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.







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