Meet the Characters in Julie Arduini’s Entrusted

May 20, 2015

EntrustedOne indicator of a good book is that you quickly begin to care for the characters. This is a charming story that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even shake your head. As the heroine begins her new life in Speculator Falls, New York with a “bang,” she quickly becomes an engaging heroine, and the reader immediately wants her to succeed.

Although the first-person, present tense point of view took a little getting used to for me, a lot of people enjoy the “in-the-now” feeling as they read. The believable, quirky characters and the story with a clear spiritual message made it a very enjoyable read.

In a nutshell: A young woman ventures from her hometown to another state for the first time to live and work. What obstacles and tests of her faith will she encounter, and how will she attack each one? As she tries to encourage others to surrender their fears to the Lord, how does she cope with her own?

Jenna Anderson is a city girl who is clueless about small mountain town living. But one thing she does know is how to care about people.

Ben Regan meets Jenna in a most awkward and unusual circumstance. As the two become acquainted, he sends Jenna mixed signals that have her running through a gamut of emotions.

Sara Bivins, Ben’s grandmother, “village matriarch” becomes like a second mother to Jenna, freely imparting faith and wisdom in her lovingly persuasive manner.

Howard Wheaton is Jenna’s favorite “curmudgeon” at the senior center. She instinctively sees a side of Howard that he tries hard to hide.

Shirley McIlwain is the tenacious volunteer receptionist and self-proclaimed office manager at the senior center, who becomes Jenna’s right hand in organization.

Kyle Swarthmore is an arrogant financial mogul who has ulterior motives for his generosity and a plan to undermine Ben’s hopes to expand his business.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book which will keep you engaged and wanting to see what happens next. I loved the way Arduini employs humor in her story, and she had me giggling as I read. The characters are well-written and lovable. Well, most of them are lovable. But then antagonists aren’t supposed to be lovable, are they?

If you like easy, fun reads with substance, this one certainly fits the bill.

Julie ArduiniJulie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ through surrender. She’s the author of the Amazon bestseller, Entrusted and co-author of the international bestseller The Love Boat Bachelor. She also shared her story in the Amazon bestseller infertility devotional, A Walk in the Valley. She’s the fiction contributing editor for the digital magazine, Imaginate, and blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.

Learn more about Julie by visiting her at

Connect with her on Facebook:,                                                          Twitter:,                                                               G+:,                                 Pinterest:,                                        Instagram:,                              Goodreads:,                               Amazon:

You can purchase her books at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and

Meet the Characters in Imperfect Wings by Elizabeth Noyes

April 10, 2015

Imperfect WingsWhen I read books for review, I periodically jot down things I want to remember to include about the story or the characters. By the time I reached chapter two of Imperfect Wings, I was so engrossed in the story, I tossed the pen aside because I couldn’t put the book down long enough to write a single note. That’s how enthralling this book is. If you like action-packed romantic suspense with an emphasis on the suspense and a touch of thriller, I highly recommend this book.

 The heroine was on a mission. But was it justice she wanted—or revenge? Either way, the fact that she witnessed a murder created further tragedy she couldn’t foresee and put many more innocent people in danger. Once she’d succeeded in rescuing the children from an orphanage in Honduras, her focus shifted to remaining a step ahead of her would-be captors and simply staying alive.

Her journey took her to middle-of-nowhere Idaho, where she finally began to feel safe, and where the host family was determined to protect her. But was it enough?

I invite you to grab a copy of this book, and hang on to your seat for a thrilling ride!

Meet the Characters:

T. J. McKendrick – A petite frame doesn’t necessarily mean fragility, and T. J. was hardly delicate. In fact, she could hold her own with well-trained men more than twice her size. But remaining hidden until she could testify in a trial that was sure to convict some evil people proved to be the biggest challenge of her life.

Don Rafael Castillo (“the Butcher”) had an agenda. He power, and he wanted T.J. dead. So did people in higher places with even more at risk.

Garrett Cameron gladly traded a life of violence for running his family’s ranch. However, the past would not let go of him, and he found himself bound to protect a person who’d already created havoc for him once before.

Mallory Cameron, one of the Cameron men’s younger sisters, knew them as well as anyone, and had no trouble discerning the heart of her older brother.

Agent Kevin Fowler was the person in charge of her safety and protection. Why was the warning in Mississippi so late it almost got her killed?

And who were the intriguing Cowboy, Rascal, Iceman, Dingo, Romeo, Farmboy, and Dawg, among others? Got to read the book to find out!


Betty NoyesElizabeth Noyes spent fourteen years working as a professional writer for a private company. After she retired, she began writing full-time, and has published A Dozen Apologies, a collaborative work involving twelve authors. Online readers selected her character as the favorite hero, which entitled her to write the final chapter of the book. Another collaborative book in which Elizabeth contributed, Love Boat Bachelor, released Valentine’s Day, 2015.

 Imperfect Wings, her first full-length novel, was a CAT 5 winner in the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest. It is the first of her Imperfect Series, and the Book Two, Imperfect Trust, is due out this year.

Elizabeth lives with her husband outside Atlanta, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She shares her expertise in a critique group, and is a mighty encourager.

Elizabeth was a featured author in the Jan/Feb 2015 the edition of Southern Writers Magazine. You can purchase her books at, and learn more about her by visiting her blog at


Meet the Characters in Betty Thomason Owens’ Newest Novel, Amelia’s Legacy

February 22, 2015

Meet the Characters in Betty Thomason Owens’ Newest Novel, Amelia’s Legacy.

Meet the Characters in Betty Thomason Owens’ Newest Novel, Amelia’s Legacy

February 22, 2015

Amelia's Legacy FRONT CoverAmelia’s Legacy has an interesting, believable, relatable cast of characters, including some unexpected ones in a surprise turn of events. The plot is well developed, and twists are sure to keep your attention and turning the pages.

Nancy struggles to wrench herself away from Grandmother’s grasp and become her own person, only to find Amelia Sanderson’s grip is tighter than she’d ever imagined. After tragedy strikes, Nancy is unsure of who she can trust but is more determined than ever to get answers to questions that have plagued her for years.

I would recommend this book to young adults and as well as adults who enjoy a clean inspirational, historical romance. This is much more than a girl-meets-boy story. It is a story of family love, faith, and forgiveness with an ample dose of suspense mixed in.


Meet the Characters:

Nancy Sanderson  wanted nothing more than to be her own person, free from her domineering guardian grandmother. After all, she was old enough to make her own decisions, wasn’t she? Rejecting her grandmother’s well-ordered plan for her life, Nancy chose to find her freedom in exhilarating rendezvous with the handsome and exciting Nate Conners.

Amelia Woods Sanderson, Nancy’s guardian, will go to whatever lengths she deems necessary to protect her granddaughter. She’d run the family business as well as any man and strove to assure her only heir would be well taken care of — and well-connected after she was no longer there to care for her.

Nate Conners, the handsome and exciting college sophomore seemed to like Nancy as much as he appealed to her. “The fact that Grandmother would never approve of him made him even more interesting.”

Robert Emerson, magna cum laude graduate from Harvard, has a promising career in his father’s law firm. He is also Grandmother’s choice for Nancy for a husband, but he’s much too straight-laced for her.

Rebecca Lewis and Nancy (“of the Newport Lewises”) became friends and confidants after meeting during their cruise to Europe, and they became roommates at Jennings college.


I had a chance to ask the author a couple questions about her book.

What inspired you to choose the “Roaring Twenties” for the setting of your novel?

I’ve always had a fascination with the twenties. As a child I would spend hours looking through Grandma’s old pictures. There was one of a couple dressed in 1920s costumes (I thought) and I asked Grandma why they were dressed up like that. She told me that’s how they dressed back then. But she never did, since the flappers were considered “wild”—Grandma was a church girl, raised in a Southern Baptist church. When I was thinking about the setting for Amelia’s Legacy, I remembered that picture and thought it might be interesting to explore that time period.

How did Nancy and Amelia introduce themselves to you?

I saw the young Nancy sitting in that chair, enduring another scolding from her stern Grandmother. She “zoned out” as I often did, when I was subjected to a lecture. Sometimes I still do that. When she first popped into my head, sitting there like that, I realized she was a dreamer like me. But where I only dreamed about rebellion, she actually carried it out. Grandmother was stern because she had to be. She was a successful businesswoman in a day when men ruled the corporate ladders. These two women were dependent upon each other, but their relationship was a rocky one.

I actually really liked Amelia’s character, because she acted out of love, and I suppose that was her greatest legacy.


Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of Betty Owensarticles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s also a mentor, assisting other writers. She is a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers, and a contributing editor for the soon-to-be launched online magazine, Imaginate.

Her 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series, released October, 2014 (Write Integrity Press). She also writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequel, The Love Boat Bachelor, releasing January 26, 2015. She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale Books TM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM. Coming up next, a 1950’s historical novel based on the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Ruth Series (Write Integrity Press).

You can connect with Betty on her personal webpage, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and at Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My!

Meet the Characters in Rachel Allord’s Mother of My Son

October 30, 2014

Mother of My SonMother of My Son is a beautiful, well-written story of redemption, forgiveness, and God’s unconditional love shown through His children. The author employs natural realistic dialog, and keeps the plot moving to the end which makes for a page-turning read. Rachel Allord reaches deep into the hearts and souls of her characters, so that you are intimately involved in their struggles, heartaches, and joys.

One of the most endearing parts of the story to me is when Beth’s husband says, “I’m in your corner,” and she replies, “And I’m in yours.”

One of the most glaring truths is that behaviors are passed from one generation to the next. However, when one allows Christ to take over, things change.

This debut author has clearly hit this one out of the park, and I highly recommend it!

Meet the Characters:

Amber Swansen, in shock, horror, and desperation, made the biggest mistake of her life. But so what? She’d always been told she was a loser—by her mother, no less. Her dreams of becoming a designer shattered, she struggles with what life brings her way the same way her mother does—with a string of boyfriends. True to her and her mother’s track record, one relationship is as toxic as the next.

Grandma Ginny hadn’t seen her granddaughter in fourteen years and prays for Amber every day. Although Amber sees her as a “holy roller,” Ginny becomes her granddaughter’s rock.

Beth Dilinger befriends Amber, gently guiding her toward the Savior. The worlds of both women threaten to explode when unlikely and bizarre facts are inadvertently exposed.

Michael Dilinger, Beth’s son, is soon going off to college in another town. Will Beth be able to cope with the inevitable empty nest?

Gretchen is Beth’s older sister, most trusted confidant, and mentor. Occasionally, she enjoys throwing a curve ball to her sister in an effort to get her out of her comfort zone and help her to grow.

Margaret Swansen, Amber’s mother, holds on to bitterness and resentment and seems to enjoy passing these emotions and attitudes down to her daughter.

Meet the Author:

Rachel AllordRachel Allord grew up as a pastor’s kid, vowed never to marry a pastor, and has been contentedly married to her husband, a worship pastor, for nineteen years. She holds a B.A. in English education and is privileged to be both a biological and adoptive mother. Her stories and articles have appeared in MomSense, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and various other publications. Mother of My Son, her debut novel, released in May 2013 through Pelican Book Group (Harbourlight). She resides in Wisconsin where she avidly consumes coffee, sushi, and novels– preferably at the same

Rachel, Do you have a favorite scene in this book?

One of the most personal scenes for me is when Beth is ripping up shag green carpet and scraping glue as she grapples with her infertility and hopes that the room in which she’s laboring will one day be a nursery. This is the most auto-biographical scene in the book. I tore up green carpet. I spent the summer scraping old glue, all the while wishing for my baby. By the time we came home from China with my baby girl, the floors of that room were sanded and beautiful and the room was ready.

 What is the most recent “curve ball” you’ve encountered? 

Homeschooling. Although I’ve taught in the public school and tutored home- schooled students, this is the first year I’m homeschooling one of my own. Life is totally different this year. It’s good, challenging, rewarding… all rolled into one. A definite curve ball for me.

What is most interesting thing you have learned while doing research for this book?

That I’m more like Amber then I originally thought. Even though she’s my protagonist, in the beginning I had a hard time connecting with her. I didn’t even like her at first which is a problem because if I didn’t like her, why would my readers? But as I continued to write and dig and pray I came to realize that even though our growing up experiences are totally different, and even though I haven’t walked in the same dark and desperate places she has, I’m just as much in desperate need of God’s grace and forgiveness.

 What is the most rewarding thing about being an adoptive parent?

This is going to sound terribly obvious but her. My daughter is the reward. Just as I feel fortunate to have been given the chance to give give birth to my son, I’m so thankful we were able adopt, to experience the fierce emotions that come with taking a child not of your own flesh and allowing God to knit you together as a family. Adoption is complicated, it comes with a lot of complicated emotions both for you and your child, but it’s so rich and spiritually profound. It’s messy but beautiful, much like the rest of life, but with all that said, I just love my daughter. I’m so grateful I get to be her mom.

Who are your favorite authors? Is there an author who has had a strong influence on your writing?

Close friends know I try to weave “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “Les Miserable” into just about any conversation, so Harper Lee and Victor Hugo are at the top of the list. I’m also a fan of Leif Enger and Jodi Picult. As far as the author whose books I turn to to “mentor” me in terms of how tell a killer story while dishing out spiritual truth, I’d have to say Francine Rivers. Her books are old friends and as silly as this sounds, I fantasize about having coffee with her. 

 Do you have a favorite season of the year? What’s special about it for you?

I love fall. Even though it’s the season when, technically, everything is dying, it’s gorgeous and the paradox of it all is poetic. Fall always feels like a new start for me. Not to mention Wiscsonisn puts on some pretty spectacular displays of color.

 What is your favorite family activity?

Travel. Just about anywhere. We’ve been known to sell blood to pay for our travel addiction. Truly, we have.

What are you working on now? I’m nearly done with a novel that examines questions like…. what do you do if you meet your soul mate but you’re married to someone else? Is there even such a thing as soul-mates? Can a dead marriage be resurrected? What causes women to run away from their marriages? It’s a bit quirky, down to earth and, I pray, thought-provoking. I love this mix of flawed by earnest characters and I love how symbolism emerged during the writing process.

How can readers connect with you? You can find my blog, send me a message, or find out about upcoming books and speaker information at  You can also find me at or

Meet the Characters in Elizabeth Camden’s “With Every Breath”

September 20, 2014

With Every BreathElizabeth Camden is a master of historical romance novels. I once asked her how much time she spent doing research for each book, and she said, “about a year.” Not surprising the books she writes are so chock full of little known details that bring such life and authenticity to her stories.

Camden’s also an expert of painting word pictures. You feel as though you are there from scene to scene like you can reach out and physically touch the characters, while you intimately connect with the protagonist’s conscience.

With Every Breath is a most apropos title for this story incorporating tuberculosis research in the late 1800’s that brings the hero and heroine together in a most surprising way. As more background and the inner selves of the characters are revealed, the emotions become stronger, mystery and intrigue increase, and it’s very hard to put this book down.

One of the best things I liked about this book was the dialogue. Their personalities shone in detail as they bantered, quipped, struggled and competed with each other. While Camden’s stories have a romantic thread, they are much deeper and carry a positive spiritual message.

Kate Norton’s dream was shattered early in her life by “the terrible Trevor McDonough.” She suffered yet another major setback when she lost her husband., and after working for an unpleasant boss in a government job, Kate was ready for a change and a new challenge. And did she ever get both!

Trevor McDonough was a loner, a brilliant loner. Even in high school he had no friends. It seems he had no patience for incompetency, no human warmth to share with his patients, or anyone else for that matter, and no desire to share his heart with anyone, especially Kate. And he wasn’t about to reveal to her the secrets from his past.

Nurse Ackerman’s demeanor matched Dr. Kendall’s personality—cold and indifferent. She kept a close eye on the patients, aides, and orderlies on the hospital floor as well as keeping the doctor informed about the research’s publicity.

Neill McDonough had uprooted Trevor from his native Scotland at the tender age of thirteen when the lad had “become inconvenient” and sent him to live in America with Senator Campbell. Why, after all this time, was Neill McDonough set on re-establishing a relationship with his son?

Mrs. Kendall was the housekeeper at Senator Campbell’s house while Trevor lived there and Trevor’s only trusted friend. Could she be the source of information Kate needed to find out Trevor’s mysterious past?

Timothy “Tick” Norton, Kate’s brother whom she’d practically raised, longed for his sister to treat him as the responsible adult he’d become, especially since he was now a private in the United States Marine Corp.


I had a chance to ask Ms. Camden a couple of questions:

Pat: I know you love to research and write about the Victorian era and Gilded Age. What prompted you to make the decision to write about tuberculosis research during the end of the 19th century?

Elizabeth: “It all relates back to why I tend to pick the late 19th century for ALL my novels. This was a huge, amazing time of innovation, in which technology and medical discoveries were happening at the speed of light. TB had been the most feared disease for centuries, but in the 1880’s medical scientists FINALLY identified what caused it. The hope was that now the hard part had been tackled, it would be a snap to cure it. So this was a time of huge anticipation as people were waiting for imminent news of a cure. All this makes for great drama.

Of course…. the above sounds rather dry and technical, and I try to inject my stories with humor, joy, and a sparkling romance. The very nature of a hospital drama is a great backdrop for a dramatic story. I love to write about characters who are willing to fight and die for a cause, so this topic a great springboard for me to plunge two admirable, driven, and highly competitive characters into and then watch the sparks fly.”

 Pat: When is your next book coming out?

Elizabeth: The next book releases in January, called “Beyond All Dreams.” It is available for pre-order at Beyond All Dreams

Here’s the blurb:

Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. She is thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, but her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help. Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen until his promising career became shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of Congress. From the gilded halls of the Capitol, where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for themselves?

Elizabeth Camden

About Elizabeth Camden: “I am a college librarian in central Florida by day, but by night I can be found pounding out inspirational historical novels the moment the sun goes down. I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others.”


Learn more about Elizabeth Camden by visiting her website:



Meet the Characters in Libby by Fay Lamb

August 29, 2014



Libby by Fay LambThe cover of this book brilliantly captures flavor of this contemporary romance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more appropriate book cover. The Ties Than Bind series continues with book two. Libby, the heroine’s best friend from the novel Charisse, has recently buried her mother to whom she’d been a devoted caretaker for many years. Now, at nearly thirty years of age, it was time for Libby to get on with her life.

Had you told me Libby was a “romance” novel, I might not have been so eager to read it. But since I know this author’s work, there was no question it would definitely be worth the read. This book is so much more than your typical formula romance. An overtly Christian novel, it is a story of integrity, faith, victory, and God’s grace. I loved it, and I connected with Libby on the very first page. 

Libby Overstreet saw herself as plain and uninteresting—not the kind of girl that could attract the man of her dreams. When she compared herself to the beautiful and glamorous Hope Astor, in her own opinion Libby couldn’t hold a candle to her.

Charrise and Gideon Tabor knew the beautiful soul of their long-time friend and believed in Libby. How could they help her believe in herself and make this meant-to-be match happen?

Evan Carter dared to think he could turn Libby’s head. But could he keep his issues under control, and would she even give him a second glance once she learned of his past, his flaws, and the baggage he carried?

Delilah James, is still a snappy character previously introduced in Charisse, and friend of Libby’s nemesis, Hope Astor.

Hope Astor, the artist and quintessential party girl seemed to have her eyes set on Evan Carter. After all, they’d been friends and attended parties together many times. Could her coaxing and temptation possibly turn Evan Carter’s head her way?


 I had an opportunity to talk with the author about Libby.

Pat: I think Libby’s inner self clicks with a lot of women, especially those of us who’ve suffered from a less-than-sterling self-image in the past, or maybe still do to one extent or another. Also, I know she was a support character in Charisse, but how did Libby materialize/develop in your mind?  

Fay: Libby introduced herself as a friend of Charisse’s that she’d grown up with in our hometown of Titusville, Florida, and she literally came on the line in a phone conversation that is still included in Charisse. Not the first one that opens the book (that conversation was added later). This conversation not only surprised Charisse. Libby threw me for a loop in that call as well.

Libby presented herself as shy and timid, but there was a strength about her that couldn’t be denied. In the phone call, which Charisse makes to Libby because she’s very upset and needs someone to speak to about a situation regarding the hero, Libby became a comedian. She played off Charisse’s problems and by the end of the conversation both Charisse and I were laughing.

The problem was, I knew (and the readers learn in Charisse’s story) that Libby is sheltered and lonely for friendship with others her age. Then why would she be the one to make Charisse laugh almost as much as Charisse’s hero, Gideon?

I was able to explore Libby further in her own story, and I found a mirror of myself in this shy heroine. She is probably the character most like me, except she’s stronger in her faith, kinder to her friends, and braver than I’ll ever be. Oh, and I’ve learned I’m really not shy. I’m an introverted extrovert.

Libby’s had a lot of hurt in her life, and someone did something to her as a small child that built up a false image that Libby carries about herself. She cloaks herself in that image, and it holds her back from her desires and for all the good things the Lord has for her. What she sees in herself is definitely not what Charisse sees when she takes on a daunting Judge Delilah James, what Gideon saw when she stood up to him and told him he’d better not hurt Charisse, and what Libby saw in the mirror when she looked was definitely not the face of someone no one but her mother could love. Evan Carter found her beautiful from the very moment he saw her.

Libby has to learn the lesson that many women need to learn, including me. God looks upon our hearts. He created us, and He doesn’t create junk. Each of us is a masterpiece in the Artist’s eye. I still joke about my looks, but deep down inside, I know that someday Jesus is going to hold up a mirror in front of me, and all I’m going to see is Him. I fail quite often, and I struggle with remembering, but today, while I am here on this earth before Jesus holds up that mirror, I pray that I might be a reflection of Him for in His reflection there is nothing but beauty, and I want to work hard at keeping that image untarnished.


 Fay Lamb author picFay Lamb’s emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has recently contracted with Write Integrity Press for three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, the first two books the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase, and Charisse and Libby, the first two releases in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series are available. Look for upcoming novels in both series as well as the first novel in her Serenity Key series.

Fay is a past-secretary for American Christian Fiction Writers. She served for four years as the moderator for ACFW’s critique group, Scribes. She is the past-president and a founding member of the Central Florida ACFW “Sonshine” Scribes and currently serves as secretary. Fay loves to teach workshops on the art of storytelling and her greatest passion is working with authors.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and six grandchilden. Fay also spends much of her time in Western North Carolina where she enjoys writing and watching the ever-changing beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.



You can learn more about Fay Lamb by checking out her website,, connect with her on Facebook at and Fay’s books are available at www. and other book retailers.







Meet the Characters in Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden with Author Interview

January 22, 2014

Into the WhirlwindThis is one of the most outstanding and fascinating historical romance books I’ve ever read.  The historical aspect of the story adds depth and dimension, while providing details of some the issues people faced post Civil War and during and after the Great Chicago Fire. The characters are as interesting and complex as the plot, and I felt as if I really knew them by the time I finished reading the book.

 Meet the Characters:

Mollie Knox inherited the 57th Illinois Watch Company from her father, and her life has been totally focused on the business and its employees ever since. Her concern and sense of responsibility for her “family” coupled with her faith presses her forward to overcome the devastation caused by the tragic fire. One cannot help but admire Mollie’s tenacity as she struggles to rebuild her business and her life.

Some of the employees of 57th Illinois Watch Company:

Frank Spencer – The blind attorney for the 57th is like a second father to Mollie.

Ulysses Adair lost a leg during the Civil War and, like the other faithful employees of the 57th, depends on the 57th Illinois Watch Company for his livelihood.

Alice Adair, wife of Ulysses and artisan, creates stunning designs for the watches.

Declan McNabb, metal polisher for the company, has post-war panic attacks.

Zack Kasmarek has admired Mollie from afar for three years. As the powerful attorney for the prestigious Hartman’s department store, he knows how to get what he wants. His obligation to the rich owner of Louis Hartman may jeopardize his chances with Mollie when he’s required to make an offer to purchase the 57th  from Mollie—“an offer she can’t refuse.”

Jozef and Joanna Kazmarek –Zack honors and protects his immigrant parents who have made it their life’s work to try to help restore autonomy to Poland, the country they loved and in which they were born.

Colonel Richard Lowe has his sights set on Mollie, is a handsome, cultured, heroic soldier.  He intends to help Mollie rebuild her business—and win her heart.

Sophie, homeless and hungry, is rescued from the fire by Zack and Mollie. Stubborn, demanding, and impatient, I was conflicted as to whether I wanted to hug her or choke her.


Elizabeth Camden is author of four published novels and four non-fiction books. She has won RITA, Christy, and Daphne du Maurier awards for her writing. She was kind enough to allow me to interview her so you can get to know her better.

Elizabeth Camden Pat: Elizabeth, I know you’ve written some nonfiction books. How long have you been writing fiction?

Elizabeth: I started writing fiction around seven years ago.  Five of those years were “practice years” while I learned the ropes.  It took a while before I had something that was ready for prime time.  My first novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill, was published in 2011, and I haven’t had time to take a breath since.

Pat: Which do you prefer writing: fiction or nonfiction?

Elizabeth: Although they seem similar, writing fiction and nonfiction are very different art forms.  I enjoyed the rigor of academic research that is necessary for nonfiction, but oh….the creativity, the adventure, the sheer exuberance of writing novels is surely my favorite.

Pat:  What inspired you to write historical fiction?

Elizabeth: My background as a research librarian gave me a leg-up in this area.  Research does not intimidate me, and I think I had a natural advantage when I tackled historical subjects, but I wouldn’t mind writing contemporary novels someday.  Right now there are practical considerations in building an audience that require I continue writing historical novels for a while, but perhaps someday I’ll have the opportunity to release some contemporaries.

Pat: How do you choose what historical events you write about?

Elizabeth: I like the late 19th century because I am naturally drawn to heroines who are working in the professions.  The late 19th century was an era where women were beginning to go to college and serve in respectable careers.  It was also an era that has the whiff of glamour and nostalgia for an earlier era, but with attitudes that are not so alien to modern sensibilities.

Pat: How much time do you spend researching for a book?

Elizabeth: After I pick a topic (which is usually something hugely vague like “a late 19th century catastrophe” or “a medical mystery”) I’ll start reading books about the era until I can hone in on an interesting angle.  Then I read more targeted books.  All this takes around six months.

Pat: What resources do you use in your research?

Elizabeth: Are you familiar with Google Books?  This is priceless for people writing in my era.  A few years ago Google began the noble, somewhat quixotic quest to scan the world’s books into the internet.  Because of copyright concerns, they began primarily with 19th century books, which means I can get my hands on what I need to know from the comfort of my living room.  For example, my current book is set in Washington D.C., 1891.  Low and behold, I was able to find a copy of the Rand McNally tour guide to Washington from that year (  This guide book gives me maps of the city, rates for local streetcar service, local attractions, really….almost anything I need to know.  This is merely the tip of the iceberg.  I use Google Books to hunt down historically accurate cookbook recipes, medical beliefs, slang, and curious facts to pepper throughout the book.

Pat:  What’s coming next?

Elizabeth: My next novel is called With Every Breath, and is due August 2014.  Here’s the blurb:

Washington D.C., 1891.  In the shadow of the nation’s capital, Kate Livingston has a respectable job as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough.  A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, so why did he track her down after more than ten years apart to recruit her onto his medical team?  In a daring move, Kate agrees to Trevor’s risky proposal to work side-by-side in a quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a disease so deadly it could kill anyone coming too close.

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor’s past, she begins falling in love with this fascinating man…but she soon learns his terrible secret.  Meanwhile, a shadowy enemy lurks in the background, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear.   A story of courage and betrayal, triumph and redemption, Kate and Trevor will risk everything to overcome the barriers between them.

Pat: Elizabeth, that sounds exciting and a book that I won’t want to miss.  Thank you so much for visiting us here!

Meet the Characters in The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by Carole Brown with Author Interview and Giveaway

December 8, 2013

Teh Redemption of Caralynne Hayman ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a novel of hope shining through the darkness with strong elements of suspense and romance. This novel was a semifinalist in the Genesis contest and is receiving raving reviews!

I can certainly see why Carole Brown got so many endorsements for her debut novel. She has created an outstanding book that deals with the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the dark issues of cult activity, (spousal abuse and child abuse), in a straight-forward yet respectful manner. Although this is a fictional story, we’ve all heard of brainwashing by cults and this story reminds us of the reality that it exists.
In Carole’s book,the suspense builds chapter after chapter, and the reader is totally engaged throughout the entire book. You’ll find yourself cringing at times, crying, rejoicing, and perhaps even looking around to make sure your doors are locked.

                  See below to find out how you can win a digital copy of this book, but first:


Caralynne Hayman – Once freed from the control and abuse of her husband, Donald Hayman, she must escape with her two daughters from the Children of Righteous Cain, but not before she avenges the death of her oldest daughter, Lori. And not before she helps some of the other women trapped within the cult.

While Dayne MacFarland was away at seminary, he discovered the truth of God’s love and committed to a relationship with Christ. As the pastor of the church in this small West Virginia community, he’s determined to enlighten its members to the Truth, and help Caralynne regain her faith in God.

Elder Simmons will let nothing stand in the way of his authority over the group. He’s convinced the members that God talks only to and through him, and whatever he says becomes law for the members. To what lengths will he go to maintain total control?

Emery Hayman has had his sights on Caralynne for a long time, even before is brother, her husband, died. Now he’s determined to have her and bring her “under subjection.”

Professor Moore had studied cults for years. As Dayne’s instructor and mentor in seminary, they had established a close friendship. Would Professor Moore’s investigation bring out enough information to be able to put a stop to the insanity once and for all?

Carole Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?


Pat: Which genres of books do you most enjoy reading?
Carole: Is there anything but suspense (mystery, thriller)? Lol. I love an excellent romance, but add it to a suspense book, and that makes it perfect. Love great and fun mystery books, and thrillers keep you on the edge of your seat with the building suspense. My type of books!

Pat: How has being published changed your life?
Carole: Busier than ever. Marketing takes a lot of time, but fortunately, I began learning before The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman released so that helped. Still, there’s lots to do to keep on top, and I try hard to stay in that position. I also always have more than one book to work on at a time which keeps me interested and inspired. I think all authors could say they feel more responsibility in meeting deadlines, keeping on top of everything, writing and life in general. I wouldn’t trade it for any other job!

Pat: Tell me something about yourself that would surprise readers.
Carole: This is crazy, but I’m terrified of heights and snakes yet I’d rather live in the woods (Snakes!) and mountains or hills (heights!) than on flat open land. Makes no sense, but there you have it.

Pat: What is the funniest, weirdest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
Carole: Oh, my, it’s all interesting, fascinating and fun.  I love research. In my first suspense, I used the Native American tribe of Blackfoot (part of my husband’s way-back ancestry) and enjoyed learning so much about them. In my current novel researching tattoos probably stood out the most. I wanted something unique and different, but the more I searched, the less I was satisfied. There were so many options but nothing resonated. At last I realized that the emblem of an eye would be perfect. It fit the story line and would also work well with the first chapter–particularly important.
Just as a fun tidbit, the first novel I wrote, I had a notebook filled with close to three inches of research I did. Now although I still love it, it’s not quite that extensive.

Pat: Where can fans find you on the internet?
Carole: Connect with me here:
Personal blog:
I also am part of several other blogs:
Stitches in Time:
Barn Door Book Loft:

What’s next?
My agent will be shopping a planned three book contemporary suspense series–the first book is finished and the second begun.
I’ve also finished a WWII novel (with two more to follow), that is dear to my heart
and have published the first book in a fun, lighthearted mystery series called Hog Insane (and no, it’s not about pigs! LOL). For 2014, I’d love to finish the second books in these series, plus finish a historical I’m working on too. So I have my work cut out for me!

Carole, I’m so happy you stopped by to talk with us. Wishing you the greatest success with your writing. You’ve certainly started out with a bang and I can’t wait for the next one!

You can purchase Carole’s book at:
Kindle version:
Print version:

Carole is giving a FREE ebook to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment here by December 15th to be entered into the drawing.

Meet the Characters in Charisse by Fay Lamb with Author Interview

August 14, 2013

Charisse-Cover-FRONT-FINAL-4-192x300Charisse is an awesome story with great characters. Spiritual lessons abound in this book of life, love, loss, hope, and forgiveness, while well-woven word pictures clearly show the settings and actions of the people in this book. This sweet contemporary romance flows naturally and is a heartwarming book romance readers everywhere will enjoy.

Readers (particularly women) immediately connect with Charisse Wellman and her adorable son. As she struggles to maintain her home and provide for her son, she finds herself in a most perplexing circumstance: remain unemployed and risk being homeless and hungry or accept a position with a person for whom she’s harbored bitterness and anger for some time.

“V. J.” (Vance, Jr.), a lovable seven-year-old missed his daddy terribly, even after he’d been gone a whole year. V. J.’s friendship with Cletus was instant, as was his affection for Cletus’s master, and the connections seemed to begin to bring V. J. out of his grief.

Libby Overstreet and Charisse have been best friends since high school. They worked together planning the high school reunion and confided in each other about the struggles in their lives. A twist involving Libby toward the end of the story will have you giggling.

Gideon Tabor never married. A man of character and integrity, his heart belonged to the girl he’d loved in high school. Trouble was he’d never told her. Their friendship had ended on a sour note. Then he’d made a legal decision, as a judge in criminal court that unbeknownst to him had deepened her wound. Gideon’s has a plan to reveal his true feelings in a most unusual place. Will he be able to pull it off without blowing his chances at realizing his dream?

Judge Delilah James, tactless and self-assertive, coveted Gideon Tabor’s affection. However, he wanted no personal relationship with Delilah and had every right to banish her from his life. But he didn’t, consequently inviting trouble into his plans to reconnect with the love of his life. Why did he continue to tolerate her shenanigans, and will Gideon connect with this mysterious person at the high school reunion, or will Delilah sabotage his plans?

Fay Lamb author picAuthor Fay Lamb was very kind to answer a few questions I thought you might enjoy:
Read the rest of this entry »

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