Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Spotlight: Wildfire Creek by Shirleen Davies

Book Description

“A passionate story of rebuilding lives and working to find a place in the wild frontier during the years following the American Civil War. A rugged, heartwarming story of choices and love in the continuing saga of Redemption Mountain.”

Luke Pelletier is settling into his new life as a rancher and occasional Pinkerton Agent, leaving his past as an ex-Confederate major and Texas Ranger far behind. He wants nothing more than to work the ranch, charm the ladies, and live a life of carefree bachelorhood.

Ginny Sorensen has accepted her responsibility as the sole provider for herself and her younger sister. The desire to continue their journey to Oregon is crushed when the need for food and shelter keeps them in the growing frontier town of Splendor, Montana, forcing Ginny to accept work as a server in the local saloon.

Luke has never met a woman as lovely and unspoiled as Ginny. He longs to know her, yet fears his wild ways and unsettled nature aren’t what she deserves. She’s a girl you marry, but that is nowhere in Luke’s plans. Complicating their tenuous friendship, a twist in circumstances forces Ginny closer to the man she most wants to avoid—the man who can destroy her dreams, and who’s captured her heart.

Believing his bachelor status firm, Luke moves from danger to adventure, never dreaming each step he takes brings him closer to his true destiny and a life much different from what he imagines.


“Hold it right there.”

Ginny froze, not recognizing the deep growl coming from behind her.

“Put your hands up and turn around.”

She did as he asked, her heart pounding, wondering if someone had slipped by Hank to come in the front door. Slowly she turned, raising her eyes to meet those of the man holding a gun on her. Her breath caught at the sight of Luke, his face hard, his mouth in a thin line. She could see the instant recognition dawned. He lowered the gun in a quick motion and slammed it into the holster.

“What the hell are you doing here? And why are you dressed like that?”

She swallowed the hard lump in her throat and took in a shuttering breath, anger replacing the fear she’d felt.

“You scared the daylights out of me,” she hissed and pulled the hat off her head, exposing soft brown wisps of hair which had escaped the loose bun.

He held his ground, taking in the sight of her in men’s trousers, a too big shirt haphazardly tucked inside and held together by a wide leather belt. The coat he’d given her covered the ridiculous outfit. He let his gaze
wander over her, his eyes softening at the same time his body tightened—a reaction he was powerless to control.

“I asked what you’re doing here, sneaking around the house. Stealing?”

“I am not stealing,” she threw back at him. “I work here.”

“What?” His voice took on a hard edge as his eyes narrowed, signaling his disbelief.

“Dax and Rachel hired me to take on Bernice’s job.”

He took a step forward, then thought better of it, crossing his arms over his chest, planting his feet shoulder width apart. Frustration warred with the desire he felt toward her. This was not what he’d expected to come
home to—Ginny living at the ranch. It slammed into him that he’d see her every day, obliged to be around her, and forced to fight his constant attraction toward her. His jaw hardened as he processed the implication of her new position. He didn’t like it. Not one bit.

“We’ll see about that.” He turned and stormed from the room, walking into the study, slamming the door behind him.


Shirleen Davies writes romance—historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense. She grew up in Southern California, attended Oregon State University, and has degrees from San Diego State University and the University of Maryland. During the day she provides consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. But her real passion is writing emotionally charged stories of flawed people who find redemption through love and acceptance.

She now lives with her husband in a beautiful town in northern Arizona.

Web links


Buy Links

Tour giveaway

$15 Amazon Gift Card
eBook of Redemption’s Edge, Book One, Redemption
eBook of Tougher than the Rest, Book One,
MacLarens of Fire Mountain
eBook of Second Summer, Book One, MacLarens
of Fire Mountain Contemporary

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Book Blitz: Archanagel by Alaina Stanford

We are so excited to spotlight book 3 of the Archangel series today! Let's take a look at this great book.


Ariel has proven her prowess on the battlefield. Still since the Great War she has maintained a low profile allowing her fellow archangels to take a leading role. Just as she finally strikes out on her own she meets a stubborn Texas cattle rancher named Orson Anderson. His steely blue eyes and bold Texan attitude immediately set her on the defense. Yet it's her job to save Texas from a wicked drought, but it's not going to be that easy. While gently urging nature to move moisture into Texas, she discovers demons at work in the oil fields.

Her small task quickly escalates. Suddenly the entire nation is at risk and it's up to her to save it.

Author Bio

I have one of those brains that won't turn off at night. Many nights I would distract my intellect by revamping a movie, book or TV show in my mind. I would twist and turn the plots and characters to achieve the ending I preferred. That developed into side stories about my favorite minor characters. Each night I fell asleep in the middle of a grand adventure. It wasn't long before I began to create stories of my own and put pen to paper.

I love a good adventure. I love a good romance. As the mother of seven children, I also learned to love to play video games. One day it occurred to me to write an adventure that flowed like a video game and I added a touch of romance. Thus, Hypnotic Journey was born. The HJ characters are like a family to me. They are foolish, daring, resourceful, passionate and dedicated to their friends.

My love for Science Fiction gave birth to the Treborel Series. It’s a paranormal Sci-Fi romance featuring a psychotic villain and a multiple layer of hero's fighting to survive the chaos.

I write about how friendship and love can carry you through situations that you might not otherwise survive. You will find my stories exciting and steamy, but I am not an erotic writer. My stories fade to dark when the steam begins to rise, but take it from me, the steam does rise and emotions do soar.

Make Sure you check out the Authors pages as well
• Website:

And the link to Pre-Order your copy of the book

I know you are all excited to read a little more about this book and the author. Follow along with the blitz here.

Top 10 list for Alaina Stanford

1. A good exciting scifi/fantasy book
2. The Hobbit movies
3. A dozen roses on a special occasion
4. Drive-in theater- why oh why are they disappearing!
5. Anything pink
6. Kind people
7. Sitting on a beach with a good book
8. The mountains
9. My dog Jack- when he's not barking
10. My family

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Now go check out all these other blogs that are spotlighting The Echo of Her Presence today! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: The Bootlegger's Wife by Terri Lee

Winner of the Weta Nichols National Fiction Writing Contest for Historical Fiction, 2014

The Bootlegger's Wife, by Terri Lee
2014, 315p, Clean Historical Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the author for an honest review

Life often demands much of love. True love always answers, yes.

It's a story as old as time. Then again, every love story is brand new. And the world never tires of rooting for a couple who hand in hand are determined to defy the odds. So we turn each page with hopeful hearts as we watch the layers of love unfold, knowing all the while that no two people arrive at true love's door unscathed. There is always a price to pay.

Life had been well planned for Frances Durant, but she was fond of saying, "I rarely do what's expected of me." In the summer of 1919 she, like the rest of the country, was ready to throw off the gray days of war and laugh again, now that the 1920s were about to come roaring onto the scene and change everything. What she wasn't ready for was a tall, tanned Marine fresh from the battlefield and ready to take New York City by storm.

Frankie Lee was just the sort of guy to sweep a restless young heiress off her feet. The sort of man who could see that her sass was a thin veil covering an emptiness, a longing and a heart waiting to be found. Their two worlds collide on the dance floor and set in motion a love story that careens through the twenties, when the world thought the parties would never end, to the crash of 1929 and the devastation that followed. A brush with the dark side of the bootleg world, and a tragedy that reaches out from the cold dark night will test their love over and over.

Life often demands much of love. Sometimes more than a person has left to give.

What a great story! Frances Durant is 19 years old and comes from an extremely wealthy family. She is expected to marry a guy her parents have picked out but she doesn't like him at all. She meets a Marine, Frankie Lee, who steals her heart and she never has eyes for anyone else. Her parents don't approve and she has to make a heartbreaking decision.

Her life isn't always easy but she never regrets the decision she made. Frances is likable from the beginning. She's not close to her parents, as evidenced by her calling her mother by her first name, Lena, rather than "mom." She's spunky and independent and willing to face the consequences of her choices. Frankie is also likable. He's handsome, hard-working and romantic. They are very supportive of each other and need to lean on each other through some rough times. As life appears to be looking up for them, they are faced with a tragedy that tests their love more than anything else.

Frances also has a cousin Lucy and they're close. Lucy understands Frances and realizes that she's in a tough position between the man she loves and her parents. The decision Frances is forced to make also affects their relationship.There are some other great side characters that Frankie and Frances meet and I enjoyed getting to know each of them.

This is a well written story that made me laugh and cry. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The descriptions of what people were going through during that time period felt real. If you enjoy stories set in the 1920's, be sure to pick this one up! I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

Content: Kissing (clean) and mild swearing.


"Hello Foster, did you miss me?”

“Of course, Miss Frances. This house is never the same when you’re not here.”

“I bet that’s right.”

Though she said the words he would expect from her, they were not accompanied by the usual tossing of the head or a glint in the eye. The words hung in the air without life.

“And how was your stay in the city?”


“Good, good. Glad to hear that you had a nice visit with your cousin.”

“Yes. My cousin.” Her voice trailed off as she made her way upstairs. “I’ll be in my room.”

Lena bustled in, giving orders to the driver laden with bags, and brushed past Foster with barely a nod. Frances was glad to be released from the tight confines of the car. It felt good to stretch her legs, it had been a long drive in more ways than one. Her mother's few attempts at conversation had only fueled Frances's anger. It took all her strength to stare out the window instead of scream, "What right have you to talk to me as if you haven't stolen my chance at happiness? You with your snooty airs."

Now, Frances stood at her door, gazing around the room. Everything was exactly as she had left it only a few short weeks ago, yet somehow everything looked different. She was different. She threw off her shoes and stretched out across her four poster bed, wrapping her arms around her pillow. Staring out the window, she lay lost in thought, completely unaware of the passage of time, until she was called down for dinner, which she promptly ignored.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't scribbling away and playing with words. I wrote my first novel at the age of thirteen. I gladly exchanged the bulk of my sunny days that summer for afternoons spent on the back porch at a make shift table, surrounded by pens, pencils and paper. There, I marveled as I watched the little character that I had created take shape and come to life. That was my first foray into writing, certainly not to be my last. Through times of great joy and times of confusion writing has always been my solace. It is the one thing I return to over and over again. I only truly understand how I feel about something once the words have pushed themselves down through my fingertips and out onto the page.

How are stories born? The words, colors, smells, family legends, people, places and things of my past provide the fertile soil for a small seed of an idea to take up root and blossom. They present themselves to me when they are ready, when they have lain in the soil and soaked up all that they need. Once they come to me and beg to be written, to be set free, it is only then that I recognize the work that's been going on behind the scenes. Sometimes for many years.

Seems much of my creativity resides in my bathtub. Just add water. And so it was with The Bootlegger’s Wife. I lifted the story out of the soapy bubbles. When it showed up, I just nodded knowingly and said, "Of course. It had been there all the time.” The Bootlegger's Wife is a story near and dear to my heart. It grew from the tales I heard as a small child, words that floated around the kitchen table. A phrase here, a snippet unfinished sentence that piqued my curiosity. So the story that traveled through the years, took up residence in my fertile imagination and I let it run free.

And it is my hope, that you dear reader, will find some small piece of yourself in my stories. Something familiar, something that feels like home. May you find yourself nodding along and whispering. "Of course."

Cover Reveal: Adamant by Emma L. Adams

Today is the cover reveal for Adamant (The Alliance series #1) by Emma L. Adams. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

ADAMANT final front coverAdamant (The Alliance Series #1)
By Emma L. Adams
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 11 March 2015

On an alternative 21st-century Earth in which our world is one of many in the Multiverse, the Inter-World Alliance exists to keep the peace between the worlds, and keep the monsters out.

Ada Fletcher is twenty-one, keeps a collection of knives in her room, and is more interested in fighting than her day job as a cashier. She also risks her life on a daily basis, helping refugees from a devastating magical war on her homeworld hide on the low-magic Earth. But when she’s taken into custody by the Alliance, her unusual magic makes her a prime suspect for a supervisor’s suspicious death.

For Kay Walker, whose family founded the organization, there has never been any doubt that his future is with the Alliance – even if it means dealing with sarcastic centaurs and dangerous monsters in the dark Passages between worlds. But when his supervisor is murdered, Kay discovers that a research project might have been the reason, and faces the choice of whether to ignore his instincts or risk becoming the next target, not to mention digging into the Alliance’s history and memories he’d rather keep buried. And there’s something not quite right about the strange, fierce girl he arrested as a suspect.

The last thing Ada wants is to help the infuriating Alliance guard who arrested her, but it soon becomes clear that the Alliance knows too much about Ada’s offworld origins. More, in fact, than she knows herself. Now she has to choose between loyalty to her family, and helping the Alliance save the Earth – and the Multiverse – from a deadly enemy.

You can pre-order Adamant here:

Adamant Teaser

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Emma AdamsAbout the Author:

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing speculative fiction. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions and writing fantasy novels, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an improbable number of books. Emma is currently working on the Alliance series, a multiple-universe adult fantasy featuring magic, monsters, cool gadgets and sarcasm. Her upper-YA urban fantasy Darkworld series is published by Curiosity Quills Press.

You can find and contact Emma here:

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Adamant. These are the prizes you can win:

- a 10$ Amazon gift card

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win!

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

CD Review: Embark! by John Bytheway

Embark!, by John Bytheway
2014, 53 minutes, Talk on CD
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

An ideal talk that supports the new 2015 Mutual theme!

In this motivating talk related to the 2015 youth theme, John Bytheway explains what it means to truly embark—to get fully on board in the service of God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Using scriptures, powerful stories, and his characteristic humor, John explains that with the Savior’s help, we can remain on board and eventually stand blameless before God at the last day.

I love reading John Bytheway's books and it's even more fun to listen to him speak! The Mutual theme for 2015 is D&C 4:2, "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." This entire talk is based on that one verse. He starts by explaining what the word "embark" means and then goes on to explain what it means to serve God with all your heart, might, mind and strength.

This CD is great for teens and adults alike! I loved his stories, quotes, scriptures, insights and humor. After listening to it, I feel more committed to serving with all my heart, might, mind and strength. This is a CD I will share with my children and plan to listen to it multiple times! If you have teens, I highly recommend sharing this with them!

You can listen to a sample of his talk at the Deseret Book link below.

About the Author

John Bytheway served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. A favorite speaker and teacher, John holds a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at BYU. John is the author of many bestselling books, audio talks, and DVDs, including How Do I Know if I Know?; Of Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals; When Times are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get through Almost Anything; and the 2014 youth theme talk on CD, Come Unto Christ. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.

Book Review: The Orphan of Torundi by J.L. McCreedy

The Orphan of Torundi, by J.L. McCreedy
2014, 300p, YA Suspense
My Rating=4.5 Stars
Source: Received a copy for an honest review

To find the truth, she must first uncover the lie ….

Orphaned as an infant, Sam is raised by a pharmaceutical research mission in the rain forests of Torundi. She wields a mean machete, makes soap from candlenuts and is a fairly astute amateur entomologist. You know, the normal stuff. But a month before her seventeenth birthday, she is exiled to an American boarding school in Malaysia.

Armed with little more than her unusual upbringing and church-lady clothes, Sam must contend with her new existence as the world's most socially unprepared high school senior. Well that’s just fine. Because she is determined to solve the mystery behind her banishment and return home tout de suite.

But when she discovers the unthinkable – that her banishment is tied to an enigmatic corporation with illicit designs on Torundi – she realizes the real mystery she must uncover is ... why? Soon, Sam is caught in a whirlwind of intrigue, danger and greed. As she chases this thread of truth to its end, she unravels a plot that threatens her beloved Torundi, her trust in the boy she has grown to love and her own existence.

Blending espionage elements akin to The Bourne Identity with those high-school-awkward-moments (hey, it could happen), THE ORPHAN OF TORUNDI is a quirky, cross-cultural tale of adventure, suspense and romance.

This book started out slow to me, but once it started to pick up, WOW! Sam is an orphan who was raised by Dr. Jean, a mission worker who also runs the medical clinic. She also helps him in the clinic and feels needed. An incident involving a foreigner and a leopard changes her life and she has no idea why. Shortly after that she is sent to an international American boarding school in Malaysia and it's presented to her as the opportunity of a lifetime. She feels banished, though, and spends most of the book trying to figure out why. She meets someone at her new school who can help shed light on her situation but he's reluctant to let her know too much. 

Sam is likable from the beginning. She's naive and I loved watching her grow up and mature throughout the book. Once she was sent away to school, she had to adjust to a new life around other teens and I enjoyed her interactions with them. There are secrets to uncover and I liked getting small bits of information which was just enough to keep me wanting more. There's also some romance, action, spies, drama and twists which kept me guessing at how it would end.  

This book is well written. I felt like I was transported to Torundi and Malaysia and I wasn't surprised to learn that the author is an extensive traveler. I kept wondering how this book would end and I loved it! Questions were answered but new ones arose so I'm hoping there will be more to Sam's story! 

J.L. McCreedy is a shoe-string traveler, a street food fanatic and a (confused) attorney who prefers writing stories over legal briefs. She is also the author of LIBERTY FRYE AND THE WITCHES OF HESSEN and THE ORPHAN OF TORUNDI.

Book Blast: Rough Edges by Kimberly Krey

Rough Edges by Kimberly Krey

Divorced mother, Allie Emerson, never imagined she’d be raising two teenage girls on her own. Between parenting and paying the bills, she hasn’t even thought about meeting a man. That changes once she hears local carpenter, Braden Fox, is in need of a secretary. Back in high school, Allie had done all she could to deny the sparks burning between her and Braden; perhaps now they could explore the possibilities.

Braden has heard all about what Terrance did to Allie and the girls, has been planning to stop by and see how she’s getting along, but Allie beats him to it by showing up at his shop in search of a job. Her single visit reignites the old flame Braden used to torch for her; trouble is, old feelings of resentment return as well. Allie did choose Terrance over him, after all. And as much as Braden wants Allie in his life, he’s not sure he can open his heart again.

With this second chance at romance, will the bumps in their relationship be too much to get over, or will this carpenter learn to smooth out the past?

Praise for Rough Edges

“Kimberly Krey never fails to truly amaze and captivate my heart … She has done it yet again with this heart stopping journey of a second chance at a once in a lifetime love.” ~Amber @ Wonderings of One Person

“An utterly charming romance!” ~Jamie Brook Thompson

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Their eyes met once more, and a shot of heat flooded his chest like a liquid bolt of lightening, forcing his pulse to rush. “I’ve missed you,” he blurted.

Her eyes widened in response, and Braden wondered if he’d been too bold. He’d hardly meant to speak it. It’d been more of a thought. A longing, really.

At last she nodded. “Yeah,” she said, her voice soft and low. “I … I’ve been wondering about you too. How you’ve been over the years. I kept asking Terrance who you were dating. If you were close to marrying anyone…” Her words drifted off for a breath, but then she spoke up again. “You admitted that you’d turned down our offers to come to dinner and catch up.” She studied him for a moment, a challenge presented in her gaze. “All those years. Why didn’t you just come?”

“You know why.” He’d nearly spoken over her, but he couldn’t help it.

“No, Braden, I don’t.”

He nodded adamantly, taking a step back and folding his arms. “Think about it, Allie.” …

“I have thought about it –”

“Not nearly enough, apparently,” he snapped.

“I’ve thought about it all these years. It hurt my feelings. I thought we were friends.”

… Braden bit back his words and broke into a pace.

“Braden,” she said, “I wanted you to stay a part of our lives. You were the best influence Terrance had and you just stopped being his friend? Why would you do that?”

Braden froze in place. “I was a better friend to him than you’ll ever know.” Or possibly the worst, he realized. He strode back, his gaze set on her. “And I didn’t want to be your friend, Allie. I wanted more than that and you know it.”

Her face fell flat. Her lips parted. But no words came. She cleared her throat, casting her eyes to the floor.

“Yeah,” he said. “Don’t pretend that you don’t know. I made it clear. And as soon as I did you started setting me up with every friend you had. Including Kayla.”

“That’s not…” Her face flushed red. Her lips tightened. “That’s not how it went, Braden.” The silence that followed was painful. The tension wedged in each passing second pressed at Braden’s last nerve.

“Well,” he said, “this has been a nice trip down memory lane, but if you don’t mind I’ve got to get back to work. Come on out when you’re ready.” He turned away from her in one quick jerk and walked out of the kitchen, one long stride after the next.

Author Kimberly Krey

Writing Romance That’s Clean Without Losing the Steam!

I’m a reader of good, clean romance, a lover of family time and Diet Coke, and the ultimate hater of laundry.
I’m not patient enough to enjoy yoga, or tall enough to be great at basketball, but I do love to run – anywhere but on a treadmill. I love the sound of a rainstorm when I have no place to go, the feel of Soft Lips chap Stick on my lips, and the first peek of blue water as we round the mountains toward our favorite getaway in Bear Lake.

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/18/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Keeping Kate by Lauren Winder Farnsworth

Tour Schedule

Keeping Kate, by Lauren Winder Farnsworth
2015, 320p, Clean Contemporary Romance
My Rating=4.5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Orphan Kate Evans is determined to make a life for herself on a Utah ranch, taking care of a little girl named Addie. But when she meets her irritable employer, Kate is forced to confront the past she’s been running from—and face a future she never dreamed possible. This latter-day twist on the classic Jane Eyre is a romantic and gripping read.

Kate is an orphan who heads to Utah to be a nanny for a young girl named Addie. She quickly falls in love with her and is able to help her with her schooling as well. She questions the absence of her father, though. We finally meet Tyler and learn the answers to her questions. Life starts looking up for Kate until someone unexpectedly reappears and her life is turned completely upside down.

I liked Kate but was frustrated with her at times. I realize she was young and didn't have a mother to lean on. Even though her past was tough, she was remarkably well adjusted, which is attributed to her faith. Kate is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and there are quite a few faith references and some detail about her beliefs throughout the book. I thought what the author included fit the storyline well and liked that aspect of the book. 

There is a love triangle which went about the way I expected it to. There were some abrupt attitude changes which threw me off a little bit. I filled in some of the holes with what I imagined had happened and was surprised with the twists thrown in a few times that things weren't at all the way I imagined they were. There are complications and drama in this book which kept me turning the pages quickly. I liked that the author kept the hard decisions to be made realistic and things didn't happen instantaneously. I had to stay up late one night to finish since I needed to know how it all ended and I'm glad I did--I loved the ending!

I never did read Jane Eyre so I don't know how closely this adaptation followed the storyline, but I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys faith based contemporary romance. This is an author I look forward to reading more of in the future!

About the author:

Lauren Winder Farnsworth was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an avid reader, a chocolate enthusiast, a musicophile and a CPA…who somehow also finds time to indulge in her real obsession—writing. She obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Utah, and the only entity that holds more of her heart than her alma mater is her husband, Bryan. Lauren currently lives in South Jordan, Utah, where she spends entirely too time watching Gilmore Girls and looking for excuses not to clean. 

Book Spotlight: La Contessa and the Marquis by Lindsay Downs

When Bianca Maria Ledford Goretti, La Contessa de Massa, flees back to her homeland and the safety of her godmother, The Duchess of Gorham, little does she realize who’s arms she lands in.

Lord Rainer Cross, Marquis of Hathaway, is a well-known and dangerous rakehell within the ton. Little does he suspect his godmother has set him up to halt his skirt chasing days.

Over time the reason for Bianca’s return comes to light which has Rainer deeply concerned. Not sure who he can trust Rainer turns to has several of his more interesting staff. He has them use their talents to ferret out the truth.

Everything get more complicated when they learn a friend might not be who he claims to be. Not sure who to trust, except Rainer and the duchess, Bianca learns several startling facts which could protect her from harm.

Once everything is revealed the duchess steps in with a surprise, something neither could have ever seen coming.

I’ve been an avid readers ever since I was old enough to hold a red leather bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake in my lap.

So it only seemed natural at some point in my life I take up pen and paper to start writing. Over time my skills slightly improved which I attribute to my English teachers.

My breakthrough came about in the mid 1970’s when I read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened my eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots which kept me hooked. Of course, being a man, I had to keep my reading hidden from others as that wasn’t appropriate reading for men.

With this new found appreciation of the written word I took up other books and devoured them as a starving person would a plate of food. I them attempted to write again. I still wasn’t satisfied so I put it aside for years as other events entered my life.

Finally, in the early years of the new millennium I tried again to write and once again met with limited success. At least now I was able to get past the first page or two. Then, in 2006 a life changing event brought me back to my love, I took a job as a security officer. This allowed me plenty of time to read different genres.

My favourite was regency. As I poured through everyone I could get my hands on I knew this could be something I wanted to attempt.

Since 2012 when my debut regency romantic suspense released I was hooked and have, except for a few contemporaries, focused on this genre.

Since 2012 I’ve lived in central Texas. I’m also a member of Romance Writers of America and their local chapter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Tour: The Toll of Another Bell, a Fantasy Anthology

A collection of out-of-this-world short stories that ring true in mortal hearts.

Breath: The Guardian of Souls realizes her life is incomplete and sacrifices everything to find what’s missing.

Awareness: To achieve the status of Magi, Jyn must pass his father’s ultimate test.

Phoenix: Orion loses his wife on their wedding day and uses dark magic to seek her in the afterlife.

Life Under Research Conditions: Can a bioweapon possess a soul and make choices to save humanity?

The Year of No Foals: A miraculous colt and a mysterious old man bring healing to a family ripped apart by tragedy.

Naoki No Yokai: Yokai have overrun a local village, and it’s up to Saga Naoki to discover the reason why.

Jilted River: An Appalachian fairy tale attracts visitors to a state park, but then they start to disappear.

Tower Gods: A thirteen-year-old boy with an oxygen mask befits the role of hero in Watcher Benson’s eyes.

Reality As We Know It: Where otherworldly magic fails, is Row’s friendship enough to mend Singer’s grieving heart?

60 Seconds to Midnight: Fleeing an ancient evil, a young woman from amongst the stars finds unlikely refuge on Earth.

Available January 31st!! Pre-order Now:

Jodi L. Milner lives among the most epic vistas of the Rocky Mountains in Utah and uses them for inspiration when writing fantasy. When not shepherding her children, she dreams of magic and getting a good night's sleep. She's published fiction and poetry in the online literary magazine Soft Whispers.

Timothy Vincent splits his time between his home in Kentucky and his work in Nanjing, China. A published writer and scholar, he teaches for an American Overseas program. His previous creative writing publications include: “Prince of the Blue Castle” (The Bacon Review 2013); “Star-Crossed” (Winner, Terri Ann Armstrong Short Story Contest, Suspense Magazine, 2012); “The Blanket” and “Standing on the Doorstep with Borges” (The WriteRoom Literary Magazine). He was a top 25 finalist in Glimmer Train’s new writer contest in 2010.

Elise Stephens illustrated and wrote her own storybooks from an early age, binding them with staples, and displaying them to a captive audience of family and friends. She thanks her mother for teaching her the confidence to perform, and thanks her father for reading books out loud to her. She received the Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction in 2007 and was a quarter-finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She has published two novels. Moonlight and Oranges (2011) and Forecast (2013). She lives with her husband and son in Seattle where she loves to paint, sing, see live theater, dance in the rain, and eat tiramisu in generous proportions.

Thaxson Patterson II is a 30-something, single, African American writer, living in Denver, Colorado. He is the child of an Air Force retiree and loving mother who’s wild about superheroes and fantasy literature. He graduated from the University of Denver in 2003 with a degree in Electronic Media Art Design. His lifelong obsession with a variety of literary genres including Lovecraftian horror, Stephen King supernatural tales, and the heroic myths from antiquity and Jack Kirby fueled his passion for art design. His family has been a constant thorn of encouragement in his side. Writing has been an ongoing journey full of creativity, joy, and tears spanning several years.

Scott E. Tarbet is the author of "A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk" from Xchyler Publishing; "Tombstone", in the paranormal anthology "Shades & Shadows"; "Ganesh", in the Steampunk anthology "Terra Mechanica". He writes in several speculative fiction genres, sings opera, and was married in full Elizabethan regalia. He loves Steampunk waltzes, cosplay conventions of all flavors, and slow-smokes thousands of pounds of authentic Texas-style barbeque. An avid skier, hiker, golfer, and tandem kayaker, he makes his home in the mountains of Utah. Follow Scott E. Tarbet online at or on Twitter @SETarbet.

F.M. Longo spent most of his career as a software designer and consultant. An accomplished musician, he played professionally with several jazz greats, and he has won awards for his photography. He now has his own boutique publicity agency, and spends most of his time writing press releases, designing print ads, and producing radio spots. He is also the co-editor of the regional newsletter for a large non-profit organization. Longo lives in a small rural town in Western Connecticut.

Ginger Mann is a poet, musician, and digital security engineer. If you can't find her doing those things, look for a woman chasing around her small children with a camera. A Texas artist, she enjoys writing for other Texans. Her song, "River Night", premiered on October 12, 2013 in North Austin. During that same weekend, her first short story, "China Doll," began selling on

She is also a key writer, and digital security adviser, for "Think Before You Click," the Cyber-Safety campaign of legal counsel, Rick Mann. Ginger lives with her family in the Austin, Texas area.

J.R. Potter has succeeded in the great dream of never growing up. He writes for young readers, and those like him who don’t want to give up on magic. He like dinosaurs who can speak with polished accents, who wear vest coats and carry robotic briefcases; he likes fearless young girls with mechanical arms who risk everything for love and honor and a glimpse of the world above the clouds; he like to rewrite and re-imagine the past because it feels both old and new all at once, and well, the victors of history have been doing it for years.

Potter’s world is equal parts fantasy, obsession, and transformation. He feels he has been lucky to bring this world to life through publication in The Portland Review, through winning short story competitions in the realms of Horror and Fantasy, and through a continued bond with his faithful publisher Xchyler Publishing who truly lives up to their motto “enhancing lives one book at a time." He invites readers to “come fly with me inside a WWII robot, or step out on the wings of a pneumatic ‘Whirly-Bird’ in my upcoming novel Pneumatica: Adventures in Steampunk. Together I know we will find some magic.”

Danielle E. Shipley's first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them.

She's also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she's not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she's probably blogging about it at

TC Phillips hails from tropical central Queensland in Australia, where he currently lives with his loving wife, three young children, a spoilt cat, and an overactive imagination. An avid reader from a young age, he has held a long standing attraction for the written word and is excited to able to make his own contributions to the vibrant and ever shifting world of storytelling. Holding degrees in both Theatre Studies and Education, he is also currently completing his Master of Arts (writing) through Swinburne University of Technology.

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