Friday, August 26, 2016

Talking Love With Susan M. Baganz



You would think the author of countless romance stories would find it easy to write one out of her own life. But it’s not.

Growing up, I would walk home and look up to heaven, spin around, and wonder if God was taking my picture. Did He care for my overly-sensitive, hurting and lonely heart? All a teacher had to do was look at me wrong and I’d burst into tears until sixth grade when I learned to hide my pain.

The sweetest love story is when, after years of sensing God’s call to me, I finally understood that I could respond. That he was waiting for me to do so! James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (NASB)” Really? He wasn’t some distant King high on a thrown beyond my reach. I first came to understand this at a Campus Life/Youth for Christ meeting.

For weeks I had begged some friends to let me come to a meeting. They seemed happy. They had something I didn’t. And they would go to concerts for groups like . . . Petra, who I had never heard of. Finally, I was invited and we had a conversation about misconceptions people had about Christianity. I was raised knowing about God and taught to fear Him, so I was fully engaged in the conversation. Then the biggest misconception hit me—that people didn’t understand that they could have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Whoa. Really?

I prayed right then and there and my entire world shifted.

I went out and bought a Bible and started devouring it. Opposition came but I clung to Christ. To a hurting, lonely fifteen-year-old, the fact that the God of the universe wanted me—Me?—was a huge revelation. When depression plagued me, I was told I was trying to manipulate people. The only reason I never attempted to take my life was because of the love of God.

Thirty-five years have brought me through many trials and triumphs, deep pains and sweet moments. God has been there by my side through all of it. I wish I could say that I’ve been as faithful to Him as He has been to me. It’s hard when people have wounded me deeply to trust the God who allowed it to happen. Yet I wouldn’t be here without Him. He’s led me, grown me, matured me . . . and I’ve learned that in Him I have more strength than I could ever have on my own. Some trials I look back on in wonder at how I was able to respond the way I did. That couldn’t have been me, could it?

Only God.

Through abuses, betrayals, heartache, He has been my constant. My one true love. When I write my romances my hope and prayer is that at some level the reader will understand the love of God that underlies the journey’s my characters take.

God is faithful. He has never abandoned me. The fact that He gives me the opportunity to put some of those experiences into my stories to bless others is just another example of His love for me.


Check out Susan’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…



The Baron’s Blunder
“Love does not delight in evil …” 1 Corinthians: 13:6

Fighting evil has been a hobby, but fending off marriage-minded debutantes—a chore.

Lord Charles Percy fends off a land pirate robbing a carriage in broad daylight. Noting he has rescued a beautiful debutante, he lies about his title claiming to be a mere mister.

The Honorable Henrietta Allendale isn’t convinced Mr. Percy is who he claims to be. But after he admits to one blunder can she ever truly trust what he says? Especially about the evil threatening her? Who is the Black Diamond anyway and why would he be after either of them?

One intrepid debutant and one bumbling Baron soon join forces to defeat evil. But to do so might mean they have to sacrifice the one thing they’ve each held as most important—their single status.


Can the truth set them free to love?  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sarah and The Double Wedding Woes - Gay N. Lewis


Another great segment to Gay N. Lewis' Sarah Series 

A double wedding? Was it possible? 

Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes by Gay N. Lewis

The Superiors want Jessica and Robert to marry, but they throw in a twist--while seeing to their wedding, Sarah, Heaven’s Little Love Angel, must also find a mate for Bonnie, Jessica’s mom. Her orders are to bring about the two weddings simultaneously. 

Can Sarah pull it off? Or will her clumsiness destroy two romances in one shot? 

My Review:  Ms. Lewis never fails to win the heart with the adventures of her little angel, Sarah. The heavenly adventurer’s task this time is to bring four people together and have them marry.

Her charges, Bonnie and daughter, Jessica, each want the other to be happy, and while both have been widowed for a number of years, they can’t think of leaving the other one alone. Jessica is already dating Robert, but there’s no one in sight for Bonnie – that is until Sarah shows up.

A delightful quick read. 



Friday, July 15, 2016

Talking Love with Carlene Havel




St. Paul took a whole chapter in I Corinthians listing various hallmarks of love. Rather than attempt a pat definition, he revealed some of love’s many facets, turning it over and over as one might a brilliant, perfectly-cut diamond.

Since love is such a broad topic, let’s zero in on one aspect—romantic love. When a special person makes the heart beat faster, regardless of the season of life, we begin to question our emotions. Am I in love?  How will I know when it happens? How can I be sure when it is the real thing? Living a few years teaches us romantic love is accompanied with tender feelings, but that “gushy” feeling alone is not enough to stand the test of time. Love is more.  Real romance involves two people who care enough for each to put the other ahead of themselves.  In a “me first” instant gratification world, that kind of commitment is rare.  Yet it is the kind of giving, sharing love we hunger for at our very core.

Do I love him? Does he love me?  A simple test would be to consider each of the characteristics of love from I Corinthians.  Are we kind to each other?  Are we patient with each other? And so on.   Many heartbreaks could be avoided by thinking through that Biblical checklist, and turning away from a relationship with too many “no” answers.  Another person’s love is not directly measureable.  We can’t take out a yardstick and see how it stacks up. Instead, we observe love by its impact.  Oscar Hammerstein II is credited with this little rhyme that captures a singular way of looking at love:   

A bell is not a bell till you ring it.
A song is not a song till you sing it.
Love in your heart isn’t put there to stay.
Love isn’t love till you give it away.”

Prism Book Group’s “Love Is…” series takes its inspiration from I Corinthians chapter 13.  Eventually there will be a short novel that takes its theme from one of the aspects of true love.  My contribution to this series is “Evidence Not Seen”, inspired by “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” Or, if you prefer the lyrical language of the old King James translation, “thinketh no evil.”  I hope those who read my story find it to be true to that sentiment.  

In the final analysis, we are left with faith, hope, and love.  What a marvelous trilogy!  And the greatest, of course, is love.  May we all practice it faithfully, daily, unrelentingly.  Love never fails.



Check out Carlene’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…




Evidence Not Seen
“Love keeps no record of wrongs…” 1 Corinthians: 13:5

Although attorney Jeff Galloway’s career is in high gear, his personal life is a mess. Just before his father returns home from a 27-year stretch in prison, his girlfriend dumps him. When a chance encounter begins to blossom into new romance, soft-hearted Melanie Clark encourages Jeff to find a way to forgive his father’s long absence.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Danele J. Rotharmel introducing her latest book - Time Trap

Time Trap - The Time Counselor Chronicles #2

I'm excited to have Danele return today with her latest book. She is such an interesting writer and I absolutely can't put her books down.






Bio:  Danele Rotharmel grew up with a love of the literary word, and by age five, she knew she wanted to be a writer. However, her life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a low-level carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace in her home was slowly poisoning her. This poisoning triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and partial amnesia.
       During this time, the hardest thing she faced was a crisis of faith. She had to quit her job and stop going to church. She couldn’t write, couldn’t drive, and could barely remember who she was. To say she was upset with the Lord was an understatement. She began reexamining her faith in light of her illness, and eventually, she came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is interested and involved, and God is trustworthy regardless of tragedy.
       When her illness became even more severe, she was put into quarantine and could only talk to friends and extended family through the glass of a window. This quarantine lasted for seven years. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.
       Danele currently lives in Colorado where she continues to write. Although her journey back to health was long and difficult, it provided her with the opportunity to grow closer to God and to write her books. For that, she is forever thankful.
       You can learn more about Danele by visiting her blog at https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/


A little bit about Time Trap:  When problems arise during a field exam, Director Peter Matthews and Dr. Laura Nelson are sent through a time portal to investigate.  While they search for their missing cadets, they encounter an enemy who is calculating and brutal—a mysterious nemesis who is holding a grudge against the TEMCO program.  As Peter and Laura race to unravel clues directing them to their kidnapped cadets, their own survival comes into question.  A deadly trap has been set, and they are forced to pit their wits against a serial killer who is intent on playing a deadly chess game through time itself. 

My Review:  The second book in the Time Counselor Chronicles is just as exciting as the first. Ms Rotharmel delivers an exciting punch to anyone looking for a sci-fi adventure. The characters are well established and with the interesting development of several plots intertwining and weaving together to the end, this book cannot be put down.

Once again we visit TEMCO Labs and the time counselors. Dan and Gil arrive back through the blue glow with their new son. The baby’s delivery causes Gil’s old injuries to flair, and she and Dan remain at the hospital while the other employees keep it from them that something is dreadfully wrong at the lab.

Again I’m impressed with the writing craft displayed in this series of books and wildly impressed with Ms. Rotharmel’s talent. Can’t wait for number three!


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Answering Sarah - A Captivating Story

Answering Sarah
Nancy Shew Bolton

After a fire destroys their home when she was a girl, Sarah’s family rebuilds their lives, yet the echoes of the fire’s damage remain. Sarah learned to turn inward, and keep her curious mind to herself, asking God all the questions that her own father used to delight in. But the fire silenced her father, and spread the stillness to the rest of them. Yet Sarah longs to express herself, to find answers to all her questions. A new, young pastor arrives, and captivates her heart. The prospect of a challenging and unexpected life dances before her, but then is held out of her reach. And with the new possibilities come questions she’s never asked herself before. Is she ready for the answers?

My Review:  After a devastating fire ravages their home and community, Sarah’s father pulls away from the family and hardly speaks. He’s gone for long periods of time hunting and struggling to provide for his family in turn of the century Wyoming. Due to her families’ situation, young Sarah is left with many questions.

Ten years later, when Sarah is on the edge of womanhood, a young minister come to their church. He’s full of ideas and questions of his own. The two struggle against their romantic feelings and other mounting concerns of the community against the newly built library where Sarah is the librarian. He seeks God’s will and teaches her to do the same.

Ms. Bolton has a pleasant writing style and with her well-hewn skills draws the reader into her characters. The descriptions of the hard life of a farmer in Wyoming and the development of the community atmosphere enhance the story.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Book #8 by Gail Pallotta from Prism Book Group's Love Is Series



When I was in college I used to run into an atheist in the small cafe where we gathered for Coca-Colas, hamburgers and French fries after class. I tried to avoid him, because he always hopped over to my table and started an argument about my faith.
Perhaps he comes to mind on the release day of Breaking Barriers for several reasons. One, he was angry at me because I am a Christian. Even though today I can’t recall which verses he used, he’d take passages from the Bible and try to make me say they weren’t true. When I wouldn’t, he’d retort with a scientific argument and claim it had to be right.
The second reason he comes to mind—it was the mention of God’s love that finally silenced him. One day I grew so frustrated I asked, “If there’s no God, where does love come from? Why don’t you mix me up a little bowl of it? If scientists could do it, they would, because they could sell a ton of it for lots of money.”
His mouth gaped.
He never trotted to my table again.
Since then I’ve read that we have chemicals in the brain that produce love. I’ve often wondered if he came up with that theory. Even if that were true, the chemicals in the brain came from somewhere, and that would still lead back to God. I hope it wasn’t him. I hope he thought about God’s great love for us and decided to read the Bible.


Check out Gail’s contribution to Prism Book Group’s new Love Is series…



Breaking Barriers
“…love is not easily angered …” 1 Corinthians: 13:5

Gunshots ring out as Ann Jones enters the church. She hides in the bathroom until they stop, then stumbles into the sanctuary. The congregation lies dead in pools of blood. To rebuild the church, she starts True Light Guardians. At the first meeting, she’s attacked by a terrorist, but rescued by James Crawford. He melts her heart, cold from her father’s abuse, and they fall for each other. She’s afraid to commit to love that might grow angry later, like the type she knew as a child. James yearns to stop other attempts on Ann’s life, but can’t. Tormented by her constant risks, he breaks up with her. When an assault sends her to the hospital, an unlikely ally shares Ann’s plight with James, but he reveals a lead that puts all three of them in even more danger.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

First Book Of a Promising Series - Dumpster Dicing, A Buncho Biddies Mystery

Award Winning Author Julie B. Cosgrove's Latest Release


As Janie and Betsy Ann go for their morning jog, the city sanitation vehicle follows its normal five-mile Tuesday morning route through their retirement community of Sunset Acres. The two Bunco-playing biddies spot a leg dangling out of the dumpster when the truck lifts the trash container high in the air. Someone diced up one of their newest residents—a grouchy loner named Edwin Newman. Did he unpack too much of his dicey past when he moved in last weekend?

My Review:

Senior citizens, Janie and Betsy Ann, never imagined they’d see a body tumbling out of the dumpster during their morning walk at the retirement village.

Determined to do a little sleuthing to help out Janie’s overworked son in law, Blake, chief detective of their small community, Janie and Betsy enlist the help of the Bunco Biddies.

This novel will make you smile, make you laugh, and shake your head at the antics of the senior set and their ability to solve the mystery just steps ahead of the police department. 

What other reviewer's are saying:

A well written and executed story. I love reading the first in a series, and discovering I want more. In this case, I want more. "Sharon McGregor"

"Delightful book, full of humorous situations."  Marsha Irene

"Looking forward to more of the mysteries with the Bunco Biddies."  Janice Sisemore