Gail's Book Nook

Friday, February 23, 2018

Looking Out the Window: Read A Chapter and Vote On A Pirate At Pembroke, a Regency Novel With A Fun Twist--A Pirate





A Warm Welcome to Danielle Thorne and her dolphin friend

Get a sneak peek at A Pirate at Pembroke, nominate it, and vote!

Hi Danielle, tell us about this great deal for a sneak preview of A Pirate at Pembroke.

Hello Gail and Friends,

Are you ready for your next Jane Austen-inspired pirate regency? It's here!

A Pirate at Pembroke is now available for a "sneak peek." I'm so excited for the upcoming release of my new clean regency, and I hope you are, too. This full-length novel is a delightful tale of family, friendship, and love at first sight. It’s up for an Amazon.com contract, which means I'm going to need your seal of approval (vote) after reading it at Kindle Scout!




About A Pirate at Pembroke

Sophie Crestwood is never going to catch a husband, and she isn’t even sure she wants one. Her father is a gossip, her mother always has her nose in a book, and little Jack has shamefully been dismissed from boarding school. Worst of all, a pirate moves next door into Pembroke Hall!

When Sophie's sent to a matchmaking party at a neighboring estate, the pirate from Pembroke arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship that Sophie fears may come to mean much more than anyone would ever suspect.

Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good.

Information For Your Read

Read, give your opinion and nominate A Pirate at Pembroke.

 I need your opinions, nominations, and votes on the first chapter available now at Kindle Scout

Vote here

Below check out the opening pages today!

Thanking you in advance, and happy reading!

Danielle Thorne


Read an excerpt below then go over to Kindle Scout to find the chapter and vote

The sad sonata continued its siren's call. It echoed a passionate and haunting melody, just like the dark halls of Pembroke with its soiled paintings of aristocrats from long ago. Sophie examined the chamber doors through the gloom and decided the door to the second room on the left was slightly ajar with a dim light shimmering around it. She moved in silence to the small gap and caught her breath.

Captain Murdock stood in front of a languid fire burning beneath a marble mantel. One bare foot was balanced on a low, milking stool nestled up against a heavy, velvet-covered chair. The other kept time on the floor. With his cane leaning against the fireplace, Murdock stood balanced on his own. In his hands, a violin tucked underneath his chin swayed. It moved in time with his body as he performed a strange dance to the music. His profile in the firelight was sharp and clear. He stood slender and tall. In these private bedchambers, half-dressed in loose buckskin breeches and an untucked shirt open at the neck, he did not seem as rigid and menacing as before. From his dreamy stare, his thoughts were somewhere inside the flickering blue and orange flames. The reflection of the firelight made his pale eyes glow.

Sophie noticed his hair was undone. It hung far past his neck, with slight waves resting on his broad upper back on either side of his shoulders. She put a hand to her mouth realizing it had fallen open, and at the same time, that it was scandalous to spy on her host. She swallowed and stepped away. The music stopped in mid-cry. Her heart jumped in her chest, and for a brief pause, the only sound to be heard was her own loud breathing. She stepped back and pivoted on her heel.
Horrified he might have felt her examination, she strode down the rug-lined hallway as quietly as she could, but each footfall sounded like muffled thunder as she hurried back to the stairs. She reached the banister and slipped down the first step, but her shift snagged on something, and she spun about to free it.

Captain Murdock stood behind her, silent. He held a handful of her shift in his fist. She had not snagged it after all. Rather, he had snagged her. She jerked in surprise, but his hold kept her from falling backward and tumbling down the stairs. His other hand trembled as it balanced precariously on a carved dragon head at the top of his cane.

"What do you think you are doing?"

"I… I heard music and followed it."

His eyes blazed with accusation, and it unnerved her.

"I'm so sorry," she said in a choking voice. Her nose tingled again. She touched it with her fingers to make it stop.

"It's not possible you heard music from all the way down in your room."

Sophie took a nervous breath. He stood there, one step above her like a giant, her bedclothes gripped in his hand so tight it shook. She hadn't heard him shuffle down the hall after her. He moved as silent as a ghost when he wanted -- even with a cane. She found the courage to meet his penetrating gaze. "I did hear something from my room. Then I was in the hall."

Captain Murdock waited for a long pause, while the dust they had stirred up in the rugs pirouetted in the air and into Sophie's eyes and nose. "You should not be out of bed," he said.

Sophie swallowed down her frightened apprehension. She tried to beg his pardon, but her lungs failed her, and she coughed in reflex. She covered her mouth with her fingers. "I'm so sorry," she repeated between them, her cheeks hot with humiliation. She stared at the fistful of her garments he'd snatched, aware his eyes examined her from her straight, waist-length hair down to her naked ankles. With a jerk, he dropped her shift like it burned his hand.

"Go to bed," he said in a quiet voice.

Sophie's nose had not quit tingling and itching. "Yes, sir," she said at once, but not soon enough to keep a sneeze from erupting. It came so fast and without warning, she had no chance to catch it before it doused him with all her rejection.

Horrified, she stumbled down the next step, thankful the old handrail held fast. When she glanced back, he was wiping off his shirt with a look of disgust.

About Danielle

Danielle Thorne is the author of classic romance and adventure in several genres. She loves Jane Austen, pirates, beaches, cookies, antiques, cats, dogs, and long naps. She does not like phone calls or sushi. A graduate of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho, Danielle saw early work published by Every Day Fiction, Arts and Prose Magazine, Mississippi Crow, The Nantahala Review, StorySouth, and… you get the idea. Besides writing, she’s edited for both Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her growing blog, The Balanced Writer, focuses on writing, life, and the pursuit of peace and happiness. Currently, Danielle freelances as a non-fiction author while waiting to hear from readers like you through her website. During free time, which means when Netflix is down, she combs through feedback and offers virtual hugs for reviews. A Pirate at Pembroke is her newest release. Her non-fiction book, The Story of Queen Victoria 200 Years After Her Birth, is coming fall 2018.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Looking Out the Window: Tamera Lynn Kraft Talks About Red Sky Over America, An Historical Novel Tackling The Evils Of Slavery



A Warm Welcome to Tamera Lynn Kraft

First, tell us a little about yourself.

I've always loved reading adventures. I love to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. I always include strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in my stories. I've received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and was a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. I have a number of novellas and two novels, Alice's Notions and Red Sky Over America, published. I've been married for 39 years to the love of my life, Rick. I have two married adult children and two grandsons. In August, I'm expecting the arrival of my third grandson.

I've been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. I am currently the director of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where I mentor other children’s leaders, teach workshops, and am a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. I've also written children’s church curriculum. I'm honored to be a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?

I was a very avid reader. I always had my nose in a book, and was one of those children who took a flashlight to bed to hide under the covers so I could read all night. I read just about anything. I remember enjoying Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew Mysteries, but I also love Little Women, Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables, A Wrinkle in Time, and Call of the Wild. My reading tastes were pretty eclectic. They still are.

Tell us about your latest book.





Red Sky Over America is Book 1 of the Ladies of Oberlin Series. The series is about three women who attend Oberlin College, the only college before the Civil War to allow blacks and women to earn degrees beside of white men. Here's the blurb.

William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America's classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

Red Sky Over America tackles the most turbulent time in history with thorough research and fascinating characters. Tamera Lynn Kraft has woven a tale about the evils of slavery that should never be forgotten. -- Mary Ellis, author of The Quaker and the Rebel, The Lady and the Officer, and The Last Heiress.




In three words describe your style of writing.

Faith-filled, Adventurous, Heart wrenching. About the heart wrenching part, I'm not kind to my characters. I'm always placing them in horrible situations and then making it worse. I feel sorry for them.

Do you put yourself in your books?

Absolutely. I don't know of a good writer who doesn't. In Red Sky Over America, I remembered when I was a young adult trying to break away from family who wanted to tell me how to live my life. I always felt like I was being torn in two. Those emotions are what America, my main character, felt like when she confronted her father about owning slaves.

What are you working on right now?

I am editing and finishing up Book 2 in the Ladies of Oberlin Series. It centers on Lavena, the Oberlin lady who is passionate about rights for women. She is a reporter during the Civil War and convinces her boss to allow her to report on the Ohio Seventh Regiment, considered the most heroic regiment of the Union Army. The catch is she has to do an interview of an illusive Army captain who is hiding a secret and doesn't like reporters. It is due to be released in November.

Buy Red Sky Over America  on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Tamara Shares Her favorite Bible Verse and Recipe

Favorite Verse

I have a lot of favorite verses, but my all-time favorite that has helped me through some tough times is Isaiah 43:1-2. But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Favorite Recipe: Chocolate Drops

This is not only my favorite recipe, my children love it as well.

Ingredients:

1 lb. butter (I like to use real unsalted butter.)
3 lbs. or 10 ½ cups confectioners sugar
1-7 oz. jar marshmallow crème
3-4 lbs. chocolate (I use dark chocolate. The candy is so sweet that the dark chocolate tones it down a bit.)

Thouroughly mix by hand or with dough hooks the butter, sugar, and marshmallow crème.
Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookies sheets lined with pastry or wax paper.
Freeze for at least 24 hours.

Dip in melted chocolate. (You can melt the chocolate in the microwave or buy a special dipping machine.)

For a variation, put a few drops of candy flavoring in the recipe such as mint or strawberry.

Yum.

Connect with Tamara on her Website.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Looking In the Window: Happy Valentine's Day from Nine Authors




"...But the greatest of these is love."
 (I Cor.: 13 - 13)

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Prism Book Group’s Love Is Series...

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...” I Corinthians 13: 4 - 8

Nine authors each chose one of these characteristics of love to write about, so there are nine novellas in the Love Is... Series. 

Check out each book in the series here 

Mine is "it (love) is not easily angered." Look for it here





Wishing you a Valentine's Day and a life filled with love.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

Looking Out the Window: Donna Schlachter Talks About A Bouquet of Brides Collection. Gives Away A Copy.





A Warm Welcome to Donna Schlachter


Donna introduces us to A Bouquet of Brides Collection and shares an excerpt. She'll give away a print copy (U.S. residents only). To enter to win join the Rafflecopter giveaway below.




About A Bouquet of Brides Collection


Lily Duncan—“Cactus Lil” to friend and foe alike—is as prickly as her name implies, and she likes it that way. Arizona in 1885 is a land as harsh as the moon, but Lil, born and raised near Cave Creek, feels at one with the sand, rocks, and giant saguaros. She loves living in the desert, and is happiest on her own on her small cattle ranch near Cave Creek, Arizona. Although she’s never been in love before, she pens romantic short stories for a magazine under her pen name of Daisy Duncan.

Peter Golding has never been west of the Mississippi, but a tender young woman named Daisy who writes of love and relationships intrigues him. Through reading her powerful descriptions of what love should be, Daisy’s stories have captured a part of his heart.

When Peter’s uncle sends him to find Miss Daisy Duncan and bring her back to New York City, Peter decides to take matters a step further and bring her back as his bride—surely then his uncle will be impressed with her. But when he arrives, he quickly realizes that Miss Lily Duncan is no shrinking violet waiting to be rescued. In fact, she has to rescue him several times.

Cactus Lil finds her heart torn between this stranger from the east and her desire for independence. If she surrenders to her feelings, will she be forced to do his bidding? When she finds a telegram from her editor telling Peter to bring her back or lose his job, she believes his attentions to be self-serving. Will Peter choose her or his job? And will she decide to surrender her heart or send him packing—again?

Buy  on Amazon


Excerpt:
Double D Ranch
Near Cave Creek, Arizona Territory, 1885


Chapter 1

Sally Jo sank to the ground beneath the pain of her wrenched ankle. “Drat. I simply cannot walk one more step in these infernal boots.”

Thomas Peabody, broad of shoulders and narrow of waist, knelt beside her, cupping her aching foot in hands more accustomed to roping steers or shooting the eye out of a gnat at a hundred yards. “Miss Sally, allow me to assist you.”

Sally Jo stared into his eyes. Why hadn’t she ever noticed they matched perfectly the color of the summer sky? “Why, Mr. Peabody, you’re most gallant.”

He straightened, reached a hand toward her, and pulled her to her feet. When she tried to put weight on her aching foot, a jab of pain like a hot poker shot through her, and she collapsed into his arms.

Right where she wanted to be.

He pulled her near, and she closed her eyes, offering her mouth to him. Greedily, as though drawing his very life essence from her, he covered her lips with his own. When she thought she would suffocate, she opened her eyes, and saw mirrored what her racing heart telegraphed to her own mind: this was love.

Lily Duncan surveyed the words written on the page as she chewed the end of her fountain pen. Ink blotches on her fingers attested to her hard work this morning. A clicking sound like a metronome tickled at the periphery of her hearing while she considered whether she needed to change the word telegraphed to

something more ooshy-gooshy romantic.

Tsick-tsick-tssiicckk.

She tipped her head to listen. What was that sound?

Lily tossed her pen on the desk and glanced at the silver clock resting on the leather-topped surface. Time was running out. She had less than two hours to finish this story and get it on the last mail stage of the day. That snooty editor, Mr. Hogan, in New York, was waiting for it.

Not that she knew for certain he was snooty. Truth was, she didn’t know anything about him.

She’d only met him through correspondence, so he could be any age, any degree of pretentiousness, any color for that matter.

But that didn’t stop her creating an image in her mind: middle-aged, a monocle, oiled hair parted down the middle and slicked back, muttonchop sideburns, and a beard, of course. A house on Fifth Avenue, a society wife, private carriage, servants, and twelve children. At least.

She sighed. Thinking about all the reasons why she didn’t like the man responsible for buying her stories to publish in his fancy eastern magazine wasn’t going to get the story written. Or mailed.

Tsick-tsick-tssiicckk.

She pushed back from the desk. What she’d written would have to do. She couldn’t work with such a racket. She stepped to the window and listened. Not coming from the front. Must be out back. She crossed the bedroom-turned-office to the window facing the rear of the house.

This view was much more utilitarian than the rolling desert and giant saguaros surrounding the house on the other three sides. A small barn for her three horses, a hen house, corral, and privy filled her line of vision.

Tsick-tsick-tssiicckk.

Yes, this is where the sound came from.

And she knew its exact origin.

Lily hefted the Colt .38 on her hip. She’d take care of that she-rattler right now. She strode to the back door and stepped into the late afternoon heat of the desert.

The musky smell of mesquite, heated by the sun, filled her nose as she paused on the doorstep. How she loved the desert. She couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Certainly not a place like New York City. No way. Give her cactus and rocks, cattle and dipping tanks, horses and leather any day. Unlike her heroines, she wouldn’t darken the doorway of a town bigger than Cave Creek. And she sure wouldn’t fall for the first man who looked at her twice.

Not that many men looked at her even once. She wasn’t ugly. At least, not ugly like a javelina, with its short bristly hide and snarling tusks. And not ugly like a turkey vulture, with its naked head and red eyes.

She preferred men’s dungarees to skirts. She wasn’t much practiced at cooking and cleaning. But she could outshoot, outride, and outsmart most men she knew.

Which was probably why most men didn’t take a second look at her.

Lily neared the woodpile. She’d been meaning to clean that mess up, sweep out the old tinder from the previous year. Even prop the wood up on a couple of timbers to discourage snakes and other varmints wanting to find a warm place to spend the night. But her best range cow had a difficult birth, and her horses

needed shoeing, and the hole in the roof . . .

Too much work for one person. Not enough hours in the day to get everything done. What had she been thinking when she started writing?

An escape, that’s what. Something to while away the long evenings.

Tsick-tsick-tssiicckk.

She pulled on a pair of leather gloves and tipped her head to one side. If she didn’t get that low-down, no-good rattler out soon, there’d be a passel of little ones slithering around.

She glanced toward the horizon. The sun dropped like a lead sinker as though intent on ensuring she missed her deadline to get that story mailed today.

And she sure didn’t need Mr. Persnickety Hogan upset that her latest installment of Love in the Wild Wild West wasn’t on time.

About Donna

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid author who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both.

Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

Connect with Donna on her website
Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter here

Visit Donna on Facebook and Twitter

Buy Donna's other books on Amazon and  Smashwords


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Winner of Beneath The Summer Sun

Congratulations, Elaine!

American Christian Fiction Writers February New Releases







More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Biblical:


A Passionate Hope, Hannah's Story by Jill Eileen Smith -- Hannah has spent her life trusting God, loving her husband, putting up with abuse from a second wife and still she has no child--until one day she discovers the secret to her own heart's longings and rejoices in what will soon become God's promised hope. (Biblical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Contemporary Romance:


Focus On Love by Candee Fick -- In the standalone sequel to Dance Over Me, photographer-turned-actress Liz meets a freelancer who has put his career on hold, but when Ryan shows her what true love is all about, her life may never be the same. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)



Love by the Numbers by Laura V. Hilton -- When false allegations by the bishop back home catch up with Lydia and threaten to ruin her reputation, can she clear her name and find lasting happiness? Or will her sunny disposition fade away into heartbreak? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

Historical Romance:


This Treacherous Journey by Misty M. Beller -- Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing arrest. Innocent of her husband’s crimes, she and her brother hope to make it through the Rockies to Canada for a clean start. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on Simeon Grant’s doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects memories he’s worked hard to forget. Widowed and childless because of his own bad choices, can he overcome the past that haunts him to give her the safety she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all? (Historical Romance, ACFW Qualified Independently Published)



The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron -- Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman speaks of a secret past and castle ruins. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . . But her grandmother suffers from Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley to unearth its secrets before time silences them forever. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)



The English Lieutenant's Lady by Evelyn M. Hill -- I’m not your enemy.” He held her gaze, willing her to believe the lie. It’s 1845. Britain and America both claim the Oregon Territory, and neither side is willing to back down. To survive, British Lieutenant Geoffrey Montgomery and American Lia Griggs both are pretending to be someone they're not. The last thing either of them wants is to fall in love. And as the threat of war grows stronger, choosing to stay together could cost them everything they have. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)



The Widow of Rose Hill by Michelle Shocklee -- Widowed during the war, Southern slave owner Natalie Ellis strikes a bargain with a Union Colonel to save her plantation and her son’s inheritance: in exchange for use of her family’s property, the army will provide workers to bring in her cotton crop. Natalie Ellis is everything Colonel Levi Maish loathes: a Southern slave owner. But the plight of the beautiful Widow Ellis stirs to life his compassion and the heart he’d thought hardened by war. While the army camps on her land, Levi finds himself contemplating a future with Natalie and Samuel. But when he learns where her husband perished during the war, he knows a life with Natalie is impossible. How could she ever forgive him for what he’d done in battle on the banks of the Bull Run? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)



The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin -- As D-day approaches, an American naval officer and a British Wren work together on invasion plans. But if he succeeds, will he destroy what she loves most? (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)



Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky -- A determined young aviator who strives to be the first to fly across the English Channel also longs to win the heart of an aspiring journalist who is secretly covering the race across the Channel. (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])



The Mail-Order Brides Collection by Megan Besing, Noelle Marchand, Donna Schlachter, Sherri Shackelford, Michelle Shocklee, Ann Shorey, Liz Tolsma, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y'Barbo -- Nine advertisements for brides lead to inconvenient complications in romance. Traveling west alone on a promise of marriage, each woman has her reasons to accept a husband sight unseen. Some are fleeing poverty or abuse while others simply seek hope for a brighter future. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:


High Treason by DiAnn Mills -- CIA Operative Monica Alden and FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson face the challenge of their careers when a Saudi Prince's life is threatened on American soil. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)


Kill Shot by Susan Sleeman --
As the ballistics and weapon’s expert for the FBI’s special task force nicknamed the White Knights, Rick Cannon has known the Department of Defense was developing self-steering bullets and feared their effects in the hands of the wrong people. Now his fear is coming true. The ammunition been stolen, and the Knights are called in to find the thief and stop the killings. When therapist Olivia Dobbs discovers one of her military clients moments after he is murdered, she becomes both the FBI’s prime witness, and suspect. But with a sniper now training his rifle on her, Rick must recall all the skills he learned as a Marine sniper to make sure the next bullet fired isn’t a kill shot that takes Olivia out. (Romantic Suspense from Faith Words [Hachette])

Supernatural Thriller:


The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart -- In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul. (Supernatural Thriller from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Western:


Cheyenne Sunrise by Janalyn Voigt -- Can a woman with no faith in men learn to trust the half-Cheyenne trail guide determined to protect her? (Western by Mountain Brook Ink)