Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults–with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her “Diary of a Teenage Girl” series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.
She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Is there room in one little hometown for four very different Lindas to reinvent their lives … together?
Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever. But that was forty-seven years and four very different lives ago. Now a class reunion has brought them all together in their old hometown—at a crossroads in their lives.
Janie is a high-powered lawyer with a load of grief. Abby is a lonely housewife in a beautiful oceanfront empty nest. Marley is trying to recapture the artistic free spirit she lost in an unhappy marriage. And the beautiful Caroline is scrambling to cope with her mother’s dementia and a Hollywood career that never really happened. Together, they’re about to explore the invigorating reality that even the most eventful life has second acts … and friendship doesn’t come with a statue of limitations.
As Young As We Feel is the story of four women who happen to share the same first name and have known each other since first grade. When they reconnect at a high school reunion after many years of doing their own thing, their friendship is renewed. The death of a classmate inspires each of them to examine their own life and the hopes and dreams that have been unfulfilled. As the women spend time together and share more openly, they realize that all of them are very different from their external public facades.
As Young As We Feel is related through four points of view which sometimes detracts from the cohesiveness of the storyline. Fortunately each chapter is labeled with the subject’s name so there is no difficulty keeping up with the characters. Other than that, I found the book easy to read and because I am a member of the same era I could relate to many of the issues faced by the Lindas. One warning – the book did not end with everything tied up in a neat package but the first chapter of the next book in the series was included at the back. After reading it, I look forward to the next installment. Things could get very interesting for these ladies.
Songbird Under a German Moon had me hooked from the opening page and kept my attention until the last word. I have always been a fan of historical fiction, especially when the book gives me a glimpse of people and events that are not necessarily in the history books. Tricia Goyer has accomplished that in this fast paced suspenseful page turner. Reading about the lives of USO entertainers in Germany immediately after WWII was a unique and fascinating experience. The background details about Hitler and his obsession with Wagner’s music as well as the history of the Festspielhaus were icing on the cake.
The developing romance between Betty and Frank progressed naturally as they worked together to find answers to a suspicious death. Several plot twists and surprises kept me involved in the story and the ending was satisfying. I would recommend Songbird Under a German Moon to anyone who enjoys a good historical romance with some suspense as an added bonus.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.
About Songbird Under a German Moon:
The year is 1945. The war is over and 21-year-old Betty Lake has been invited to Europe to sing in a USO tour for American soldiers who now occupy Hitler’s Germany. The first nights performance is a hit. Betty becomes enthralled with the applause, the former Nazi-held mansion they’re housed in and the attention of Frank Witt, the US Army Signal Corp Photographer. Yet the next night this songbird is ready to fly the coop when Betty’s dear friend, Kat, turns up missing.
Betty soon realizes Franks photographs could be the key to finding Kat. Betty and Frank team up against post-war Nazi influences and the two lovebirds’ hearts may find the answers…in each other.
But will they have a chance for their romance to sing? The truth will be revealed under a German moon.
Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-four books including From Dust and Ashes, My Life UnScripted, and the children’s book, 10 Minutes to Showtime. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer’s Conference in 2003. Tricia’s book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in the mountains of Montana. Visit www.triciagoyer.com for more info!
. . . weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
To be perfectly honest, my first impression of the two primary characters Matthew and Ellie was pretty negative. I felt that Ellie’s grief over the loss of her children was extreme due to the fact that she was over protective of her youngest and pretty much ignored the older four living children. And at first Matthew came across as very self-righteous – that is until I understood the reasons for his intense reaction to the play. Once I gained a better understanding of these characters, I was able to enjoy the story. A strong cast of supporting characters adds depth to the narrative.
The Promise of Morning is a realistic look at the very real hardships and difficulties faced by the early settlers in Illinois. It is a story full of tragedy and challenging situations. Many of the problems encountered were a direct result of choices that were made – choices based on personal pain or feelings of inadequacy. Perseverance and reliance on the Lord eventually led to grace, spiritual maturity, and a satisfying resolution.
I would recommend The Promise of Morning to those who enjoy historical fiction and are not afraid of an emotional and heart rending tale.
This book was provided for review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
New historical romance set on the Illinois frontier in 1840s:
When loss breaks her heart, can she find the courage to go on?
The Promise of Morning from Ann Shorey takes readers to Beldon Grove on the Illinois frontier in the 1840s. Life isn’t easy here. For Ellie Craig, the graves of her three infant children make it unbearably lonely, despite the love of her husband Matthew. When she uncovers a family secret that suggests she may not be as alone as she thought, Ellie is determined to find the truth.
Meanwhile, Matthew Craig faces controversy in the church he pastors when a man arrives in town claiming to be both a minister and the son of the town’s founder. Will Matthew find the courage to reclaim his church? Or will he return to itinerant preaching, leaving Ellie even more alone than before?
Book 2 in the At Home in Beldon Grove series, The Promise of Morning will touch your soul with themes of overcoming tragedy, finding strength to meet daunting challenges, and trusting your heart to love again.
The Promise of Morningby Ann Shorey ISBN: 978-0-8007-3333-9
$14.99, March 2010
“It’s human nature to make promises we hope to keep. But sometimes life intervenes: community rhythms bump us into places we hadn’t planned; families disagree and fracture; our bodies break. The Promise of Morning is a story with all those interruptions gracefully portrayed by author Ann Shorey. Through vivid characters we care about (or love to detest) and a story that keeps us turning pages, we are assured that God keeps promises in the morning, noon, and night, and loves us even when we don’t. A fine read.”–Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ann Shorey is the author of The Edge of Light and has published selections in the Cup of Comfort series and in Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul.
Melanie Beroth Dobson is the author of the inspirational novels Together for Good (2006), Going for Broke (2007), The Black Cloister (2008), Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana (2009), Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (2010), Refuge on Crescent Hill (2010), and The Silent Order (2010) as well as the co-author of Latte for One and Loving It! A Single Woman’s Guide to Living Life to Its Fullest (2000).
Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master’s degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.
Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they’ve been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.
Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn’t writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Times are hard in 1894. Desperate for work, former banker Jacob Hirsch rides the rails west from Chicago with his four-year-old daughter, Cassie. When a life-threatening illness strands the pair in Homestead, Iowa, the local Amana villagers welcome the father and daughter into their peaceful society. Liesel, a young Amana woman, nurses Cassie back to health, and the Homestead elders offer Jacob work. But Jacob’s growing interest in Liesel complicates his position in the Amanas. Will he fight to stay in the only place that feels like home, even if it means giving up the woman he loves? Or will Liesel leave her beloved community to face the outside world with Jacob and Cassie at her side?
Learn more about Melanie and her books on her Website.
Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa is primarily a story about life in the Amanas, an Iowan Christian communal society. It features Liesel, a young Amana woman who finds herself uncertain about her impending wedding and the man she is to marry. After helping nurse outsider Jacob’s seriously ill daughter back to health, Liesel’s unexpected attraction to Jacob and her growing attachment to his daughter Cassie lead to difficulties with the Amana elders. Situations arise that test them all and only God’s grace and intervention can see them through.
Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa is a sweet love story that emphasizes integrity and the rewards that come from just doing the right thing. I liked the fact that although it was obvious that Liesel and her fiance were not meant to be together, Emil was not portrayed as an evil man but his positive attributes were emphasized. All in all, Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa is an engaging story against the historical backdrop of Homestead, Iowa that includes intriguing facts about commune life during the late 1800’s. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction should enjoy this book.
Scattered Petals is a beautifully written story set in Texas hill country just before the Civil War. Priscilla’s quest for adventure results in devastating tragedy. Overcome with guilt and grief and troubled by nightmares, she attempts to resume her life in the home of her dead sister’s husband and his fiance. When faced with yet another unwelcome surprise, Priscilla is rescued by ranch foreman Zach who has unresolved issues of his own.
Scattered Petals is a realistic view of the harsh realities of frontier life during the mid-1800’s and vividly portrays both the good and bad sides of human nature. A tender love story, the importance of forgiveness towards both others and oneself is stressed.
I thoroughly enjoyed Scattered Petals and look forward to reading other books by Amanda Cabot. The next installment of this series will surely be on my to read list.
Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In Scattered Petals, author Amanda Cabot offers readers the second book in her beloved Texas Dreams series.
Longing for adventure, Priscilla Morton leaves Boston and heads for Texas, never dreaming that the adventure she seeks will leave her badly injured and her parents dead. Priscilla is determined to rebuild her life and make a home for herself in the beautiful Hill Country. But the bandits who took her parents’ lives also destroyed her hope for the future.
Ranch foreman Zachary Webster knows what the future holds for him, and it’s not a woman like Priscilla. She deserves a cultured East Coast gentleman, not a cowboy who’s haunted by memories of his mistakes. The best thing he can do is leave her alone.
When necessity draws them together, Priscilla and Zach begin to forge a life that, like the scattered petals of her childhood, is filled with promise. But then the past intrudes, threatening their very existence.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker. The author of Paper Roses, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the co-founder of its New Jersey chapter, a member of the ACFW, and an avid traveler.
Endorsements “Crafting characters rich with emotion, Amanda Cabot pens a compelling story of devastation and loss, of healing and second chances. But most of all, of transcending faith.”–Tamera Alexander, bestselling author, From a Distance
“Scattered Petalsis an exceptional book! Insight into situations that sometimes appear unfathomable, the healing power of God’s love, and the consolation he provides so magnificently are written with heartfelt emotion that brings the characters’ romantic love to life. Do not miss Scattered Petals. Reading it is an experience that fills the heart with joy.”–Elaine Barbieri, New York Times bestselling author