Monday, December 30, 2013

My favorite reads of 2013, with *7* giveaways, ends Jan 3

Short stories/novellas category top picks for 2013

Snowed In by Carrie Pagels and Upon a Christmas Tree Schooner by Carla Gade in volume 1
The beautiful story of Angelina and Matthew, who must trust God when their lives don't make sense. God brings a better outcome than either of them could fathom.
This well-researched Civil War story gripped my heart, and is penned by a very talented writer. A real treasure
Fields of the Fatherless--The unforgettable story of a young lady who witnesses the beginning of the American Revolution in her own front yard.

Soldier's Heart--a Civil War veteran returns with PTSD in this well-depicted short historical.

Full Length Fiction picks for 2013

Meticulous research and a masterful command of the Civil War period, plus a moving story. A+ read

Gorgeous, literary, haunting, and deeply moving story of loss and redemption, of hatred and reconciliation, of the nature of evil and of sacred love. And set in Upstate New York!

Another stellar read, set in the War of 1812 near Baltimore. Intrigue, romance, and fine writing make this a must read.
A sweet debut and moving story of patience, trust and overcoming love.

Another very good story set in the colonial frontier.
Great author with a stellar cast of characters make this one of the best reads of the year.
Another talented debut author brings a speculative fiction story of angels, high stakes warfare, and a very contemporary lady stumbling into their world. Unexpectedly good romance and writing.
Spiritual warfare, pearls of wisdom, and a well paced story made this one of my favorites this year. 

As thanks to my faithful readers and followers, I am offering a few giveaways. One winner each.

Leave a comment (with your email addy) naming your favorite read of 2013, and I will enter you to win one of the following: 
gently used print copy of Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears
a gently used print copy of Whispers from the Shadows by Roseanna White
Beyond the Valley by Rita Gerlach, gently used copy
Everlasting Light by Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar, ecopy
Return to Shirley Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels, ecopy
e-copy of Gatehaven by Molly Noble Bull
PLUS, Warrior of the Ages, a signed print copy provided by author Stephanie Karfelt
(thank you, Stephanie!)

If you have already read a specific title and do not wish to be entered for that one, let me know. :)

Wishing you all a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Blessings in the Lord,

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snowed In by Carrie Fancett Pagels Review and giveaway

A new short story has captured the essence of family, friends, hope, and romance in the Christmas season. Snowed In by Carrie Pagels drops the reader into a picturesque cabin in the Upper Penisula woods during a snow storm. All of the ambiance of woodsmoke curling from a stone chimney, of cookies baking in the oven, of hot cocoa and sleigh rides, and of hauling in a fresh-cut Christmas tree fill the senses while you read of Elsie and Henry's sweet romance.

Elsie and her three younger sisters are recovering from their mother's death while their father works long hours in a logging camp. Super-responsible herself working two jobs, Elsie panics when her sisters show up at the diner with the news that their father has made a sudden departure, leaving her in charge. Before she can figure out what to do next, her handsome war hero fiance shows up and offers to take them all up to his grandmother's cabin and give them a real country Christmas.

This story has so much to like, you will fall in love with it as I did. And best of all, it is one of several short stories set in this wonderful Guideposts collection, A Cup of Christmas Cheer. Many talented authors collaborated with unique stand alone tales to make up this two volume collection. Keep the holiday spirit alive well into the New Year with this sweet set. Order yours at the following link:

 And for visiting my blog this week I am offering a giveaway of another wonderful story by Carrie Pagels. An e-copy of Return to Shirley Plantation, volume 1 of a Civil War collection called Cry of Freedom, will be given to one of my commenters.

Answer this question: what do you want most of all for Christmas this year? Leave your email addy to be entered. Winner selected at 8 PM Christmas Eve. Good luck!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Interview with Joy Ross Davis--a repost by K. D. McCrite

Today, I post about Countenance, by Joy Ross Davis. See original post here.This is her debut novel, published earlier this year by Ecanus Publishing. Joy refers to her book as “paranormal”, but these days, that genre conjures up images of vampires, werewolves and zombies, all of them so overdone that the majority the reading public is exhausted by it. I think the content of this book can more aptly be described as “supernatural”.

The author and I shared some conversation recently, and I now share with you a few tidbits on how this story came to be:

§ Where did the idea for Countenance originate?
The idea came from a voice I heard while standing on my porch one night. It said, “Countenance.” From there, the story ideas took hold and by the next morning, I knew all of the characters.

§ Why this story?
 Countenance came at a time when I needed relief from the grief of losing my mother. It kept me sane and occupied, and the story blends all the elements of my family and experiences.

§ How long did it take you to write it?
 I wrote it in eight months then spent another four months with an editor to revise and polish it.

§ Do you believe in angels and demons (bright spirits and dark spirits) and were you taught to believe as a child?
 I do most certainly believe in angels and demons, but I was not taught that as a child. I was discouraged in those beliefs, but when I was six, I had an experience that cemented my belief in angels.

§ Do you believe you’ve ever had encounters with either side?
Oh, most certainly. I believe that when I was a child, an angel saved me from a deadly lightning strike. Lightning struck at my feet just as an angel appeared and told me to run. I ran and suffered only minor blisters from the strike. When I looked back, the angel was gone, but the ground where I had been standing was completely charred.

§ I know you told me some people refuse to read Countenance because of its supernatural theme. What do you say to those who think your story is “of the devil”?
This sort of makes me laugh. I know that some people choose what to read based on their beliefs, and of course, that is their right. But I would say to everyone that Countenance is a work of fiction. It is not intended for any purpose other than to entertain…and possibly uplift. I really don’t believe that a work of fiction can test anyone’s faith.

§ What’s next?

Next on the agenda is finishing the sequel, which takes place in Ireland.
My original idea was that Countenance would be three books: one in Tennessee, one in Ireland, and the last in Tennessee. But, that vision has changed a bit. I still see it as three books, but there will be more blending of the characters and places. The major characters from the first book will remain in all three books with a deeper look into the family history and a few extra ghosts and angels sprinkled throughout!

Getting it Together for Historical Fiction (by JudyAnn Lorenz)(original post here)

Joy Ross Davis brings more angelic storytelling to her readers and the Angel Pack! Set in Ireland, 1938, Emalyn’s Treasure tells us of a young woman with a heightened spiritual experience which contributes to the ‘treasure’ that she has kept close by, yet hidden from all, since she was a 6 year old child. Her encounter with lightning and a protective angel lies at the foundation for the treasure story.

Emalyn has led a privileged life during a tumultuous period in Irish history that we seldom hear about. Civic improvements for water and electricity were becoming accepted and expected, although resisted by some people. Assessment costs and resistance to change sparked civil disorder. I especially enjoy a story where I can learn — a factoid here; a skill there! Our Author’s research is extremely active for this book; the descriptions of politics, available appliances, clothing, decor, architecture, and hospitably take you right into 1938!

Our Emalyn is still a young spirit, becoming more mature and generous by the day. How blessed the man and woman who find their matching ‘swan’ to become a life’s companion as Emalyn and husband Owen have done. Joy Ross Davis brings her gentle story-telling to Emalyn’s Treasure as we would expect, with some twists and turns that keep it from being at all saccharin sweet! Indeed, tragedy marks high points in the story and leads to the finale.

Emalyn’s Treasure has no ghosts. Angels are present to take on earthly appearances, protecting and guiding the characters through their activities. Lives are transformed subtly. Supportive characters Fiona and Percy become more mature. I perceive the potential for follow-up stories, but as a skilled author, Joy Ross Davis brings this story to a sensible end without a cliff hanger ending that seems to just drop off that cliff.