, Lone Star Trail.

Oh, and don't forget your cake!  :o)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Birthday Bash Day 1 with Special Guest Vickie McDonough!

Thank you so much for visiting my blog this week for my Birthday Bash!  

Ya know, I need something to get my mind off of my big 3-0 birthday this week, and what better way than to have a party with some of my favorite authors.  But this isn't your typical birthday party...nope.  Why's that?  Because all of the presents are being given away to all my friends!!  It doesn't get much more fun than that.  :o)  So, pull up a chair this week, enjoy some brief chats with some great CF authors, and grab a piece of cake...there'll be a different flavor every day.  :o)

Now, for today's special guest...Vickie McDonough!


If you could choose one place in the whole world to visit for your birthday, where would you want to go and why?

We have ancestors from Ireland, and I've always wanted to visit there.

Do you have any special memories of the year you turned 30?

I was the frazzled mom of 3 boys, all under 8 years old then. That was back in our days when all the boys played soccer. I remember one day when it was very cold out, and my dad and I had parked the car almost behind the goal box where my third son was playing. He was just five then. I remember one of his team mates racing toward toward the goal, but the goalie caught the ball. Then the goalie lobbed the ball over his head, and Eric was standing just a few feet away. I was afraid Eric was going to get hit in the face, but just as the ball got to him, he bent forward. The ball hit the top of his head, bounced off, and into the net. Dad and I both yelled. That was only one of the few goals Eric ever made, but it sure was a memorable one.

If you could only give one book to me for my birthday (not including your own), what book would I find underneath the wrapping paper?

You're asking a book lover to choose only one book? That's so hard. One of the best books I've read in a while was A Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer. The interaction between the hero and hero was fantastic!

That one's been sitting in my TBR for awhile now, so it's great to hear a good recommendation for it.  *smile*

And now for the most important question of all... What’s your favorite flavor of birthday cake? :o)

Would you believe my family doesn't do birthday cakes? We do birthday pies--and my favorite is French Silk. But if you twist my arm and make me choose a cake flavor, my favorite is plain, ole vanilla or else carrot cake with cream cheese icing.

The horrors of not doing birthday cake?!  Haha...just kidding.  :o)  I'd take a slice of French Silk pie any day, too...although vanilla cake and carrot cake would do in a pinch.

Now, for today's present!

 There's one copy of Vickie's latest book, Long Trail Home, up for grabs.  Simply fill out the form below to be entered in the drawing.  :o)  Contest is open until Sunday, December 4th, and winner will be announced Monday, December 5th. US addresses only, please.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christian Historical Fiction Challenge 2011


I never "officially" signed up for this challenge this year, although in hindsight, I obviously should have.  :o)  I think I have read more Christian Historical Fiction this year than any other year, and there have been some *fabulous* novels in this genre this year.  The challenge was to read 2 books per month, and well...I think I made it.  :o)

Books with links are for reviews posted here throughout the year.

1.  Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer
2.  The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen
3.  Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer
4.  The Promise of Peace by Carol Umberger
5.  The Blue Enchantress by M.L. Tyndall
6.  Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes
7.  The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough
8.  Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith
9.  Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews
10.  Montana Rose by Mary Connealy
11.  Scattered Petals by Amanda Cabot
12.  Tomorrow's Garden by Amanda Cabot
13.  Sweetwater Run by Jan Watson
14.  Still House Pond by Jan Watson
15.  More Than Words by Judith Miller
16.  The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
17.  A Hopeful Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer
18.  A Heart Divided by Kathleen Morgan
19.  Secrets of the Heart by Jillian Kent
20.  A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad
21.  Heart of Lies by Jill Marie Landis
22.  Anna Finch and the Hired Gun by Kathleen Y'Barbo
23.  How Huge the Night by Lydia and Heather Munn
24.  Heartbreak Trail by Veralee Wiggins
25.  Two Brides Too Many by Mona Hodgson
26.  The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz
27.  Too Rich for a Bride by Mona Hodgson
28.  The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo
29.  To Die For by Sandra Byrd
30.  Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz
31.  The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz
32.  Wagered Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher
33.  Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
34.  The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund
35.  Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer
36.  Havah by Tosca Lee
37.  Heiress by Susan May Warren
38.  Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis
39.  Desired by Ginger Garrett
40.  The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller
41.  A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes
42.  A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas by Erica Vetsch
43.  Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
44.  A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell
45.  Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love
46.  A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
47.  The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund
48.  Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander
49.  Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West

I'd like to make it to 50...think I can?  *wink* 

What about you?  Have you met your reading goals this year?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CFBA Blog Tour: A Marriage Carol by Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Marriage Carol
Moody Publishers (September 1, 2011)
Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman


CHRIS FABRY is a graduate of W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and Moody bible Institute's Advanced Studies Program. Chris can be heard daily on Love Worth Finding, featuring the teaching of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers. He received the 2008 "Talk Personality of the Year" Award from the National Religious Broadcasters. He has published more than 60 books since 1995, many of them fiction for younger readers. Chris collaborated with Jerry B. Jenkins and Dr. Tim LaHaye on the children's series Left Behind: The Kids. His two novels for adults, Dogwood and June Bug, are published by Tyndale House Publishers. Chris is married to his wife Andrea and they have five daughters and four sons.

GARY CHAPMAN is the author of the bestselling Five Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio program airs on more than 400 stations.


On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married in a snowstorm. This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they’re traveling and as blocked with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer’s office, on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow , spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly, freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Paul is nowhere to be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside, built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker is in the shape of a wedding ring.

The red door opens and the first thing she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore marriages. She laughs—and begins a journey through her past, present, and future that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available. Which will she choose?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of A Marriage Carol, go HERE.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Southern-Style Meet & Greet with Melanie Dickerson Plus Giveaway

I've been about to burst at the seams waiting for this week's special guest!!!  Melanie Dickerson firmly planted herself on my favorite author list with her very first book, The Healer's Apprentice, and now, she's got another medieval romance coming out next week, The Merchant's Daughter, that I'm just itching to read.  There's a *very* nice surprise in the interview for those of you that are also fans of Melanie by way of a scoop on her next book, too!

I hope y'all enjoy our Southern-Style Meet & Greet today.  Be sure to grab your glass of tea and sit awhile.  :o)

Welcome, Melanie!

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I wrote all through high school, completing two novels, but I quit writing when I started college and only picked it back up fifteen years later.

What genre do you most like to write?

I love romance. What can I say? It’s my favorite thing to read or write. I like writing YA romances, and for now I’m only interested in writing historicals.

What do you hope readers “take away” with them after they read one of your books?

I hope readers will get a vivid picture of God’s love for them and of the way romance is supposed to be. I hope they will feel like they will see the faithfulness of God through the experiences of the characters in my book. I also hope they will feel encouraged and feel that they’ve just read a sigh-worthy love story.

Perfect description...sigh-worthy.  The Healer's Apprentice certainly filled that bill.  :o)

What is your latest book release?

The Merchant’s Daughter is my latest medieval romance and is a Beauty and the Beast story. Here is a little teaser:

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

That cover is gorgeous, Melanie, and I particularly love the reflection of the "beast" in the mirror. 

Are you currently working on another novel, and if so, can you give us a snippet about it?

I just finished the first draft of a Snow White story involving Rose and Wilhelm’s (from The Healer’s Apprentice) second son, Gabe. He learns that his older brother’s betrothed is actually still alive and being persecuted by her evil stepmother. Since his older brother has a broken leg and can’t go rescue her, Gabe goes himself. He and Sophie escape from the duchess, but they have to battle her hired henchman, wild animals, and their own attraction for each other as they ride toward the Cottage of the Seven, the mysterious house where they’ve been told they will find safety.

Squee!!!  I'm loving these fairytale-based stories!  I cannot wait until this one comes out.  :o)

What was the last Christian Fiction book that you read that you couldn’t put down?

Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones. Wow, that was a great page-turner, and a great escape. And I rarely read contemporaries!

Where can readers find you on the web? 

Please come by and see the terrific trailers Zondervan made for The Merchant’s Daughter, as well as for The Healer’s Apprentice. You also can write to me through my website. I love to hear from readers!

What is your most favorite thing about the South?

My favorite thing about the South is that people tend to be friendlier, more polite, and more laid back. Men are more likely to open the door for you or offer to help you. Personally, I appreciate that!

Iced Tea—sweet or un-sweet?

I usually ask for half and half at a restaurant, since most restaurants make it too sweet for me.

BBQ Pork or BBQ Beef?

It’s hard to go wrong with barbecue! I like both!

Dolly Parton or Elvis Presley?


Historical House—Plantation or Log Cabin?


You, you all, or y’all?

Y’all. It’s a hard habit to break.

It certainly is.  :o)


So, as if the surprise of Melanie's book weren't enough, we've got one more up our sleeves today!  Melanie has agreed to give one copy of her newest book, The Merchant's Daughter, to one special reader.  Won't that be a nice treat just in time for Christmas, too?  :o)

Please fill out the following form to be entered in the contest, and use the comments section on the blog post below for any other thoughts. All entries must be received by 11:59pm Saturday, November 26, and the winner will be chosen on Sunday, 11/27.  Usually the winner is announced on the following week's SSM&G, but there's a little something special in store next week with something called a Birthday Bash, so stay tuned this week for more info about that.  :o)

Contest is open to US residents only, and void where prohibited.  Odds of winning are dependent upon the number of entrants.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Litfuse Blog Tour and Book Review: A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander/4 Stars

About the book:

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee her home, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe, who shows her kindness by not turning her in to authorities. But when he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged him. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville society, Claire believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach—but only if her past remains hidden.

The Federal Army destroyed Sutton's home, confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined—as well as the woman he loves.

Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves—and each other—for who they really are.

My thoughts:

It's so difficult to find a starting point in describing how positively beautiful this book was.  It was rich, lush, majestic, breathtaking--so many things that, if I were to actually see everything from it in person, it would all leave me speechless.  And if that wasn't enough, just to know that part of the story was based on an actual historical figure and place, not to mention set in my home state...well, I couldn't get enough quick enough!  I soaked in every single thing--the magnificent Belmont mansion, the overwhelming collection of artwork, the gradual friendship, then romance, between Claire and Sutton--that when I read the last page, I literally felt full, like I had just enjoyed the most delicious meal in a 5-star restaurant.

I can't imagine what Tamera has in store for book 2, but you better believe that I will make a return trip to Belmont Mansion!  In fact, the next time I'm in the Nashville area, I hope-hope-hope that an actual trip to the mansion can work it's way into the travel much fun would that be?!  :o) 

4 Stars

Southern?  Without a doubt!
Sass?  No

**Many thanks to Bethany House through Litfuse for providing a copy for review.


Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually (with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle Fire Giveaway (11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a minute of the fun. Swoon!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and copies of Christy Jordan's Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera on the evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How much do you know about the 1860's?) and lots of Southern-inspiredgiveaways (complete listing here).

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!

Southern-Style Meet & Greet with Margaret Daley

As always, thanks for joining me for another edition of Southern-Style Meet & Greet!  This week's author is new to me, but maybe not to most of you.  Stay tuned to get to know Margaret Daley a little better.

But first, the winner of last week's giveaway for Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes.  Thanks to, the winner is...

Beckie B. (msudawgtoo@...)

Congrats, Beckie!  I've passed along your info to Gina so your book can be on it's way.  :o)

And now, for this week's featured author...

Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold seventy-five books to date.

Margaret is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of over 2200 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

Welcome, Margaret!!

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved to read. After reading tons of romances, I decided I could do that. I wrote my first book (which I wouldn’t let anyone see). After that first book, I was hooked. I was a writer. That was over thirty years ago.

What genre do you most like to write?

Romantic suspense is my favorite.

What do you hope readers “take away” with them after they read one of your books?

Hope through the Lord.

What is your latest book release?

From This Day Forward released in September through Summerside Press.

Rachel Gordon is stranded in South Carolina, pregnant, a recent widow when her husband fell overboard on the voyage to America. Nathan Stuart, a physician who came home from serving in the American army during the War of 1812, disenchanted with his life and the Lord, rescues Rachel and saves her life. Feeling responsible for her, Nathan tries to discourage her from living at a rundown farm her husband bought to start a new future in America. He wants her to return to England.

Rachel refuses to go back to England where her father disowned her for marrying against his wishes. The farm is all she has, and she is determined to make it on her own. But Nathan has other ideas and becomes her farmhand to discourage her from staying in America. Instead he ends up protecting her and being challenged by her. Can two wounded people heal each other?

Are you currently working on another novel, and if so, can you give us a snippet about it?

I’m working on A Mom’s Fresh Start about a single mother who gets a second chance at love. It is a September 2012 Love Inspired book.

What was the last Christian Fiction book that you read that you couldn’t put down?

I’m reading at the moment Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough. It will be out by Moody in November 2011. It’s a wonderful story with characters you care about.

That one's currently in my TBR stack...interesting new series of books!

Where can readers find you on the web?

What is your most favorite thing about the South?

Pecan pie--I love it. My mother made the best pecan pie. I would put vanilla ice cream on top of it and nothing beats it.

I admit to having a slight addiction to it myself.  :o)

If you could visit anywhere down South, where would it be and why?

Charleston, South Carolina--It is one of the few places I haven’t been in the South.

Iced Tea—sweet or un-sweet?

Sweet tea--after all I’m from the South

BBQ Pork or BBQ Beef?

BBQ beef

Dolly Parton or Elvis Presley?

Elvis Presley--he was from the state I lived in.

Historical House—Plantation or Log Cabin?

Plantation--I’ve seen some beautiful ones and they get my creative juices flowing.

Country gal or city gal?

City gal

You, you all, or y’all?


Thanks for joining us this week, Margaret!  I hope you had a wonderful time.  :o)

No giveaway this week, y'all a bit of a break, I suppose.  But be sure to come back by next week for our Meet & Greet with Melanie Dickerson.  She's got some juicy stuff about her next release that you aren't gonna want to miss!

Friday, November 11, 2011

And You Thought You Knew...Nancy Rue!!

Thanks to Wynn-Wynn Media, it is my great privilege to bring you an additional author interview this week.  I hope you enjoy this short feature with Nancy Rue today, and if I were a betting woman, I'd bet that you'll find something here that you never knew about her.  :o)

Yep, you just thought you knew Nancy Rue!

First of all, can I just say that these are the most fun questions ever? Thank you for giving me this delightful opportunity!

You are so welcome, Nancy!  It is my pleasure to have you here today.  :o)

Not including writing, what was your first job?

The summer after my freshman year in college, I worked in the campaign headquarters for a man who was running for governor of Florida. After completely destroying the mimeograph machine (remember, this was 1970) and putting a state congressman on hold for 20 minutes, I realized I’d better get that education because I was not going to make it as a secretary.

What is one movie that you could watch over and over again?

That would definitely be Lars and the Real Girl. I know it’s an odd choice, but every time I watch it I see another layer. Lovely film.

You know, I've only seen it once, but I remember it as an enjoyable (albeit strange) movie.  :o)

What food do you love, even though you know you shouldn’t?

Mashed potatoes. I only eat them once a year, at Thanksgiving, and I make them with a half a cup of butter. Real butter, mind you. And then they rest comfortably on my thighs.

Which magazine do you pick up when you’re stuck in a waiting room?

Usually I bring my own stuff to do, read, write, etc. I’m like a pack mule in that respect. But if there’s nothing else, I go for the decorating magazines. I have been known to surreptitiously tear out pages . . .

I knew I'd discover the culprit for those missing pages one day...LOL!

Have you ever met anyone famous?

Vince Gill (such a nice man with gorgeous blue eyes), and Martina McBride (tiny, precious, and unassuming). But the highlight for me was meeting Eugene Peterson, the man who changed my life through The Message.

Do you have a favorite sport or team that you cheer for?

I love the San Francisco Forty-Niners because my husband does. Usually I cheer for the underdogs in football. Basketball on tv makes me crazy, and I can never sit there long enough to watch a whole baseball game. But football, yeah – although no one has ever looked as good in a pair of football pants as Joe Montana . . .

You probably wouldn't survive at my house!  :o)  When it's time for basketball season, my husband pretty much goes to the other side of the house to get as far away as he can from my whooping and hollering!!  It's killing me that there's no NBA games to watch right now....dern lockout.  :o( 

If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?

First I would bow down and thank God. Then I would probably write another four pages, because there is just never enough time. Or I’d go spend it with my nine-month-old granddaughter who makes all time stop.

You’re first in line to audition for American Idol. What song you would sing for the judges?

“Right Down the Line” by Jerry Rafferty, and I would dedicate it to my husband, because it’s been him, right down the line.

As a special bonus today, I have one copy of Nancy's newest book, Unexpected Dismounts, to give to one reader.  Simply leave a comment on this post with your email address before Sunday, November 13th, and I'll draw a name on Monday.  No email address - no entry.  US addresses only, budget doesn't give me much wiggle room for international postage.

There are only 3 DAYS to get your name in the hat for this giveaway, so don't waste any time!  Feel free to leave any comments about the interview, too, as I'm sure Nancy would love to read them.  :o)

(Oh, and one more thing....  If you haven't had the chance yet to enter the other giveaway that's going on right now here, visit this post to get to know author Gina Holmes, and sign up for a copy of her newest book, Dry As Rain.  That giveaway ends Sunday, as well.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Review: Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love/4 Stars

About the book:

Ada has loved deeply and lost dearly. But protecting her heart could mean missing the love of a lifetime.

Ada Wentworth may be young, but she's seen enough of life to know she can only rely on herself. Everyone including God it seems, has let her down. Having lost her family, her fiance, and her fortune, Ada journeys from Boston to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, to take a position as a lady's companion. Though initially charmed by the pretty little Southern town tucked into the foothills of the great Smokies, Ada plans to stay only until she can earn enough to establish a millinery shop.

Her employer, Wyatt Caldwell, the local lumber mill owner, is easily the kindest, most attractive man Ada has met in Hickory Ridge. He believes Providence has brought her to town and into his life. But how, after so many betrayals, can she ever trust again? Besides, Wyatt has a dream of his own. A dream that will one day take him far from Hickory Ridge.

As the South struggles to heal in the aftermath of the Civil War, one woman must let go of her painful past in order to embrace God's plans for her. Can she trust Him, and Wyatt, with her future and her heart?

My thoughts:

It's no secret that I l-o-v-e Southern novels, but when I have the chance to get my hands on one that's set in my home state of Tennessee...well, I can't help but smile.  I'm so pleased that I made time in my reading schedule for such a wonderfully told Southern novel.  :o)

Dorothy Love easily captured the spirit of Tennessee while also providing a charming historical romance.  Her characters were spot on, and her research into the state's history was evident and well-placed within the overall story.  There was also a bit of information about the art of millinery that provided an extra dose of personality that I appreciated.

Hands down, I know I will be reading Dorothy's next novel in the Hickory Ridge series.  I can't wait to see what new things are in store for some of the townsfolk and how history will progress in the years following the Civil War.

4 Stars

Southern?  Yes
Sass?  No

**Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing a copy for review through TLC Book Tours.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Southern-Style Meet & Greet with Gina Holmes Plus Giveaway

Well, while things may be on the slow side for me when it comes to blogging lately, I'm still thrilled to bring y'all some great authors every Monday to meet and greet with.  :o)  Thanks for stopping by for another fun interview this week with up-and-coming author Gina Holmes.

Last week's giveaway winner of There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones is...

Nicole (nziegler122@...)

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I always knew I could write fairly well. I was perplexed in highschool when my classmates would groan finding out there was an essay on a test. I thought that was super easy. It shocked me that it didn’t come natural for most. In college, I wrote an essay on elevator music (aka musak) and I happened to get to watch the face of my professor reading my essay. He didn’t know I was watching and the smile on his face and surprise told me I had a gift. It wasn’t until I was a stay at home mom trying to earning extra cash that it dawned on me I could make a living. I started writing everything from greeting cards to articles and earned a whole lot of form rejection letters.

What genre do you most like to write?

I started out writing suspense because I grew up reading Stephen King. I wrote several books in this genre that came close to publishing but it wasn’t until my personal reading taste changed and therefore my writing taste that I earned my first book contract. I write relational dramas now and it’s what I seem to do best.

What do you hope readers “take away” with them after they read one of your books?

My prayer is always that my words will point to God’s truths. That’s always the prayer. God, truth and grace.

What is your latest book release?

My sophomore novel, Dry as Rain, is now out. I’m a terrible pitchman, always have been, so I’ll just give you the back-of-the-book copy:

From the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans comes a powerfully moving story that tests the limits of love’s forgiveness. Like many marriages, Eric and Kyra Yoshida’s has fallen apart slowly, one lost dream and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal finally pushes them beyond reconciliation. Just when it looks like forgive and forget is no longer an option, a car accident gives Eric the second chance of a lifetime. A concussion causes his wife to forget details of her life, including the chasm between them. No one knows when—or if—Kyra’s memory will return, but Eric seizes the opportunity to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving.

Are you currently working on another novel, and if so, can you give us a snippet about it?

Yes, I’m knee deep in a novel about an abused wife who finds strength in friendship and mother love. I’m madly in love with this story at this point. That could change tomorrow of course.

What was the last Christian Fiction book that you read that you couldn’t put down?

I just finished Dale Cramer’s “Levi’s Will”. A fabulous book that I was surprised to learn was based on his father’s life. My first Amish fiction. It was so beautiful!

Where can readers find you on the web?

What is your most favorite thing about the South?

I’m a Jersey girl but have lived in Southern Virginia for fourteen years now and I am a southern girl at heart. It just appeals to me on so many levels. I love the slower pace, the hospitality, the kindness, and even the ability to not say everything that comes to mind like we do in the North. My husband is about as southern as you can get and I adore his accent and his very southern family. I can’t imagine ever moving away from the south, in fact, we’d eventually like to move further south.

Iced Tea—sweet or un-sweet?

Just like I’m half northern, half southern, so is my taste in tea. Half and half baby!

BBQ Pork or BBQ Beef?

North Carolina vinegar based bbq!

Dolly Parton or Elvis Presley?

Um… haha Elvis. Sorry, Dolly.

Historical House—Plantation or Log Cabin?

My husband would be plantation, but I’m a log cabin girl for sure!

Country gal or city gal?

I’m a city girl who loves the country. I’ve never lived in the country but the older I get, the more it appeals to me. We want to retire to the country, on a body
of water.

You, you all, or y’all?

I grew up saying “Yooz” in typical Jersey style, but I’ve succumbed to y’all a long long time ago. My family thinks it’s hysterical whenever I say y’all, yonder, kin and other southern sayings. They make fun of me mercilessly. I find less and less humor in this. They should hear themselves the way I do, they wouldn’t be laughing at me! :)

Thanks to Gina's generosity, there's a copy of her newest book, Dry as Rain, up for grabs this week! Please fill out the following form to be entered in the contest, and use the comments section on the blog post below for any other thoughts. All entries must be received by Sunday, November 13, and a winner will be chosen on next week's Meet & Greet. US residents only.