31 January 2016

MaryLu Tyndall Character Interview - Charity Westcott, Lady Villemont

Charity's Cross by MaryLu Tyndall

Interview with the infamous murderer, Charity Westcott, Lady Villemont

By Franklin Morris of the Caribbean Chronicle

“Thank you for meeting with me today, Lady Villemont.” Mr. Morris takes a seat in the tiny cabin on board the Vintage.

Charity lifts her hands and jangles the irons binding her wrists together. “I don’t believe I had a choice, Sir.”

Franklin shifts uncomfortably in his chair and pulls out a pen, ink, and parchment. “Yes…well…Let me start with a simple question. You are…were married to Herbert Gregson, Lord Villemont?”

“I was, yes.”

“And his lordship was found shot to death in the parlor of his house nearly three months ago.”

Charity lowers her gaze and swallows a lump of emotion. “Is that a question or a statement?”

“A statement, I suppose.”

“’Tis why I am here as well you know, Sir.”

“Indeed.”  He nods and jots down something on his paper. “Then do enlighten us, Lady Villemont. Why did you kill your husband?”

Charity gazes out the porthole of the tiny cabin. “Whether I killed him or not is for the court to decide. But his death was an accident, if you must know.”

Mr. Morris snorts. “I suppose a pistol simply appeared in your hand?”

She faces him, annoyed at his impertinence. “In truth, I grabbed it to protect myself.”

“From what, pray tell?”

“From my husband, Sir.”

Mr. Morris’s eyes light up as he dips his pen in ink and scribbles across his parchment.  “Are you saying that Lord Villemont, the pillar of Portsmouth society, intended to harm his own wife?”

She raises her chin. “I am saying exactly that, Sir. He was a different man at home.”

“Indeed.” Mr. Morris gives a disbelieving smile. 

“Yet, I hear from his brother that you were not only a bad wife but unfaithful as well.”

Charity’s face heats as her breath comes hard and fast. “My husband was also a good liar.”

“Hmm.” Mr. Morris studies her. “Yet you left your dead husband on the parlor floor and fled England to embark on some grand adventure in the Caribbean with your lover…what was his name?”

He flips through his parchment. ”Ah, yes, Elias Dutton.” He chuckles. “Claims he’s a preacher!”

“He is a preacher and he is not my lover.” She places her hands in her lap, the clank of iron ringing through the room. In truth, Elias is the kindest most honorable man I know. He helped me to see that God is not to blame for my misfortune.”

“He did, did he? Was this while you shared a cabin together on more than one ship?” He gives a cynical chuckle.

The ship rolls over a wavelet as Charity narrows her eyes. “’Twas necessary for our survival. And he never touched me.”

Shaking his head, Mr. Morris writes furiously on his paper. “What exactly did you blame God for, Lady Villemont?”

“For my marriage, my husband’s abuse…” She presses a hand on her stomach. “Other misfortunes.”

Mr. Morris frowns. “Since God is supposedly all-powerful and all-knowing, why shouldn’t we blame Him when troubles arise?”

Charity eyes him, sensing a sorrow hovering about him. “Because ofttimes our struggles are merely a result of our own actions. God warned me not to marry Lord Villemont and then once I had, God gave me opportunities to leave. I did nothing.”
“Humph. I never caused the problems which came my way.” Mr. Morris’s tone bore anger.

A spark of excitement rises within Charity at the opportunity before her. “Even if we didn’t bring on our misfortune, there could be a thousand reasons for it. The actions of others, a test, a chastisement, a device through which God changes our course or brings us closer to Him. Or the devil himself.”

He stops writing and gazes up at her, searching her face.  

She lays a hand on his arm. “One thing I have learned, Mr. Morris, is that God loves us, and if we allow Him, He will work everything out for our good, even those problems of our own making.”

His lips twist as doubt clouds his eyes. “And yet here you are in chains on a ship bound for trial in England.”

Charity sits back in her chair. “I am willing to face trial. Whatever comes of it, I have learned one thing. I will trust God.”

“Even if you hang?”

“Especially if I hang.”

Mr. Morris lays down his pen and gazes at Charity with a look quite different than the incriminating look of disgust he gave her upon entering the cabin. “I must admit, this interview didn’t go as I expected.  You, milady, are not what I expected.”
Charity smiles as Mr. Morris stands and gathers his things. “You have given me much to think about, Lady Villemont. I wish you the best.”

“As I do you, Sir. God speed to you.”

Author MaryLu Tyndall 
MaryLu Tyndall grew up on the shores of Southern Florida dreaming of romance and adventure upon the sea. She now lives with her husband, six children, and four cats in Northern California where she writes inspirational adventure romance novels. MaryLu's novels have been praised for their fast-paced action, strong inspirational messages, and incredibly vivid settings. Her first novel, The Redemption was nominated for the prestigious Christy Award for Best Christian Fiction. 

28 January 2016

Noela reviews ROAD TO DEER RUN by Elaine Cooper

Road to Deer Run
Road to Deer Run
by Elaine Marie Cooper
CrossRiver Media Group; 2 Edition (November 1, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****
Healing of the spirit, soul, and body... Along the road to Deer Run

I was ecstatic to have the chance to read this re-release of ‘Road to Deer Run’! It is one of those extraordinarily rare stories that imparts an enduring and stirring impression upon the heart of the reader. With ever-present fears, dramatic moments, and exquisite love replete throughout, this book will have you foregoing everything else as you traverse the road to Deer Run.

American colonist Mary Thomsen, barely nineteen, is grieving deeply for the loss of her younger brother Asa—cruelly taken by the war between the American colonies and the mother country. When Mary is out collecting oak leaves in the woods on her widowed mother’s land, she stumbles across a grossly injured and near-dying King’s soldier. Does Mary possess the compassion and bravery needed to help the enemy?

British Lieutenant Daniel Lowe, a prisoner of war, was marching towards Boston with his starving, wounded, and exhausted men. Fearing he’ll never survive what’s ahead, he makes a daring escape into nearby woods. Partially hidden in bushes, Daniel lies there exhausted, freezing, and waiting for death to spirit him away from this hell on earth. Before that transpires, an angel or perhaps the enemy by the name of Mary Thomsen, appears by his side.

Incapacitated on enemy soil, Daniel has no option other than to trust his guardian angel, but is he placing Mary and her patriotic family at terrible risk? In danger of also being wounded are the hearts of Daniel and Mary as they unsuccessfully endeavor to quell their burgeoning affection. Will the hostilities of war destroy this union when secrets begin to surface? What will become of this former redcoat during the birth of this new nation?

Riveting and realistic, ‘Road to Deer Run’ effortlessly ferries the reader back to 1777 to a much simpler life in Massachusetts, during the Revolutionary war. Fascinating history and a storyline based on fact, as well as one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever had the pleasure to read—makes this a book you don’t want to miss! Late nights, smiles, and tears are guaranteed!

*Thank you to Elaine Cooper and CrossRiver Media Group for a copy of Road to Deer Run for review purposes. The review is entirely my own opinion.*

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

Available for purchase at these places: Amazon; Barnes & Noble; CrossRiver Media

GIVEAWAY: Elaine Cooper is generously giving away a paperback copy of Road To Deer Run to one blessed commenter! **Outside of US e-book only.** Leave your email to be eligible using the words (at) and (dot) to protect yourself against spammers.

26 January 2016

Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance Now Re-Released!

Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Now under new cover -- a beautiful design by Roseanna White! -- Return to Shirley Plantation is now available for Kindle and is on SALE for the next few days!!! Paperback version available for order within a week!

This novella was on the Bestselling Civil War ebook list for over seven months and on Civil War bestsellers for a year when it released in 2013. Over seventy reviews with a 4 1/2 Star Rating!!!

Want to read some FUN FACTS about this story? Pop on over to Sydney Anderson's blog, "The Singing Librarian" (Click here.)

Giveaway - copy of the ebook or paperback (USA only for paperback): Do you read Civil War fiction? Did you read Return to Shirley Plantation when it first released?

24 January 2016

Books of the Year List by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Novel of the Year

Brentwoods' Ward by Michelle Griep

Debut Novel of the Year
Debut Christian fiction of the Year

Sword of Forgiveness by Debbie Lynne Costello

Other Favorite Books of the Year

SERIES that I can't wait to read so I've used my Kindle!
As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad

FABULOUS Series by Lorna Seilstad!

In Good Company by Jen Turano
Another Fabulous Series!

After a Fashion also by Jen Turano

To Win Her Favor

Also part of a fabulous series!

NOVELLAS of the Year

Novellas of the Year

 To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
(Also available in audiobook format) This is part of a collection but available individually.

Bibliotherapy Novella of the Year

Other Novellas of the Year
The Skiing Suitor by Niki Turner
Part of the "A Love's Sporting Chance" collection from Forget-Me-Not Books

With This Kiss Historical Collection

His Beloved Bride by Ruth Logan Herne and  
Grace Like Rain by Julie Lessman 
(The entire With This Kiss Historical Collection was lovely!)

Novella Collection of the Year - Most Eligible Bachelor from Barbour. All of the novellas in this collection are wonderfully done and I read all of them! This is my favorite of all the Barbour collections I have read to date! 

In this collection DEBUT Novella of 2015: Susie Dietze, Love's Reward 

  • The Highwayman by Shannon McNear
  • Four Brides And A Bachelor by Gabrielle Meyer
  • Baker's Dozen by Gina Welborn
  • A Doctor's Agreement by Cynthia Hickey
  • The Final Baker Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo
  • The Most Ineligible Bachelor In Town by Connie Stevens
  • A Bride For A Bargain by Amanda Barratt
  • Archeologist's Find- by Erica Vetsch
Other lovely collections with great stories by talented authors (Some of these I read while recovering from major surgery in the spring and enjoyed so much!) 

The Convenient Brides a great collection which includes wonderful novellas like those by Gabrielle Meyer - "A Groom for Josette," and Erica Vesch - "A Bride for Bear," stories from Andrea Boeschaar, Jennifer Uhlarik, Melissa Jagears' great story with "mature" characters and more!

Homestead Brides was SO GOOD!!! Wonderful novellas from some great authors!  A delightful collection. Ruth Logan Herne's "Prairie Promises" and Carla Olson Gade's "Proving Up" were two of my favorites, but all were so well done. One of the most moving tales was written by DiAnn Mills. Add in Pam Hillman's, Mary Connealy's, Erica Vetsch's, Kathleen Y'Barbo's, Darlene Franklin's and Becca Whitham's novellas and you have many novellas to keep you busy reading enjoyably for a long time!

I have to include the 2015 collection Christmas Traditions (Forget-Me-Not Romances, July 2015) because even though I am in it with The Fruitcake Challenge, I don't want to omit all the wonderful stories and authors in this collection, which stayed at the #1 spot on Amazon for anthologies for a long time and on the top #5 through Christmas. It includes a new 2015 novella by Angela Breidenbach plus wonderful stories by Cynthia Hickey, Gina Welborn (who spearheaded the collectin), Patty Smith Hall, Niki Turner, Darlene Franklin, and Jennifer AlLee.

GIVEAWAY: Paperback copy of Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep and another winner will receive Ebook or paperback (USA only unless available on BD) of choice of any of these books! Answer these questions: How many of these books were on your favorites list and which are you most yearning to read?  If you are like me there are probably many books you didn't get to read this year that you hope to catch up on!

21 January 2016

Teresa S. Mathews reviews The Husband Maneuver by Karen Witemeyer

By Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

Bethany House Publishers  January 5, 2016

by Karen Witemeyer

5 Stars*****

There is nothing Marietta Hawkins likes better than hiding out in the hayloft devouring dime novels featuring larger-than-life Dead-Eye Dan. Well, there is one thing she likes better; that's dreaming of being married to the real Dead-Eye Dan, Daniel Barrett, former bounty-hunter, now the foreman of Hawk's Haven, her father's ranch.

Daniel Barrett doesn't like the idea of those books being written about a part of his life he wants to leave behind. He certainly isn't happy when he finds out his boss' beautiful daughter Marietta has been reading them. Daniel thought she knew him for the real man he has proved himself to be, not the larger-than-life Dead-Eye Dan!

When Marietta overhears Daniel telling her father it's time for him to move on, she knows she can't let him leave without getting a proposal out of him. When she comes up with what she thinks is a good plan to prove to Dan she would make a wonderful wife, things gets a little out of hand! Will her scheme work or will her dreams of becoming Mrs. Daniel Barrett be shot down?

Karen Witemeyer's talent once again shines through in this novella. It doesn't matter the length of the story, she grabs your attention from the very beginning and holds it right up until the sigh-worthy end! 

***Thanks to NetGalley and the Bethany House Publishers for 
providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. ***

You can find this exciting novella at AMAZONCBDBAM and Barnes and Noble

GIVEAWAY: Melissa Jagears is generously donating a copy of WITH THIS RING? for one commenter over this week. (A comment on Noela Nancarrow's amazing review from Tuesday will give you another chance!) The format will be winner's choice. E-book only outside of US unless available through Book Depository. *Leave a comment to enter, along with your email!*

19 January 2016

Noela Nancarrow reviews WITH THIS RING? Novella Collection

With This Ring?
With This Ring?
A Novella Collection of Proposals gone Awry.

Bethany House Publishers (January 5, 2016)
Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Unpredictable Plans precede unexpected Proposals!

Life and love can be vastly unpredictable which can add plenty of intrigue and sparks. This is exactly what transpires in these four novellas of love and proposals emerging from unforeseen circumstances!


What’s a gal to do when for far too long she’s pined after the foreman of her daddy’s ranch, while her continuous attempts to demonstrate what a great little wife she’d make—goes completely unnoticed? Well when Marietta hears this foreman talk about moving on to his own homestead, she realizes her window of opportunity to orchestrate a proposal from him must happen when her father and the ranch hands leave for the cattle drive. While Marietta’s foreman stays behind to look after her father’s ranch and move his mule stock to his new spread, she plans to leave her Aunt’s place early to go back to her father’s ranch unaccompanied. Sounds like the perfect plan, right? What a shock for the foreman to find his boss’s daughter and himself alone at the ranch—the little lady he’s trying to get away from! Absolutely loved this captivating, enchanting, toe-curling Texas romance!


Generous rains, gushing rivers, and a stranded cow… Josiah relishes a great adventure and he found it and a whole lot more at the Ozark homestead of Katie Ellen’s. With her parents away, the perfectionist Katie insists she needs no-one. But then her plans go astray when Josiah and a creepy stranger become stranded at her farm when the bridge washes out. Josiah has always pestered Katie rather than allowing her to know his true feelings but he’s thinking he needs to modify that soon. Perhaps pretending to be her husband in front of the grim-talking stranger in order to protect Katie and her reputation—will give him that chance. But Katie has been hurt by Josiah before, and keeps those walls erected. Can these two find a way to work together to keep safe? What an intriguing, engaging, and delightful tale that demonstrates we don’t always have to do it alone.

RUNAWAY BRIDE by Mary Connealy

When Carrie’s poor excuse for a father, arranges for her to marry the loathsome Damien Kearse to absolve himself from a large gambling debt, Carrie must clandestinely flee her home and the imminent wedding. Escaping with her younger brother, Carrie literally runs into Texas Ranger, Big John Conroy who was sent to deliver Carrie to Colorado. He becomes Carrie’s hero many times over as he comes up against Damien’s men and unscrupulous bounty hunters along the trail. Before too long Big John realizes he needs to make a detour and enlist the help of his war buddies, the Regulator’s. Damien Kearse doesn’t take kindly to having pride stomped on and pulls out all stops. Will Big John be able to keep her safe, along with his heart from this little lady he’s protecting? Not many can pen such an entertaining story infused with genuine western flavour throughout—but Mary Connealy does it so efficaciously!


When Harrison Gray is asked by his concerned Reverend to talk to Harrison’s childhood friend about her upcoming marriage, he figures he oughta do it regardless of his mixed feelings. While tomboy and ranch owner Charlotte (Charlie) Andrews has always fascinated Harrison, she’s also been an annoying itch with her competitive nature. He’s given her a wide berth ever since she humiliated him in a shooting competition a decade ago, but now he needs to man up and ensure all is well. When the bespectacled teacher Harrison who can’t see anything past a blur without his glasses, has them broken by Charlie, she offers to help him in the classroom until he gets a new pair. Will this half-blind teacher and his assistant learn a few lessons along the way and have their eyes opened? Or are there too many obstacles to trip them up? This is a wonderfully engaging and beautiful story of learning from each other and discovering your worth!

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Find this book at these places and others: Amazon; CBD; BAM; Barnes &Noble

GIVEAWAY: Melissa Jagears is generously donating a copy of WITH THIS RING? for one commenter over this week. (A comment on Teresa Mathews' review on Thursday will give you another chance!) The format will be winner's choice. E-book only outside of US unless available through Book Depository. *Leave a comment to enter, along with your email!*

17 January 2016

(Revised!) Audiobooks of the Year List by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Whispers In The Reading Room AND The Painter's Daughter, TIED for Audiobook of the Year 2015 -- Stellar stories combined with wonderful narration. I had quite the conundrum because I had listened to Julie's book in 2015 and chose it for Audiobook of 2015 BUT then I listened to Shelley's book in January, but it released in 2015 and after much prayer I decided they were both tied.  That being said, the audiobooks that I include on my list are of such HIGH quality that it truly was hard to put them in order -- so next year I might not!!!
Audiobooks of the Year

Bibliotherapy Audiobook of the Year (Includes strong bibliotherapy elements as well as a wonderful book and narration.)
Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden

Most Romantic Audiobook

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White
The Lost Heiress (Ladies of the Manor, Book #1)

Best Final Audiobook in a Series

A Refuge at Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Highly Memorable Audiobook of the Year 

Pattern for Romance by Carla Olson Gade

Contemporary Audiobook of the Year

A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach

Favorite Series on Audiobook 2015: Tracie Peterson's Bride's of Seattle (I am finishing the third book now.) All released in 2015 on audiobook.

(I accidentally left off Melanie Dickerson's and Kristi Ann Hunter's audiobooks in my original post  - these are both beautifully done audiobooks. I highly recommend and hope to post reviews of both very soon!!!)

My Backlist audiobook Series of the Year is by Jane Perrine: Tales from Butternut Creek! All wonderful!!! These released in 2012 and 2013 and are Women's Fiction with strong romantic

NOTE: I will have some books, available in audiobook, that I read rather than listened to, that are on my NEXT list, which release within the week! So if you are an author I love and weren't on here but have an audiobook, watch for those I read rather than listened to!

GIVEAWAY: Audiobook certificate for a book OR winner's choice of format.  Answer these questions: How many of these books were on your favorites list and which format do you prefer your books in - audiobook, Kindle, or paperback?  (Watch for my upcoming Kindle/paperback list of favorite books of the year, coming soon!)

15 January 2016

Carrie Fancett Pagels' New Releases & Cover Reveals

Come on by Carrie Fancett Pagels' Facebook Party at 1:00 PM (Eastern time) to 2:00 on Friday, January 15, for a chance to win copies of her current and upcoming new releases!

(Click here to join the party - indicate that you will JOIN in!!!)

Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance has re-released under a  new cover designed by Roseanna M. White. Isn't it beautiful?  This is one of my new cover reveals and upcoming releases. The novella is available for pre-order now and will release on January 26th!

Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter releases from White Rose/Pelican in June 2016. Did you miss the cover reveal on Colonial Quills blog? (Click here.)

I'll have more covers and more information at the party so come on by.  FOLLOWERS - put OWG on your comments when I ask a question about what brought you over to the party and you will get your name entered SEVEN extra chances to win a giveaway!!!

14 January 2016

Shelley Gray's Whispers in the Reading Room Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Phenomenal Audiobook!

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray
Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Chicago World’s Fair has ended and Reading Room librarian, Lydia Bancroft, is drawn to an attractive bibliophile who regularly visits yet doesn't speak with her. He often leaves an unfinished book behind on a table and Lydia saves it for his next visit.  Meanwhile, Sebastian Marks, a wealthy club owner from an impoverished and low background, has become interested in Lydia--not enough to chat with her, though, until she's hurt at the hotel where he lives. 

Everyone seems to know Sebastian and either fear or respect him. Lydia has retreated into a world dominated by her stories and the library where she works.  After her father's death, she and her mother have been left in reduced circumstances.  When Sebastian saves Lydia from her fiance, their relationship is broken.  Ms. Gray indicates at the beginning of the audiobook that this is a story about friendship. Lydia and Sebastian certainly need to learn how to be friends, including with each other.

When Lydia makes some poor decisions and she is later entangled in a murder investigation, the plot truly thickens! Can Sebastian overcome his childhood traumas?  Can Lydia begin to engage in real life, including real life relationships and all that entails? Their budding friendship and fledgling romance is beautiful and the Christian spiritual arc for Sebastian was woven well into the story.

A secondary romance between two of Sebastian's employee's is simply stunning and very moving!!!

Highly recommend.  I loved listening to this book! This is on my Best Audiobooks of 2015 list!! Upcoming soon!

12 January 2016

Diana's Review Of A Worthy Heart By Susan Anne Mason

Bethany House, Jan. 2016

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
~5 stars~

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling 

Susan Anne Mason has penned a mesmerizing, impassioned Irish American saga of two families whose lives intertwine at the lovely and affluent estate—the O'Leary stables, Irish Meadows, in 1914 Long Island, New York.

Maggie Montgomery's dreams of coming to America and starting a new life are finally coming to fruition. She has escaped the unwanted advances of Neill Fitzgerald and has no plans of ever returning to the lush, verdant meadows of Ireland. Once in New York she is reunited with Rylan Montgomery, her beloved brother and his wife, the former Colleen O'Leary of Irish Meadows estate. While visiting Irish Meadows she meets Colleen's brother, Adam—handsome and intriguing, but totally off limits.

Adam O'Leary has recently been released from prison and though ostracized from his family, Maggie is inexorably drawn to him. Adam's main desire of heart is to earn back his family's trust, and the lovely Irish Maggie who was not a part of his plans quickly becomes a priority as well. However, their tight-knit bond begins to unravel as Adam stumbles upon a terrible family secret that threatens to completely destroy his already low self-esteem—and neither he nor Maggie realize their undeniable attraction to one another may cause unfathomable danger to themselves...and those they love.

Author Susan Anne Mason has quickly become one of my favorite new authors—beginning with her amazing debut novel Irish Meadows and totally enrapturing me with A Worthy Heart! With a smidgen of suspense, two toe curling, angst-filled romances in the O'Leary/Montgomery family for the price of one (sighhh...)—and memorable characters who will wrap themselves around your heart and not let go—this is a definite must read! Although not a requirement as this book does well as a stand alone, I highly recommend reading Irish Meadows first to become better acquainted with each fascinating character. A Worthy Heart is a fast-paced, exciting novel with never a dull moment, interspersed with a strong theme of forgiveness and redemption throughout. Be sure to order your copy today!

Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Bethany House. I was not required to give a positive review.

This novel may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, BAM, and your local bookstore!

GIVEWAY: Susan Anne Mason is generously offering a paperback copy of A Worthy Heart to one blessed commenter! To be eligible, please be sure to leave your email address for contact purposes written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers. US entrants only in this particular giveaway.

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