Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Four Mystery/Adventure Novels

Four Mystery/Adventure Books with a touch of romance!

“One thing I admire about Linda Weaver Clarke’s writing is that she desires to put the reader right there with her characters by describing the setting so well that you are swept away. From page one Linda eloquently describes in interesting details the surroundings and the feelings of her characters. I love when I begin reading a book and am taken in! The relationships and the communication between the characters is top notch.” –Melanie Ski, Jubilee Reviews


Book or Ebook: Anasazi Intrigue: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans
Review: This is the first book I’ve read by Linda Weaver Clarke and I’m already hooked. The first pages grab you right in and grab at your heartstrings as you read about the destruction caused by the flood. When Julia and John fight for their lives, readers will be on the edge of their seats for this one. There’s also romance in the mix. John and Julia’s marriage is strong and they are quite supportive of each other. Even when they have their ups and downs, it’s not for long and they get right back into each other’s arms. It’s nice to see a relationship portrayed this way. Very realistic and believable. This series is a “must read” for me. And...my Socrates Great Book Alert Award! –Socrates Book Review

Ebook: Mayan Intrigue: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans
Review: What starts out as a romantic trip quickly turns into a dangerous adventure among the Mayan ruins and jungles, and the vacationers are on the run from thieves--and wild animals! Excitement prevails! This book is full of mystery and suspense. Linda’s writing is lively and down-to-earth; she has the ability to make you feel as if you're in these stories, along with John and Julia, trying to decipher the truth and escape from harm. –Suko’s Notebook

Ebook: Montezuma Intrigue: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans
Review: I am charmed by her new book, Montezuma Intrigue. The mysteries continue as this author entrances us with life-like characters and electrifying adventures. The search for Montezuma's treasure is both exciting and memorable. There are also a few romances, and some surprises as well, which kept my reading pleasurable and lively. I enjoyed the adventure and suspense in her latest novel, which kept me reading well into the night. –Suko’s Notebook 

Book or Ebook: Desert Intrigue: The Adventures of John and Julia Evans
Review: Romance, Mystery, and Regional History Collaborate to Create a Satisfying, Intriguing Story! It was difficult to put this one down. I cared about the characters, I cared about their ranch, and I was brainstorming right along with this delightful family, figuring out how to either remove the curse or solve the mystery that threatened to destroy their way of life. There are children flirting with romance, relational complexities, and a wedding in the works that just won’t seem to come together. The writing is clear and lively, never calling attention to itself or getting in the way of the story. The touches of humor and inclusion of regional history tie it all together to make a satisfying story all the more fascinating. Highly recommended! –Steve Miller, Author

These books may be purchased for only $12.95 from my website, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Visit my website at Make Believe! They are also available as an e-book.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Marie Higgins

Marie Higgins is a multi-published author of romance…from refined bad-boy heroes who makes your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. Visit her website/blog to discover more about her at http://mariehiggins84302.blogspot.com

Welcome back to my blog, Marie. Please tell us about your new book, Wonderland By Night.

Wonderland By Night is book #3 in my Colonial romance series. The hero, Gabriel Lawrence, has been the best friend to the heroes in books #1 and #2, and now he gets his own story.

In a world where freedom is questioned and everything is in turmoil, Lady Sarah Emiline Townshend needs to hide her identity for fear mobs will kill her and her family after her uncle—a political leader—passed laws that the good citizens in Boston did not approve of. Her father sends her to stay with some longtime friends of his in New Hampshire. But to stay safe, her maid must play Lady Sarah’s role…and Emiline will play Lady Sarah’s companion. When Emiline meets a handsome man, she suddenly wants him to look at her as a woman—not a servant. Yet, protecting her life is more important than confessing the truth.

Gabriel Lawrence’s pirate ship is almost captured and this time it was too close. He and his crew need to hide for a few months in hopes that the Royal Navy will forget about them. During his stay at his aunt and uncle’s in New Hampshire, he meets the niece of one of his enemies—Oliver Townshend. Because she doesn’t know who Gabe is, he will become close to her to see if she knows any more of her uncle’s secrets. But the beauty of her companion, Miss Emmie, captures his attention, and her quirky personality keeps him wanting more. But her over-zealous nature for adventure places both of them in danger and he’s forced to play the honorable rogue. How can he protect them both when an unknown spy is always one step ahead…and wants Gabe dead? 

Your book sounds intriguing to me. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

I’ve actually had this story idea for many years. I wanted a story where both hero and heroine were hiding their identity for some reason or another, and I wanted their secrets to clash. So in this story, if the hero discovers who the heroine really is, he won’t be able to fall in love with her because of her political uncle—hero’s enemy…and because the heroine is a Loyalists instead of the Patriot, like the hero. If the heroine finds out who the hero really is…and what he does for a living, she’ll know she cannot possibly fall in love with him because her uncle will see the hero hanged for being a traitor against the crown. (Yeah, I love conflict!)

I really don’t know (or remember) where I came up with this plot since I’ve had it for many years.

I love the clash you’ve created. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I researched Boston, Massachusetts and what was happening during this time frame. I had to research New Hampshire, because once again, this is some place I’ve never been. I also had to research their way of life back then…but since this is book #3 in the series, I pretty much knew all of that since I’d researched this before. 

You love to write sweet romances, Marie. What intrigues you most about writing love stories?

I’ve always been a romantic. I’ve read nothing but romance novels ever since I was out of school. In school I hated all the books the teachers for my English classes made me read, and now I know why…because they had no romance and no happily ever after. 

What intrigues me about writing romances is having that feeling of falling in love all over again…from the character’s first glance, their first touch and the tingles that spreads over their bodies, to the magic of their first kiss when both feel their heart melting. I love creating a plot-filled story, too, which most of my books have. I love that moment when hero and heroine realize they are in love and they cannot go through life unless the other is with them. (dreamy sigh)  I also love writing twists and turns so that my readers can’t guess my endings.

When reading love stories, I love twists and turns. I love to be surprised at the ending. I like a little adventure and drama with romance. It makes the story so much fun. Thanks, Marie, for a great interview.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Five Historical Sweet Romances

“From the first page I was captivated by this book. I had to continue reading, rushing to turn the page, I had to see what next adventure would catch up with Melinda. The plot is interesting: mixing history with fiction, adventure with romance. Melinda is an endearing character and you can’t help but see things through her eyes. This is good Christian fiction. It is a great honor to highly recommend this book to readers of historical fictions and romance. Ms Clarke, this is a piece to be proud of, well done!” –Debra Gaynor, Reader Views

Book: Melinda and the Wild West
Award: Semi-Finalist for Reviewers Choice Award
Synopsis: Melinda Gamble wants to make a difference in the world. Without hesitation, she accepts a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho. She has many challenges such as trying to help a rebellious student, coming face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and finding herself in a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

Book: Edith and the Mysterious Stranger
Synopsis: With mysterious letters, cattle rustlers, a spunky woman, Halloween, and young love, there is always something happening. Edith, a nurse, moves to Idaho to care for her cousin Melinda who is having a difficult pregnancy. She has wonderful qualities but never gives a man a second chance because her expectations are so high. However, all that changes when a mysterious stranger starts writing to her. For the first time, she gets to know a man's inner soul before making any harsh judgments. Whoever he is, this man is a mystery and the best thing that has ever happened to her. The question that puzzles her is whether or not he's as wonderful in person as he is in his letters.

Book: Jenny’s Dream
Synopsis: Jenny Roberts has a dream to escape her small hometown to become a writer. She develops a friendship with a young farmer who is new to the area and has secretly fallen in love with her. After she realizes that her friend means more to her than she thought, she must now choose between a career and romance. Which dream should she pursue? The only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can choose which dream to follow. Meanwhile, a legendary ten-foot grizzly is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community.

Book: Sarah’s Special Gift
Synopsis: Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher. She is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. While visiting the Roberts family, David finds himself entranced with this very special lady and ends up defending her honor several times. He finds that Sarah has gone through many trials as she teaches him the importance of not dwelling on the past and how to love life. Meanwhile, David learns about the legend of the Bear Lake Monster and wonders why the community believes in such a thing. He is determined to prove there is no Bear Lake Monster.

Book: Elena, Woman of Courage
Synopsis: The “Roaring Twenties” was a time of great change, when women raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. The language of the era was also new and different. Watch a young love blossom in this sweet romance. When Elena Yeates settles into a small western town as the newest doctor, a few problems arise. The town is not ready for a female doctor, let alone one so strong and independent. She must struggle against the prejudice to establish her new practice. As she fights to prove herself, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

These books may be purchased for only $10.95 from my website, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Visit my website at Make Believe! They are also available as an e-book.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Interview with Fantasy/Romance Author Serena Clarke

Serena Clarke is a graphic designer and author. She is also a member of the Red Mountain Shadows Publishing Team. She edits books, formats them, and creates covers for authors. Many authors want to publish their books through Amazon’s Create Space and other self-publishing companies. Serena helps authors get their books into shape.

Welcome back to my blog, Serena. You create book covers for authors. As everyone knows, the cover is what sells the book. You have to create just the right mood of the story. What is the procedure in creating a successful book cover and give us an example?

First, it is best to start by figuring out who your demographic is.  What age group and gender is going to be your main audience?  And then you want a cover that appeals mainly to that demographic.  

Next, make a list of keywords that describe the feel of your book.  Do you want your cover to be inspiring, gloomy, energetic, adventurous, romantic?  It is fantasy, romance, historical fiction, or a biography?  And do you want the cover to have a realistic look or an illustrated look? 

Then, make a list of things that you would like to see on the cover.  It could be a scene or an object or a symbol.  Do you want a person?  If so, what should they look like?  Do you want a picture of a landscape?  An ocean or a forest?  Do you want an object to be emphasized?  A coin or a flower or a shoe? 

Last year you published a new fantasy romance, and a couple reviewers have compared it to a fairytale. I noticed you changed your book cover for The Treasure of Isian. Why did you create a new one?

When I realized I was going to turn this book into a series, I knew I wanted my covers to have a similar feel.  So I decided to make some changes to the first book cover so that it would better match the rest of the books in the series. 

I read the reviews for The Treasure of Isian and they are wonderful. Here is a review for my readers to read: The Treasure of Isian was a stirring tale of an enchanted servant and a handsome prince and the adventures they face together as they search for the fabled treasure of Isian that will grant the bearer any wish they desire. This story had everything–dragons, witches, giants, elves, kings, princesses, terrifying forests and true love. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. Elani’s story was touching and heartbreaking as she goes on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. The author did a wonderful job pacing the story and connecting me to the characters. I loved them all. Superb story that brought a smile to my face and helped me remember that sometimes, we can overlook the most valuable treasures in life if we’re not careful.  –Charissa Stastny, Author of Eyes of Light

Here is the cover for book 2. You mentioned that you are having a tough time coming up with a title for this book. It is temporarily called Isian’s Arrangment. I have an assignment for all my readers. Anyone who can come up with a good title that Serena absolutely loves, she will give you a free copy of the first book in this series, The Treasure of Isian. Then we’ll have a second drawing for everyone else who makes a comment. Serena, will you please tell my readers what book 2 is about so they can have fun coming up with a title?

Sure.  The title should preferably have the name Isian in it, but not necessary. War is coming and all the kingdoms must choose a side.  Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy.  So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter in marriage to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance.

Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other even though they have vast cultural differences, in order to triumph in the approaching war. At times there is tension between the couple, but as they get to know one another, their love for one another starts to grow.

There is fantasy, danger, a bit of mystery, and of course romance!

Would I recommend The Treasure of Isian to my readers? You bet! Here is my review: This story is captivating and has many twists and turns. It gives a new dimension to fantasy characters. It was difficult to put down. Not only is it a fantasy, but a sweet love story that can be enjoyed by young adult and adult alike. The devotion of Elani to her Prince was enjoyable, making the reader wonder when the Prince will see her as something more than a servant.

Thank you for this interview, Serena. It was fun interviewing you. You’re such a sweetheart. Good luck to my readers in this drawing! Stop by often because I have a new book giveaway every week.