Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sparks of Love

Mary L. Ball's latest novel:  Sparks of Love

Sparks of Love

Misjudged and accused, Lynette Cunningham walks away from God and everything she loves.

Ten years later, a phone call from father offers hope when he announces he may have a clue to the unsolved crime that forced her to run. She’s scared, but encouraged. Maybe this will clear her name from slander in her small North Carolina hometown.

Before Lynette returns tragedy strikes. A fire destroys her childhood home and kills her father. While she sorts through the ruins and hopes to find the clue, Lynette meets the new pastor, Price Fletcher. She must face the two things that scare her most. The past and a man of God.

The past wants to stay buried. Will Lynette stay alive long enough to prove her innocence and accept the love that is offered?

My Review:  After her father’s death at the hands of an arsonist, Lynette finds her way back to Freedom and to the faith that once comforted her. A relationship grows between her and Price, the minister of her father’s church, but Lynette can’t let go of the injustice of the town’s gossips that hold a grudge against her for a wrong she didn’t commit.

Ms. Ball once again delivers an exciting novel full of mystery, murder, and moving prose. The novel is one that’s hard to put down full of page turning twists and turns.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fall Into Reading

Recent Releases from Prism Book Group

Love, Lies, and FirefliesLove, Lies and Fireflies~Jan Elder 
Didi O'Brien, reeling from the betrayal of her fiance, meets Jake who is also struggling with his past. The young couple fights their way through personal disasters to realize they’re meant to be together.

Ms. Elder’s novel brings plenty of drama and intense suspense.  Love truly conquers all.





Society of the L.A.M.B.~Judy DuCharme
Society of the L.A.M.B.In a futuristic world where the inner man is squelched, all evil prevails. Josiah returns to his grandfather and his faith with a mission to save others.

It is revealed to him through miracles and angels what he is to do to bring those back to his grandfather’s safe house who have lost their way. He meets old friends and discovers new ones, some he can save others who will put their life on the line for him.

Interesting premise with good descriptive writing.




The Stone Giver~Buffy Andrews
An amazing story of a wounded soldier and his nurse and how their lives become intertwined, but they are pulled part.
The Stone Giver

Jack has lost his legs and is at Walter Reed fighting his way back to normalcy. Zara’s brother lost his life and didn’t come back from war. Zara realizes she’s too close to the situation and to Jack. She leaves the hospital, but she gives him a heart shaped stone. Neither of them is aware of the ripple it will cause.


This well written and timely novel is another great offering by Ms. Andrews. I thoroughly enjoyed the unique story and the message it contains.



Looking for other great books? Check out Prism Book Group! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Feta and Freeways ~ Susan M. Baganz

  Feta and Freeways - Susan M. Baganz

Feta and FreewaysHe’d never noticed her…till now. 

Nikolos Acton is the lead singer of a Christian Band, Specific Gravity, struggling to make it in the industry after an unplanned break, touring the country with their manager, Tia. 

Tia Bartel loved Niko for the longest time, but it wasn’t until she stepped in to save his life that he finally realizes what has been there all along. Is it too late for him? Could a relationship between them work after years of ignoring her? How would he ever convince her he’s worthy of her trust? 

As they journey on the freeway of life and love, they encounter struggles as they are forced to rely on their faith, and friends, to make it through.

My Review:  Tai is secretly in love with the lead singer of the Christian band she manages, but Niko doesn’t seem to notice. He isn’t even aware she’s around even though she
has done countless things to further his career. When she puts her life on the line to save him, his eyes are opened.

This is a touching story of a couple finding each other and working through fears and uncertainties all played out against the backdrop of a touring singing group. Action and excellent writing keep the story moving to a delightful and poignant end.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Through Raging Waters ~ Renee Blare

Through Raging Waters ~ Renee Blare

Through Raging WatersIf Mother Nature has her way, Timber Springs will never be the same... 

A warm spring and early rainstorms melt the snowpack. Spring runoff compounded by the storm of the century sends Timber Springs into a tailspin. 
Tossed into the role of rescuer, local pharmacist Paul Fitzgerald must face his past before the whole world falls apart. While he fights to contain the beast around him, he finds his steadfast control slipping through his fingers. And life…everyone’s life…hangs by a thread once again. 
She isn’t a hero. Melissa Hampton has her own demons to battle. After she learns of her mysterious beginnings amidst her mother’s keepsakes, she faces more than just the river rushing outside her door. Now, she must discern friend from foe…but as waters rise and tension climbs within Timber Springs, she needs to rise to the challenge or lose the only man she's ever loved. 

Can two people find each other through raging waters?

My Review:  An early spring storm sends a deluge on the tiny hamlet of Timber Springs and the creek crests its banks. Prominent members of the Fitzgerald family jump into action to rescue the flooded town. Paul Fitzgerald, the town’s pharmacist, puts together a team to rescue surveyors stranded at mountain cabin.

Melissa Hampton works for a large timber company and finds herself in the fray locating equipment for her boss and the town’s rescue. She gets caught up in the search for the surveying team due to her concern for Paul, the man she loves.

While more than a rescue attempt plays out at the cabin, Melissa and Paul become acutely aware they may not survive their ordeal.

Ms. Blare writes with a great deal of emotion and impact. The story progresses at a rapid pace making it hard to put down.

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.