Lyn Reviews NYTimes Best-selling Author Francine Rivers’ Bridge to Haven

Bridge to HavenBridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Francine Rivers has done it again–KEPT ME AWAKE AT NIGHT! Bridge to Haven is riveting reading–just as riveting as Redeeming Love and Leota’s Garden my two favorite Francine Rivers’ novels thusfar.

It’s very easy to see why Francine has become a New York Times best-selling author. Her heroine Abra is orphaned and left under a bridge. Fortunately God leads Pastor Zeke to the spot where he quickly tucks Abra close to his heart where she stays the rest of her life.

But no life can be lived without pain and loss. Abra is no exception. Some parts of Bridge to Haven were hard for me to read, kind of like in my own childhood when I watched my brother do things, I knew were going to get him into all kinds of trouble.

I identified most with Joshua, Pastor Zeke’s son, who is forced to do the same with Abra.

But don’t worry, the ending won’t make you wish you hadn’t read the book. God’s children always have hope and redemption just waiting for them.

To purchase, click here. Bridge to Haven

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Lyn Interviews Author Donita K Paul

Donita

My guest today is Author Donita K Paul. She has been my guest before and I’m glad to host her again. Here’s Donita.

1-Share one fun or interesting fact about your life or books.
I used to get in trouble as a child for lying. My parents had me headed the right direction through a lot of hard work on their part. Then I became a Christian, and the Holy Spirit polished up the will to be truthful. When I was in my 40s, I was waylaid by a particular nasty virus and couldn’t work a nine to five job. My mother said, “Why don’t you try writing? You’ve always wanted to.” Thus my mother, at long last, gave me permission to lie. Well, in truth, to create fiction. And God has blessed my endeavors with readers who actually enjoy my tale-spinning.

2-Why do you write?

It may be that I am a control freak. My characters are at my mercy for what happens in their lives and how they will respond. In the pages of a book, I can make it rain, steer the police to the criminal, fix fantastic gourmet food, and erase any phase of the plot that doesn’t turn out as I want it to. However, I think more likely, I write because as I’m exploring characters and plots, I learn more intimately what I believe about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. He is always teaching me.

3-In what ways does your heroine show strength? And where does she draw this strength?

Ida is perhaps the most grounded Christian character I have ever developed. She worships God, depends on Him, and seeks His will. She isn’t without fault. She’s rather proud and blind to her own disobedience. Her strength is in her acceptance of her situation and ultimately that leads her to the acceptance and repentance of the wild winds in her spirit.”–Donita
TamingtheWildWind

To purchase, click here.Taming the Wild Wind

Blurb: Ida has always gone her own way like a gentle breeze, drifting through social barriers as if they weren’t even there. Like the breeze, her comings and goings are hard to keep track of, and her family assumes Ida’s activities are the same as the other society debutantes of Pittsburgh. When she responds to the wilder wind of the Oklahoma prairie, she recognizes the untamed quality in her personality. She also comes to realize that even the wild wind has a Master. She submits to the hand of her Creator, her loving Heavenly Father, and allows Him to tame her willful nature.

Online:

http://www.donitakpaul.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DonitaKPaul

Sounds like you were really born to be a storyteller, Donita. I know with my own son I would listen to his account of what happened at Kindergarten and then I’d ask–is this true or a story? He’d grin at me and say–usually-a story. I’d say–great story! I think it did the job. Thanks for being my guest today!–Lyn

 

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Lyn Reviews Award-Winning Author Robin Lee Hatcher’s A Promise Kept

A Promise KeptA Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Promise Kept is certainly not the first book I’ve read by Robin Lee Hatcher. Robin is a longtime friend but that has nothing to do with the fact–that I LOVED THIS BOOK!

The heroine is so honest in her emotions, so hurt by a love that went so wrong. Her moving into her great aunt Emma’s house in King’s Meadow, Idaho, changes her life in the same way that finding and reading Aunt Emma’s journal does.

The story of Aunt Emma’s love and life intertwined with Allison’s struggle to regain her equilibrium after her divorce make for a rich story. And the hero, her alcoholic husband, is believable as well. Well done, Ms. Hatcher! I loved the people of King’s Meadow and look forward to more stories there!

To purchase, click here. A Promise Kept

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Lyn Interviews Book Blogger Brooke Barenfanger

Brooke Barenfanger

My guest today is a young author and book blogger, Brooke Barenfanger. Here’s Brooke!

1-Who are your favorite authors?

Many are the names and short is the space I have to say them! I’m reading all the time and always am trying new authors. I would say a few of my favorites would be Laura Frantz(Courting Morrow Little and Love’s Reckoning are some of my favorites!), Karen Witemeyer (To Win Her Heart is my favorite of hers. I’m looking forward to reading her newest book, Blowing Off Steam, though), Francine Rivers (Redeeming Love), Tamera Alexander (A Beauty so Rare), BJ Hoff (Emerald Ballad series), Anne Elisabeth Stengl (I don’t read much Christian fantasy, but my goodness are her books good!) and Cathy Marie Hake(hasn’t written any new novels recently, but Bittersweet is my favorite of hers). These are some of my favorites, but certainly not all.

2-What kind of book is the one you look for in bookstores and online?

Christian romance/fiction and Christian fantasy. I rarely read anything from the secular world.

3-What prompted you to start a book blogging site?

I’m a beginning author myself and needed to start some type of platform for my book. I decided that a blog would be a good way to begin. One of the things I love to do most in the world (besides writing) is reading. Starting a book blogging site just made sense.

4-Tell us a bit about yourself.

Firstly, I want to glorify God and bring people closer to Him through my writings. I have published one book, The Blacksmith King, which can be purchased on Amazon and found on Goodreads. I have also written When Dreams Fail, which is my second novel and a sequel to The Blacksmith King. I am currently a freshman at Pensacola Christian College in Florida and am looking forward to my first year here. I am getting my major in Professional Writing. Presently, I am working on my third novel. Also, I publish a chapter weekly in a story called The Unimaginations of Meredith Windsor on my blog. The story is about a girl who can actually see into the spiritual realm. Most think she’s insane because of it. But then there are a few that believe her…
Hope that you check out my blog and read her story!

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Lyn! I hope that everyone who reads this will enjoy it!”–Brooke

My pleasure, Brooke. I wish you success in your writing career. And am impressed by your hardwork.–Lyn

Visit Brooke’s blog at

http://brookesbookblog.weebly.com/blog

For more about Brooke’s book, click here.

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Lyn Reviews Irene Hannon’s Seaside Reunion

Seaside ReunionSeaside Reunion by Irene Hannon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I truly enjoyed Seaside Reunion by Irene Hannon. The heroine Lindsey is sweet and vulnerable but not too sweet. She is able to push back when necessary. The hero Nick is the kind of guy who would be hard to ignore. To the world he is a successful war time newspaper reporter, but inside he’s still the boy who cherished Lindsey as his best friend during his brief stay at Starfish Bay. He and Lindsey share a love for the Point, a special promontory overlooking the ocean.

The Point becomes the point of a dispute over its future. I was afraid it was going to just be the story of another slick developer versus hometown woman protecting the environment. However, I persevered because I trusted Irene Hannon and I was not disappointed. My husband also read this book and truly enjoyed it. Afterwords, we even had a discussion about Touchstones in our own lives, a theme in this book. If you haven’t read and Irene Hannon novel, you are missing A good read.

Have you ever read and Irene Hannon novel?
Click here to purchase.Seaside Reunion (Love Inspired)

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PS: Leave a comment about a favorite vacation spot and enter a drawing for my lightly used copy of this book–Lyn

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Lyn Interviews Award-Winning Author Gail Gaymer Martin

 

Gail_5

I have the pleasure of interviewing my dear friend award-winning author Gail Gaymer Martin today. She’s sharing about her life and her latest book, the book of her heart, Treasures of the Heart.Here’s Gail’s inteview:

1- Tell us a little about your writing and your real life.

I’m a late bloomer.

I started writing for publication in my fifties when I retired from a fulltime counseling position and taught English and public speaking as an adjunct instruction at Davenport University in Warren, MI. My first publications were articles for Christian periodicals dealing with parenting and teen issues: suicide, grief, drugs, divorce, blended families, teen behaviors, and more. The topics were drawn from my counseling experience, and with the expertise, I was successful. Soon I was published in short stories for adults and children and even poetry for Christian periodicals.

But in 1997, I thought back to my earlier desire to write fiction. Working hard by studying and reading how-to books, attending conferences, workshops, and connecting with fellow fiction writers, I sold my first novel one year later. Today I’ve been blessed with fifty-five published novels. One of my missions is to help writers learn that their dreams can come true, even if it’s later in life and sometimes when they least expect it. Be patience and diligent to the dream.

2-Was there a time in your life when you think God challenged you to become stronger? Please share.

A lifetime Christian, I have dealt

with sorrow and grief as we all do, but we know that sometimes in stress and sadness, we  can feel as if God has abandoned us and we can’t carry another load. But we can. I’ve faced two difficult times in my adult life besides divorce, the death of my mother and our daughter. Both times, I had multiple book contracts and deadlines, and somehow through it all, I used prayer and my God-given strength to make it through and send the books in on time. I have never been late with a deadline, no matter how bad or challenging it has been.

When my mom died,

I finished a novel on time and began the next contracted book.  Not long after I received a call from my editor that she was returning the novel with a few sticky notes marking some places that needed tweaking. Even hearing that word frightens me.  When the manuscript arrived, I couldn’t see the white paper, now covered with yellow sticky notes. I realized immediately that I had used food in every scene—-pizza, a picnic, ham sandwich, romantic dinner, cookies, cake, and hamburgers. I supposed I connected food (the comfort of home) with my mom, and now the food was a comfort for the lose. I reworked the novel and sent it back minus more than half of the food scenes, laughing at myself. Even in sorrow, we can find humor.
3-What is special about your most recent book to you?

Treasures of Her Heart is special to me because

it was a novel I’d written early in my career, but one that didn’t fit the Love Inspired line’s format. It was too long, too women’s fiction, and was a romance with mystery—-but not the life and death suspense LI uses. Still I loved the novel and the characters who remained in my heart over the passing years. When the idea of being a hybrid novelist struck me, Treasures of Her Heart was the first unpublished book I wanted to see in print. It’s proven itself with 5 star reviews and great reader comments. I’m thrilled to offer it to readers.

Bio
Multi-award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin is the author of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction with 55 published novels and nearly 4 million books in print. Her novels have received numerous national awards, including: the ACFW Carol Award, Booksellers Best and RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. CBS local news listed Gail as one of the four best writers in the Detroit area. She is the author of Writer Digest’s Writing the Christian Romance and is a cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers where she serves on their Executive Board. Gail is a member of Advanced Speakers and Writers as well as Christian Authors Network and is a keynote speaker for women’s events at churches, civic and business organizations, as well as a workshop presenter at conferences across the U.S. Gail lives in Michigan with her husband. Visit her at: Website: www.gailgaymermartin.com

 
Treasures of the Heart

To purchase, click here. Treasures of Her Heart

Back Cover Blurb:
Nikki Townley a fashion-buyer, looking for a life with deeper meaning, leaves her career and moves to a small, tourist town in northern Michigan to assist her ailing great-aunt Winnie in running her floundering antique business. There she finds herself caught in a mystery searching for her aunt’s missing fortune, facing an investment company in pursuit of her aunt’s property, and hoping to save long-distance romance with her faithful male friend Rob Moore, while struggling to escape her attraction to an exciting, smooth-talking womanizer. Can she overcome temptation, locate the missing fortune and find the truth to the treasures of her heart? Will Rob wait for Nikki to make up her mind?

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Lyn Reviews Cozy Mystery Author Sarah R Shaber’s 4 Stories

Four Short StoriesFour Short Stories by Sarah Shaber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love a cozy mystery! Do you?

Four Stories is a collection of four stories, all cozy mysteries :-) previously published in newspapers by Author Sarah R. Shaber. Each story is a short mystery by her amateur sleuth, Simon Shaw, PhD, the forensic historian. I enjoyed these stories even though they are quite brief. Frankly I enjoy Simon Shaw so much I’d read a postcard his character wrote! If you haven’t read the Simon Shaw mystery series, DON’T DELAY. Read them NOW! Start with Simon Said

To purchase, SIMON SAID, click here.
OR here. Four Short Stories

I hooked my dh on these too. I hope Ms. Shaber will write more Dr. Shaw mysteries!

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PS. Becky won Jill Stengl’s book. Congrats, Becky!

 

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Wisconsin Author Jill Stengl & Conflict in Life & Story

Until that Distant Day

I have the pleasure of hosting another Wisconsin author today, Jill Stengl. If you ever subscribed to Heartsong Presents romances, you have heard of her. She and I live very near each other and never have the time to get together (something wrong with that). BTW, Jill will give away a copy of the above book to one commenter. Please read the question and leave a comment to enter the drawing. Anyway here’s my friend Jill:

 

“Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Lyn! I am excited to be here to talk about my newest novel, Until That Distant Day. “Strong Women, Brave Stories” is a theme exactly suited to Colette, my heroine, a young widow living in Paris with three of her brothers during the early years of the French Revolution.

As the story opens,

the popular revolution is taking a turn toward violence and Colette begins to wonder if any choice she makes can be the right one. At age twenty-eight she already carries a burden of guilt and inferiority due to foolish personal choices in her past, and now her favorite brother, Pascoe, pressures her to make more!

Yet Colette is a doer and a fixer.

Although she cherishes little hope of future happiness for herself, she readily throws herself into caring for those even less fortunate. When the situation in Paris deteriorates still further and the lives of those she loves most are endangered, Colette is forced to make a stand and risk alienating either Pascoe or the man she secretly loves.

Author Jill Stengl

 

If there is anything I life I wish to avoid,

it would be conflict. I hate conflict! Especially with family members. I want life to be all warm-fuzzy moments, joyful triumphs and accomplishments, happy reunions, and golden words of affirmation. Like Colette, I have attempted to accomplish reconciliation between conflicting loved ones and unintentionally caused worse problems. Like Colette, I have faced impossible choices and finally turned to God in despair . . .

Being a wife and a mother has offered plenty of joyful times. But it has also offered me plenty of opportunity for self-pity, anger, stupid mistakes, bad choices, pride, humiliation, and tears—and believe me, I have availed myself of these opportunities and more. To love is to know pain, for people (particularly husbands and children) seldom behave on-script!

Slowly (often kicking and screaming)

I am learning to trust God with the results of bad choices, and even of evil deeds, illnesses, and terrible accidents in this sin-sick world. Without pain and stress I would never grow, and neither would my loved ones. And as an author I am learning to add that sort of “real” to the lives of my characters.

God doesn’t hand us

a script complete with wrap-up in which we discover the reason for all the action and conflict in our life stories. Most of us will never know the why? for many of the events in our lives; they just happen, and we must deal with them. And this is where faith comes in. And growth and strength—a strength founded on God’s limitless power and unfathomable love.
May the peace and joy of our Lord be real in our lives!”–Jill

For more about Jill and her books:

Author blog: http://jillstengl.blogspot.com/

Book page: http://untilthatdistantdaynovel.blogspot.com/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jill-Stengl/233740900123521

Thanks, Jill. And I often give the Lord a run for his money–so to speak. I’m afraid I don’t view trials with joy as James suggests in his book chapter 1, verses 2-8.

QUESTION: How do you greet trials–like James or like Jill and me?Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the book drawing.–Lyn

To purchase, click here. Until That Distant Day

Click this cover if interested in another of Jill’s 2014 releases.

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Debut Author Mary Alford & 3 Amigas!

Author Mary Alford

I’m so happy to welcome a brand new Love Inspired Suspense author to my blog. Please meet Mary Alford and The Strong Women In Her Past. Here’s Mary:

Maudie, Mabel and Stella

“I grew up with three very strong women in my life and I thank God for influence over my life. They are mother Maudie and my two aunts, Mabel and Stella. These three precious ladies were about as different as night is from day, but they each possessed qualities of strength that I find myself not only writing about but striving to live up to today. I used to call them the three amigos because they were that close.

The Three Amigas

My mother raised four kids with very little money but a whole lot of love. She got me into church and kept me there. I am the Christian woman I am today because of her.
My aunt Mabel was a firecracker. She was adventurous to the extreme and never stopped serving God even when she could barely walk. She used to provide a meal every week for a traveling pastor who came through our town. She never turned anyone in need down, even though she barely had enough to eat herself.
My aunt Stella had a quiet strength that could calm any storm. I still remember her reading her Bible every day and quietly influencing my life and the lives of those around her.

Together in Heaven

These three women are now together again in Heaven. The three amigos reunited. My mom passed away in 2012 so I know they are having quite a homecoming, probably laughing, and enjoying being together again. Someday, I’ll be up there with them and I can’t wait to join in the fun.

Forgotten Past

To purchase, click here.

Forgotten Past (Love Inspired Suspense)

A Strong Female Heroine Based On These Three

When I created the heroine in my debut Love Inspired Suspense story, FORGOTTEN PAST, I used bits of each of these three women. Faith McKenzie has my mom’s ability to keep going even when things seem impossible. She has Aunt Mabel’s sense of adventure. Faith has moved all over the country trying to outrun the man who is threatening her life. Faith has my Aunt Stella’s calm belief that by trusting God, He will see her through the nightmare she faces in not being able to remember her past and one day He will restore her life and bless her with happiness and oh, He did.

FORGOTTEN PAST BLURB:

LOST MEMORIES Faith McKenzie was the only survivor of a brutal home invasion. Viciously attacked and left for dead, Faith can’t remember anything about that night—including the identity of the killer. All she knows is that he’s stalking her from every place she flees and has tracked her to a small Maine island. Her neighbor, private investigator and security specialist JT Wyatt, rescues her twice. Now JT is insisting on the whole story—a story that Faith can’t remember. Desperate to feel safe, Faith puts her trust in the handsome P.I. Yet a killer is dead set on ensuring that Faith’s memory never returns.

QUESTION: I would love to about a strong woman in your life who has influenced you in a positive way. If you have such a woman in your life, please tell me why you think she is strong?

I will give one eBook copy of my first Love Inspired Suspense, “FORGOTTEN PAST” to one of the commenters.” –Mary

www.maryalford.net
https://www.facebook.com/mary.alford.1272
Twitter handle @maryalford13
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29757134-mary-alford

BIO:
I’m an author of inspirational romantic suspense. My debut title, Forgotten Past will be available through Love Inspired Suspense in June 2014.
When I’m not dreaming up people in dangerous situations and writing them down, I’m also a mom, wife, grandmother, avid reader, a proud geek-girl.
For occasional updates and news about upcoming publications, please go to the contact form and subscribe to my newsletter!

 

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Trailer for Family Movie Dolphin Tale 2

I loved the family movie “Dolphin Tale.” I am looking forward to seeing its sequel “Dolphin Tale 2.” Both are based on a true story. The movie will be released in September!

Did you see the first movie?–Lyn

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