Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Rosemary Opens Her Heart by Naomi King

Book Details:
Rosemary Opens Her Heart
By Naomi King
Genre: Christian Fiction
Published November 2012, New American Library
Paperback, 279 pages
ISBN: 9780451237972

          Another spring reminds the Amish of Cedar Creek, Missouri, that for everything there is a season.
Zanna Lambright is finally marrying Jonny Ropp, and friends and family have come from far and wide to celebrate. Among them is young widow Rosemary Yutzy, mother of toddler Katie, whose husband was tragically killed last fall. With a willing heart Rosemary has taken over care of her in-law’s family and continued to run a baked goods business from home, but privately she still mourns her lost Joe...and is unprepared for the changes that are coming...
Rosemary’s father-in-law wants to merge his lamb-raising business with Matt Lambright’s—a move that will require the Yutzys to relocate from their nearby town to Cedar Creek. Moreover, it will bring Rosemary into constant contact with Matt, who is making no secret of his romantic interest in her. The challenges of contemplating a future unlike any she expected are overwhelming for Rosemary. And although Matt is strong and kind, his courtship is so persistent, she often wants to run the other way. As Rosemary struggles to see beyond her immediate joys and sorrows, will she embrace the outpouring of welcome and support from the people of Cedar Creek...and accept this new chance to open her heart to a more abundant life?
When the question of Abby's maidel status was not fully answered for in the first book in the "Home at Cedar Creek" series, I looked forward to the next book by Naomi King, and she did not disappoint. Abby and James picked up quite easily early on in the book, and their close age and maturity allowed them to fit together like it was always meant to be, even if their relationship does not take center stage in this sequel.
Rosemary is the new character that has been introduced, a young widow and mother from another town whom Matt Lambright immediately and eagerly takes a romantic interest in. Matt's pursuit of her is both sweet and entertaining, though I can't help feeling a bit sorry for Emma, James' sister, who has had an interest in Matt for some time. As a widow, Rosemary is understandably weary of any man attempting to replace her late Joe Yutzy in both her heart and her young daughter's heart, but her own family's gentle encouragement and support influence her in the right direction.
In addition to the budding relationships, the need for a new preacher in Cedar Creek also creates some havoc for the town of Cedar Creek, but opens the door for a minor character to answer to a higher calling.
I find the Amish lifestyles fascinating everytime I read books like this, for their simplicity and spirituality, as well as their appreciation for family and good food. Thank you Naomi King for another wonderful read!

The Cover: This is a lovely cover that highlights the main character of this book in the series well.

First Line: "Matt Lambright slipped out of the stream of nearly two hundred wedding guests who were filing out of the house and into the front yard after his aunt Zanna's marriage to Jonny Ropp."

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guest Post: Guardian Angels by Andrew P. Weston

Today's guest is Andrew P. Weston, author of Guardian Angels. Andrew P Weston was born in the city of Birmingham, UK and grew up in the towns of Bearwood and Edgbaston, eventually attending Holly Lodge Grammar School for Boy’s where he was School Captain and Head Boy.He was an active sportsperson for the school, college and a variety of rugby, martial art, swimming and athletics teams throughout the city.On graduation in 1977 he joined the Royal Marines fulfilling a number of roles both in the UK and abroad.In 1985 he became a police officer with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, and served in a variety of uniformed and plain clothed departments until his retirement in 2008.Over those years, he wrote and illustrated a selection of private books for his children regarding the life of a tiny kitten, called, “The Adventures of Willy Whiskers”, gained further qualifications in Law and Religious Studies, was an active member of Mensa and continued to be an active sportsperson, providing lessons free of charge to local communities.An unfortunate accident received on duty meant Andrew had to retire early from the police force, but after moving to the sunny Greek island of Kos to speed up his recuperation, he was at last able to devote time to the “Guardian Concept” he had developed over his years in the military and police.
When not writing, Andrew enjoys Greek dancing and language lessons, being told what to do by his wife, Annette, and hunting shadows in the dark.Andrew is now contracted to Pagan Writers Press for two books.“Fairy Tail”, is a dark and gritty paranormal thriller with a twist.The second book, “Guardian Angels” is the introductory book to the “Guardian Series”, a sci-fi/fantasy epic set in the near future.Further work on the Guardian Series and a new paranormal series has been completed and will hopefully be presented soon.

Take it away, Andrew!

Topic: I'm always fascinated with authors' techniques of "world-building", so how about that topic?

 “Guardian Angels” is a story that describes the adventures of a futuristic Global Emergency Service as they introduce themselves to an unsuspecting world at large.
As we get to find out, they have always been there behind the scenes, watching and waiting, itching for the time when they could reveal themselves to us at long last.

The extended blurb sums it up:
A small boy runs in front of a truck.
Miners trapped in the aftermath of a devastating underground explosion have no hope of escape.
A stricken passenger aircraft plunges thousands of feet towards the earth below.
Everyone survives!
Because they are among the first in a number of miraculous interventions that heralds to the world that, “Guardian Angels”, blessed with extraordinary powers and incredible technology, actually exist!
While society in general reacts with euphoria, not everyone is pleased!
There are those in power and those within the criminal underworld, who seek to counter the threat they feel these awesome newcomers represent.
Early confrontations ensue, leaving many hungry for retribution, and their revenge is exacted at a terrible price in lives and suffering.
The resulting deaths do succeed in creating a backlash that causes people to lose hope in their newfound friends, and which changes public opinion forever.
Is the fairy tale over before it even begins?
 “Guardian Angels” is a powerful and compelling story about the catalyst that could at last, galvanize society to unite and look towards the future with hope.
Sadly, it also reveals how fragile such a spark of hope could be.

Yes – their revelation brings suspicion, as well as welcome. A mixed bag in fact! So, it’s no understatement when I say that once I was ready to actually begin, the concept was so involved that I had to add almost 6 months of work to my schedule before it ever got to the typing stage. Let me explain.

Before I began writing what was to become the first book in the series, I had to spend those months building a realistic “world” and a “history” in which to fit the Guardians.

Included within this framework was their own personal history in relation to that of the people of earth. For example, where are the Guardians from? How did they come to be? Where have they been until now and what have they been doing? WHY did they remain hidden? What made them decide that NOW was the time to reveal themselves?

Okay – they also have special abilities and futuristic technology.
Regarding the tec…
 How was that technology developed? How far in advance of current “earthly” technology is it? Is what I devised “in agreement with known/developing theoretical science? Is it plausible that advanced science could develop in this way so the reader can relate to it without thinking…’that’s too far-fetched’?
Regarding the abilities…
What abilities are we talking about? Can people relate to them? How would they be employed? What are their limitations and strengths? How much training would be required to realistically be able to use them in a real life disaster or emergency situation?

The Guardians themselves are a disciplined service.
So, where and how do they train? What does that training involve? For how long? How are candidates selected? Where would they go for such incredible instruction? What education/schooling would they need to enhance their technical, physical, and psychic capabilities? What would be an acceptable/believable threshold?
What uniform would they have? What rank structure? How & when are they promoted? How are their ranks and abilities reflected or represented on their uniforms?

Building a realistic world, with a believable history and time-line formed a huge chunk of the preparations that took place BEFORE the story itself even began to be written. In my case, almost 6 months of planning went into this stage, so that I could add a depth and realism to my creation that really helps it stand out from the crowd.
Once it was in place, I then had to select “where” along the timeline it would be best to introduce our story, and how I would then dip from there into, eg, history, ancient history – the future or the culmination of the entire series.

I’m a firm believer in being thorough.  “World Building” allows you to achieve something wonderful.
Your story and characters reflect a richness they would otherwise lack, and the reader is helped to appreciate…”THIS is something I want to get to know and be part of”.

I look forward to introducing you to my special world over the coming years as the Guardian Saga unfolds. See what you think, and feel free to lose yourselves as often as you want.

Thank you so much for answering my question, that was very insightful!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guest Post: The Navy Seal's Promise by Soraya Lane

Today's guest is Soraya Lane, author of The Navy Seal's Promise. As a child, Soraya dreamed of becoming an author. Fast forward more than a few years, and Soraya is now living her dream! Working as a freelance writer and now a professional author too, she writes every day and loves her job. Soraya describes being an author as "the best career in the world", and she hopes to be writing romance for many years to come.

Soraya loves spending her days thinking up characters for books, and her home is a constant source of inspiration. She lives with her own real life hero and son on a small farm in New Zealand, surrounded by animals and with an office overlooking a field where their horses graze.
For more information about Soraya, her books and her writing life, visit or follow her on twitter @Soraya_Lane. She would love to hear from you.

Take it away, Soraya!

                                                             Military Heroes

When I sold my first book to my editor two years ago, it was a soldier story. Soldier on Her Doorstep was the first in my Heroes Come Home series, and my current release, The Navy SEAL’s Bride is the third. It’s a theme that I’m becoming familiar with and I love it.
I’m often asked why I write about military heroes (and heroines!) and it’s a hard question to answer. When I wrote my first book, I had no idea that I’d go on to write so many soldier-themed stories, but my editor keeps asking me for more! Right now I’m working on edits for my eighth book, and yes, it’s a military romance.
There is something about a military hero that I love, and if I didn’t I wouldn’t write them. Could I fall in love with a soldier? Absolutely. So long as he was also handsome, kind and loved animals! For me, any hero I write about has to be a man I could personally fall for. Soldiers are special because they have to be strong, professional, intelligent and committed, and those all happen to be characteristics of any great hero. Add to the mix a broken heart or a traumatic past, and suddenly I see a man that needs his story told.
So how about you? Do you like reading about military heroes? How about military heroines? And if so, what is it that makes you fall in love with them?

Thank you for stopping by!
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