Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Song Stuck on the Brain: We Believe by The Newsboys
(Tales of Goldstone Wood Book #5)
Tales of Goldstone Wood is probably one of the most complex fantasy series I've ever read, and I love it. I was fortunate enough to catch it from the beginning and started with book 1, Heartless. I was pretty much hooked from there. If you enjoy this genre, then be prepared to fall in love. I will warn you though, it's an involved story with a large cast, various lands, and cultures that weave throughout all the tales. It's fantastic! But be sure you start at the beginning.
Dragonwitch is book #5 and although I enjoyed it, this one did feel a little darker and heavier in nature than the others. That doesn't keep me from recommending it, but be aware that it's a little more intense.
There is always a deeper message beneath the surface, one that stays with you and makes you think long after the last page, but never hinders the flow of the action.  Lady Leta and Lord Alistair's journey is a great example of a story that captivates your mind while reading and your thought for days after.

An Ancient Evil
Long ago, Etanun buried his sword in the depths of the Netherworld then vanished from all known history. One day, it is said, his heir will find the sword, and the Dragonwitch, firstborn of the Dragon King, will be finally slain.
A Desperate Hope
These stories are no more than nursery rhymes. In a world of cold reality, what room is left for fairy tales? Lady Leta of Aiven is pledged to marry a man she does not love . . . sleepless Lord Alistair struggles to unite the stubborn earls of the North Country . . . Mouse is lost, far from home, slaving as a kitchen drudge . . .
. . . and the reclusive Chronicler, keeping the records of Gaheris Castle, bears a secret so dangerous it could cost him his life and plunge the North Country into civil war.
An Impossible Journey
But when nursery rhymes begin to come horribly true, will these unlikely heroes find the strength they need to fulfill a prophecy of fire? For the Dragonwitch lives. And she has vowed vengeance on all who have wronged her.
Who Will Dare to Face the Dragonwitch?
Submissive to her father's will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet the future King of the North Country and a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves. But within the walls of his castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta's tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the entire nation into civil war. And far away in a hidden kingdom, a flame burns atop the Citadel of the Living Fire. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice . . . and for the one person who can wield it.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, NC, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood and Starflower. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.


Friday, May 30, 2014

CFBA: Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

Song Stuck on the Brain: Hello My Name Is by Matthew West


This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Until I Found You
Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Victoria Bylin


Kate and Nick's story is captivating from the very beginning. What came as a surprise for me, was how much the story of the endangered condors play into both their story as well as her grandparents. Author Victoria Bylin has done a great deal of research on the birds and she's woven their plight and drama into the very fabric of the tale. What in essence becomes a love story within in a love story. (How much better is that? A two-fer!)

Kate and Nick are both struggling to find answers in their lives. Nick has already given his life to Christ and turned away from his old ways, yet he still struggles with coming to terms with his past. Kate has drifted away from what she once knew, she's not sure she believes in God anymore, or if He has any interest in her life. 

They're blessed to have a couple of well placed people in their lives to help anchor them through it all. Nick's Pastor brother and wife are a great example of a healthy relationship. I appreciated the healthy relationships reflected as a counterbalance to those that struggled. Then there's Kate's grandma who has the wisdom of many years to share in both laughter and tears.

Get ready to see how God moves in their lives to show both of them reality, truth and all consuming love. A fantastic read that really touched my heart. Made me laugh, cry and even want to throttle a character occasionally. All signs of a really well written book! Lives change and choices have to be made that are really tough. You won't want to put this down until the very end.

Be prepared, even the ugly condor can be used to create a match made in heaven.


Finding each other was only the beginning . . .

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.

It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to get involved with one of the locals.

Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow--no dating for a year--but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he's met Kate Darby. . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Until I Found You, go HERE.


A word from the Author

This may sound crazy, but I was driven to write romance by giant bugs and killer rabbits. I just couldn't take it anymore. My husband and two sons would be camped in front of the television watching a movie about spiders the size of bowling balls, and I'd be wondering when the handsome scientist would get around to kissing the spunky woman with the bug spray. When it didn't happen, I decided to write my own happy endings--without the giant bugs...

Known for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing, Victoria Bylin writes both western and contemporary inspirational romance. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She and her husband currently live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CFBA: Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl

Song Stuck on the Brain: You Are God Alone by Phillips, Craig and Dean

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Gathering Shadows
Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Nancy Mehl


There are so many good things I can say about Gathering Shadows, but let me just start with the most obvious - the author did a fantastic job choosing a familial name for her characters. I can't help but admit that in reading the prologue and seeing the boy's last name was Erwin (same as mine - and spelled the right way, lol) and also realizing that the story was based in my home state Missouri, I got a little thrill. Silly? Maybe. But there's something exciting about reading a captivating story that pulls you in and sets you in an environment your familiar with. It becomes all the more realistic.

Of course even if the setting and name and had been different, I still would have loved Gathering Shadows. The premise of a small town with secrets isn't necessarily new, but it was handled superbly and every character came to life in technicolor. The mystery and suspense are truly intriguing and kept me guessing and second guessing. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.


Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life. If you'd like to read the first chapter of Gathering Shadows, go HERE.


Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and their dog, Watson. She’s authored thirteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

She and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Never Ending Odd Round and Throw Back Thursday to Boot!

Song Stuck on the Brain: Weelll.... What isn't?!? Today my LF Syndrome is in high gear!

It's a common occurrence for me to get a random song stuck in my brain. Often I wake up with it running on repeat. This morning, I woke up singing the theme song from Popeye the Sailor Man. (Yep, I'm strong to the Finich, cuz I eats me spinach, I'm Popeye the Sailor man. TOOT TOOT!) It was the toot toot that really started to get annoying, but I just couldn't seem to shut it off.

Then around noon I started singing His Eye is on the Sparrow, a lovely gospel song. One of my favorites. So soon it was "...I'm Popeye the Sailor man. TOOT TOOT! Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is He, His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me... CUE LOOP AND REPEAT!!! *sigh*

Somewhere toward evening, the Sparrow song triggered a fav song written by Dolly Parton - Little Sparrow. You betcha! Now they're all three randomly looping through my brain! I've always loved Dolly's voice but when David Cook revised it I fell in love with his version too, so sometimes the song varies in my head depending on who I'm channeling the most at the moment.

It's certainly not my only crazy quirk, my dreams have been just as crazy lately. (I have some doozies you can check them out below.) Maybe there's something in the air?

So now that I've shared the craziness that is in my head, what about you? Do you every have this problem? What's been stuck in your noggin most recently?

Want to know more about LF Syndrome (Loose File Syndrome) check out these #TBT posts:

Ain't No Sunshine When It Rains
Copycat Bandwagon
Larry Boy Ain't Got Nothin' On Me
One Bad Apple Won't Spoil the Whole Bunch... Or Will It?
Sillyness - It's Contagious

To check out my crazy dreams, take a gander at these:

Sister Surprise
Hair, Hair, Long Beautiful Hair
More Weird Dreams
Wedding A Go-Go
You Thought You'd Heard it All
More Oddities From My Subconscious
I've Been Dreaming Again

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

CFBA: Rise and Shine by Sandra D. Bricker

Song Stuck on the Brain: Indescribable by Chris Tomlin

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing:
Rise and Shine
River North; New Edition edition (May 1, 2014)
Sandra D. Bricker


I love fairy tales - of all kinds - and you've probably figured that out by now. What can I say? There will always be the little girl inside who daydreams about the possibilities and romance. As an adult I find that not only do I still enjoy the romance and magic, but I appreciate the deeper, sometimes more allegorical aspects of the tales. Whether they're stories of caution, forgiveness, redemption, love - or all of the above. There is always a deeper story to be found underneath the fairies and magic mirrors.

Sandra D. Bricker caught my attention immediately with her latest Rise and Shine. How fun! A modern take on Sleeping Beauty! One of my favorite tales. Reading the back cover I wondered how she would balance such serious topics as coma, cancer and death with the upbeat and romantic side of the fairy tale. Would it be more depressing and not light hearted enough? Or would the coma and serious issues be glossed over too quickly to make way for the comedy and romance of a new relationship? Only way to find out was to give it try. Let's just say, she did an AMAZING job of balancing the story. I loved it! It was like finding that snack that's the perfect combo of salty and sweet.

Shannon is fun and quirky, but she also has a lot of memories and relationships to rebuild. Including her relationship with God. She struggles with her feelings of anger at losing her husband so soon and missing out on 10 years of her life, but like Job, God can bring new life to one that has been lost (Including a very sweet blood hound.)Discovering who she is now is an adventure.

I can't recommend this one enough. I loved it so much I went looking for what I soon discovered was book 1, If the Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale, a modern spin on Cinderella and Prince Charming. Just got it and can't wait to read it. You can get a free sample of If the Shoe Fits on Amazon.


Shannon Malone thought she'd found her happy ending when she married Edmund Ridgeway, but a diving accident on their honeymoon left her in a coma. Waking up to the news that she's thirty years old would have been daunting enough . . . but she also learns that Edmund has lost his interim battle with cancer and the world has marched on without her.

Her gorgeous doctor, Daniel Petros, seems to know everything about her and becomes Shannon's tour guide into a whole new world of madness where reality television has taken over the planet and everyone's life appears to revolve around a tiny screen on their cell phones!

As Shannon struggles to navigate through the changes-both in the world and in her-she also must discern real memories from imagined ones. Did she really ever wear Capri pants and entertain in her living room, or was that Laura Petrie from her favorite classic TV show? And where is her beloved dog, Freeway? Oh, wait! That was Jonathan and Jennifer Hart's dog, not hers.

Shannon's three elderly aunts flit through her life in true Sleeping Beauty style with her well-being always a priority. And Edmund's sister Millicent descends like the Evil Queen she is, trying to extract Shannon from any claim on the Ridgeway family fortune.

When a tornado moves through town and Shannon is knocked unconscious, will Daniel's kiss awaken her once and for all?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rise and Shine, go HERE.


For more than a decade, Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While honing her chosen craft of screenwriting in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.

The author says that it was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as a writer. "I'm a Christian woman, first and foremost," she says. "So it was a bit of a dream-come-true when Summerside Press chose me as one of two authors to launch the Love Finds You line."

Sandie's real-life role as cancer survivor has parlayed into her steadfast commitment to raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Spearheading a series of devotionals for Summerside Press (such as the popular His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is Not), the author has stipulated that a portion of each contributor's proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

"Being allowed to combine my faith and my humor with raising funds for my pet projects ... and still pursue my writing dream," says Bricker, "well, that's the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"

And one of the author's pet projects is animal rescue, evidenced by the special bond she has created with one particular formerly-abandoned puppy -- a red-haired collie with "killer brown eyes and the heart of the class clown."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Limerick Day!

Song Stuck on the Brain: I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes by Jim Stafford

Happy Limerick Day! Yep, it's a holiday. How fun is that?

I wrote several to share, but before I do, I'll share a couple of links that will help you with your own limericks to share today.

If you can't remember how your teacher explained it back in grade school, here's a LINK that is very helpful.

There's also a page that allows you to fill in the blanks and it generates the limerick for you.

Here's the limerick I created using the prompts and my dog as inspiration.

There once was a Cocker named Buddy.
Who ate pickles while they were muddy.
But the floor didn't mind,
To be salted and brined.
They were used to being so cruddy.
LOL, okay, that one is pretty silly. But for the most part, that's what makes a limerick so much fun!
In honor of the holiday, I wrote a few more limericks inspired by my novel Dysfunction Junction and it's cast. Have a go at these.
There once was a town called Dysfunction
A bad relationship junction.
Can true love be found?
Where problems abound?
This town where hearts will malfunction?

There once was a woman who missed
All her life long a chance to be kissed
She threw up her hands
And said “Oh, My Lands!”
"I may never know what I missed!"
Once there was a girl who’s big sister
Took a beating from her mean old mister
It made her so mad
To see her sister so sad
That she longed to give him a blister!

There once were three men who were sick
Of fighting for the same great Chick.
So they worked to impress
Now it’s anyone’s guess
Which one of the men will she pick?

Once I got started, I was having too much fun to stop! I kept going and wrote several more. If you want to check out the rest, visit my author's page on Facebook. I'll be posting them throughout the day.

I'd love to hear yours! Feel free to leave them in the comments below or on my Facebook page.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

That's What Angel's Do

Singer Laura Bell Bundy dedicated this song to all mothers and I found it really touching and wanted to share it with you.

That's What Angels Do

Whether real angels ministering or humans allowing God to use them to touch others lives, it's a beautiful thing.

"And of the angels he saith, Angels are ministering spirits." - Hebrews 1:7 I.V.

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." - Hebrews 13:2 I.V.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Best of the best for Mother's Day - Early!

Song Stuck on the Brain: My Mother My Daughter by Janice Kapp Perry

There are some really great Mother's songs out there though, and this one by Carrie Underwood is another favorite.

Mother's Day is just around the corner and my sister and I have been busy making plans for mom. After all the menu options we've tossed around though, we've all decided that fried fish sounds good. So amongst the broccoli salad, Aunt Betty's Strawberry Jell-o salad (family recipe and the only jello I can eat), and organic fresh watermelon - we're tossing in some good ol' Captain D's. All I can say is, as long as Mama's happy - I'm happy!

The Erwins: Angel, Linda and April
My mom is a pretty amazing woman. She's been a foster mom to over 28 kids, adopted 2, gave birth to 2 and raised a total of 5 of us all together. One foster brother aged out before he could be adopted, but we still claim the goofy guy. :)

You'd think that would have been enough for anyone person, but she's also helped raise grandkids, taught art and music classes and been church music director off and on for many years. She plays piano and organ and played the cello too. She sings and recorded a CD with my sister and I (The Erwins Acappella). She writes, paints, draws and sews. She ran her own health store for many years.

I could probably go on and on, but one of the things that impresses me most about mom is her attitude. She's a very positive person and has a very strong faith in Jesus. Although she and our family have been through some very rough situations, her faith has remained strong. She's gained a lot of wisdom in her life and she willingly shares it in a way that is helpful and kind.

I'm not ashamed to say I want to grow up to be like my mom. :)

I've found my token of appreciation to share with her this Sunday and I hope you found one for your mom or 'mom like' person in your life. If you haven't yet, let me share a few ideas with you.

My latest book, Dysfunction Junction is on sale for 75% off this weekend only! It's a pretty good price to start with, but on sale? It's ridiculously affordable! Be sure to check the sale out HERE.

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and don't forget Missing Pieces, my first novel. It's also at a great price right now if you go HERE.

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Looking for something other than books? How about giving pearls back to the one who is so priceless to you? My sister Angel is the designer and creator of Angels Divine Designs and she has some great offerings. Check out her page at

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Happy Mother's Day everyone, have a happy and blessed day!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Starlight by Kc Sprayberry

Welcome, Kc Sprayberry! Today her latest release is taking over the blogosphere. Check it out.
What happened to Tawni Barclay?

The first thing Brad Patterson noticed as he skidded into the Starlight Resort was a teenage girl hanging from the elm tree near the entrance. A shudder ran through him. This scene bore an eerie resemblance to a local legend of three girls who had killed themselves forty years ago. No official records existed to prove those three deaths happened. All he'd been able to uncover were three missing person cases involving three teenage girls who had never been found.
“Where are you, Jayme?”

Jayme Barclay sees her 15 year old swinging on a rope from a tree at Starlight, the mansion the county commissioner is making over. Brad Patterson loses a piece of himself when he answers the 911 call to get to Starlight on a snowy December night. A year later, the mystery surrounding Tawni's "suicide" still haunts both Jayme and Brad. Events spiral until Jayme must return from her isolation and face her demons. After reuniting with Brad, she reveals a secret she hid from him. They work with Tawni's friends to uncover the activities at Starlight and rescue another teen before she kills herself.

Watch the book trailer HERE.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Heat Level: Sweet

KC Sprayberry started writing young, first as a diarist, and later through an interest in English and creative writing. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now in his senior year of high school. Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories. She has three books that are Amazon best sellers: Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama's Advice. Her other novels available are: Take Chances, The Ghost Catcher, Family Curse … Times Two, Secret From The Flames, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, and Grace.
FOLLOW Kc AROUND THE UNIVERSE via:  [Website] [Blog] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Goodreads] [Pinterest] [Google+] [Amazon] [JacketFlap] [Manic Readers] [AUTHORSdB] [Authorgraph]

Sunday, May 04, 2014

May the 4th Be With You

May the 4th be With You!

Celebrate the awesomeness that is Star Wars and play a few puzzles I created. Enjoy!

previewYoda Star Wars

previewStar Wars Universe