Friday, August 29, 2014

Good-bye to Summer

By K. L. Bridgewater

As the labor day and the closing of summer approaches, I reflected on this past summer. As a rule, I HATE summer. I'm more of a person who tends to lean toward fall and winter. In the coming weeks, I will include some of my favorite things about fall. But for today, I wander if this summer was fun. It wasn't that hot in Indiana, which was a huge blessing.

Right now, if you walk outside the weather is 100 degrees for the heat index. The hottest it has been all summer. I hate sweating, bugs, and having to endure the heat.  My golden retriever, Happy, is panting hard as she sits outside next to her five gallon bucket, refreshed with cold water from the first thing in the morning. On the other hand, Snoopy, our beagle, is sunbathing directly in the shade, which I find odd because he's a dark colored dog, and he enjoys the summer. The winter, however, is a different story.

This summer, I took my boys swimming at the local swimming pool that overlooks a huge lake. There is a curving white slide that leads into the three feet, which makes it easy for little kids to enjoy their sense of freedom. My two oldest boys, age 12 and 9 ventured off the diving board into the 12 feet, while Obadiah, who just turned 6, paddled into the four feet after going down the slide himself.

We did the summer reading program and introduce the children to many new classic books. Isaiah enjoyed The Three Musketeers by one of my favorite authors, Alexandre Dumas; Elijah kept reading the Percy Jackson series; Obadiah read a few Franklin and Disney books.

Personally, I moved on from my disappointment of not winning any contests and kept praying and worshiping God. I have started a three book series with the first book titled, Face of Admiration. It is the story of Devin Sanders, a detective, and Chloe Walker, a bookstore employee. In October, I will be introducing them to the world. I can't wait. I wrote the first chapter and the synopsis, which I have the joy of having DiAnn Mills, author of Firewall, critique when I attend the ACFW conference next month.

I have found the joy in writing again. In my first chapter, Chloe finds a dead body wrapped in a clear plastic bag with the words "Devin" etched across its chest. On the other side of town, Devin takes a call from an obsessed fan who claims to have killed someone.

Do I have you interested yet? What was your favorite part of this past summer? Did you start a new book? What's it about? Did you branch out and experience something new?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Evergreen: Susan May Warren’s Christiansen Winter Novella

By K. L. Bridgewater

Susan May Warren is one of my favorite authors. I picked up her Team Hope book because Dee Henderson recommended the book with a quote on the cover. Being an avid fan of Dee Henderson’s book, I trusted her opinion on a new author I never heard of. Personally, I thank Dee for that recommendation.

Warren doesn’t just write in romantic suspense, which Team Hope is. She has written historical novels with Heiress, Baroness, and Duchess, and written cozy mysteries with Nothing but Trouble, Double Trouble, and Licensed for Trouble. Her Deep Haven novels, however, are contemporary romance novel. I have enjoyed them all. Susan May Warren’s writings are memorable and great to escape with.

Evergreen: A Christiansen Winter Novella  -     By: Susan May Warren
Evergreen, her latest novella, continues the Christiansen family saga, which includes Take a Chance on Me, It Had to Be You, When I Fall in Love, and coming in 2015, Always on My Mind. This time around the story features the parents, John and Ingrid Christiansen, not one of the six children.

John and Ingrid have an empty nest. Two of their children are married. One is engaged to be married. One went to Prague for a year for college, and the other two are roaming around, trying to figure out who they are as men. Meanwhile, John had been saving money for a while and wants to surprise Ingrid with a trip to England for the coming holidays, maybe renew their vows on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. But Ingrid has been acting moody lately.

To further complicate their relationship, Ingrid sister’s Kari, needs someone to watch her sixteen-year-old son, Romeo as she goes to treatment. John doesn’t want to become a father again, whereas, Ingrid lavishes the moments to create a home for Romeo.

Even though I lean toward suspense when I read books, I enjoy everything Susan May Warren writes. I am even an active member of her My Book Therapy, where I put her advice on writing books to work in my stories. Warren creates different types of books and helps novice writers, like me, to strengthen our abilities to tell a story the readers will remember after they put down the book.

Evergreen is a great read. I enjoy the moments when Susan May Warren paints the changing of the seasons from fall to winter. My favorite seasons are fall and winter. I truly could live somewhere where summer and spring don’t exist. I smiled as Susan described the changing fall leaves or the gentle blanket of snow covering the ground. Ingrid lights a gingerbread candle in the living room, and John describes the wonderful smell, which brought the scent of the ginger and spices to the forefront of my memory.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. I also recommend any of Susan May Warren’s books. You won’t be disappointed. She’s a great writer with a great eye for detail.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale. All my opinions are my own.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tosca Lee: The Legend of Sheba

By K. L. Bridgewater

Who actually is the Queen of Sheba? References to her wealth has always been mentioned when someone acts like a spoiled brat. Who do you think you are, the Queen of Sheba? Even though mostly everyone knows the reference, does anyone really know anything about her? I know I didn’t before reading Tosca Lee’s latest release, The Legend of Sheba.

Legend of Sheba: The Rise of a Queen   -     By: Tosca Lee
Sheba appears in only three books in history: The Bible, The Quran, and the Kebra Nagast: The Glory of the Kings. I, however, did not even mention reading about Sheba in the Bible. I’m curious now to return to the story of Solomon and learn more about Sheba and their life together.

Tosca Lee does a good job at introducing the world to a princess that most people do not know much about. Starting with her life as a six-year-old little girl, Tosca Lee shows Sheba’s relationship with her mother before she dies. Sheba is shipped away for a long time because of her step-mother who believes Sheba is a curse to a future heir.

Readers will enjoy watching Sheba travel across the country to stake a claim in her father’s kingdom and become a female ruler of Punt. Be wooed from afar by King Solomon through poetry shipped across the country. Take a strong faith in her god of the moon. Travel from Punt to King Solomon’s country where she finally confronts the man behind the words.

Sheba becomes a real person as we see her experience love King Solomon. Even jealousy as he has to entertain and produce another heir to the throne to his Queen, the pharaoh’s daughter. The moments King Solomon and Sheba steal on the terrace or in the garden are moments of a true relationship.

The prose by Tosca Lee is flowery and poetic. It reads like an epic poetry in remembrance of The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer. The words describe the scenery and the struggles of the Queen just like Homer did as he retold the story of Odysseus.

I truly enjoyed The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee because I got the chance to meet a princess who was important to Biblical history that most people didn’t know before. I thank Tosca Lee for her huge undertaking of making this vaguely known Queen more known to the masses.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review from Tosca Lee. All of my opinions are my own.  Thank you, Tosca Lee for this opportunity. I enjoyed your book.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Family Dilemma with a Hint of Romance

By K. L. Bridgewater

When I think of romance novels, I think of two people arguing and emotions coursing through their bodies like fireworks on the Fourth of July.  The couple secretly wants to be together, but something, either       internally or externally, keeps them apart.
I received a complimentary copy of Janice Thompson’s latest book, A Bouquet of Love, to read and review. I, however, don’t gravitate toward romance novels, as most people understand who follow this blog. I’m a huge fan of suspense novels with a little bit of romance thrown in.

Thompson’s book compares a lot to the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which I enjoyed. The book features a Greek family, the Pappas, who moved from California to Galveston, Texas to open a new Gyro restaurant. At first, the family is reluctant to move, but over time, the family, except the father, Babbas, makes friends with the dreaded Italian family across the street.

A Bouquet of Love, Weddings By Design Series #4   -     By: Janice Thompson
The POV is in Cassia’s perspective, a twenty-three year old woman, who adores flowers and Judy Garland. Cassia wants to “cut the apron’s strings” from her Babbas, but she doesn’t want to offend him by losing his respect. While working in the flower shop down the Strand (the street where their restaurant is located), Cassia meets Alex, the flower man, who brings in the flowers from his family’s nursery.

I, personally, see the story as a Contemporary story with hints of romance. Kind of like the story I write, suspense with hints of romance. The plot focused mostly on the dilemma between Cassia and her Babbas and the problems between Babbas and the Italian Rossi’s family across the street. The romance between Alex and Cassia occurred, but it seemed too easy. Alex and Cassia fall in love right away, and Babbas frowns at Alex as he takes Cassia on a bike ride or comes to the restaurant, but I imagined him acting like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which he doesn’t. Alex and Cassia like each other from the start, and never once argue. There were a number of places that an argument from Alex and Cassia would have made their relationship more interesting and realistic.

The real dilemma of the story is the “hate” relationship between Babbas and the Rossi patriarch, who owns Parma Johns across the street. Every other member of the family secretly becomes friends with a member of the Rossi family. Even so far that one day Cassia sneaks into Parma John’s to eat the dreaded pizza without her father knowing she’s there. However, she mentions a Greek pizza, which the owner adds to his menu, further fanning the flame of anger from Babbas.

The plot line of the story is interesting, and I was curious how the family would convince Babbas to stop the feud between the two families, but I think the romance should have been more convincing to the story. As a contemporary story, I believe Thompson did a good job, but to be labeled as romance might have been a stretch since the romance didn’t appear to be that important to the storyline.

I was given a complimentary copy of A Bouquet of Love from Revell publishing and all my thoughts are my own.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Perfect Time

By K. L. Bridgewater

As a lover of suspense and mystery novels, I usually keep to contemporary mysteries, unless you include Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes, but recently, I downloaded a free book to my Kindle. A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin. Sundin specializes in World War II fiction, which usually I have no interest in reading. Deciding to give her a chance, I read the book and enjoyed it immensely.

Product DetailsI jumped at the chance when Revell offered a complimentary copy of In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin. The story is the third book in a trilogy featuring Army Air Flight nurses featuring Lt. Kay Jobson. According to the blurbs of the offer two books preceding this tale, Kay Jobson is featured in the other two books.

I have found a new author to enjoy and look forward to all her books. I only own three of the six books she has published, and I plan to keep a hunt out for the other three.

Sundin’s characters are realistic with difficulties and a past, which haunts them. I enjoy how Sundin develops and causes a change in her characters internally as the story develops. The relationship between Kay and Roger Cooper, a C-47 pilot, matches real life because Sundin takes the time to develop their relationship. They argue. They love. They hate each other.

Some of my favorite parts are the amount of research Sundin has woven perfectly together in the story. The location and the history fit well with the action occurring on the page that the reader forgets their reading a story that occurred seventy years ago.  

The plot is filled with heart pounding action passed enemy lines to a hunt by Nazi’s soldiers to a near-rape in the story. The story has a happy ending, which causes the audience to sigh in relief from all the rapid pace of the plot.

Have you tried any of the books by Sarah Sundin? If so, do you usually pick up historical romances? What caused you to pick up Sarah Sundin’s book?  If not, I hope this review has given you some things to ponder about the greatest of Sundin’s writing and research. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion, which are completely my own. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One of My Friends is a Published Writer!!

By K. L. Bridgewater

I know the title is funny, but this is a review of my fellow Hoosier writer and friend, Dawn Crandall, and her first book, The Hesitant Heiress. I received an Advanced Reader’s copy from Dawn to read her book and talk about her book on this blog and write an honest review on Amazon or Good reads.  Of course, when she asked, I felt flattered. I have only been asked by one other writer, Melissa Tagg, to review her latest book, Here To Stay before it released.

The Hesitant Heiress (The Everstone Chronicles, #1)On August 1st, Crandall’s first book in the Everstone Chronicles, The Hesitant Heiress, was published by Whitaker House. Crandall's POV (Point of View) is different than majority of romance books. She writes in first person, so the reader feels like he or she is actually in the skin of Amaryllis Brigham as she explores 1890's Boston.

Amaryllis Brigham, an early twenties woman, during the Gilded Age learned she is an heir to a fortune, but she can only have access to the money once she marries. After being expelled from Boston Conservatory of Music on the rumors of a false letter, she moves in with her aunt, where she is introduced to the wealthy of the community.

Nathan Everstone, returns to Boston with Amaryllis’s cousin, who she actually has fond memories of from when they were children. Vowing to herself not to marry for the sake of earning the money coming her way, Amaryllis promises to return to her family home in Washington . . . without a husband or the money.

But Nathan has changed a lot and appears to be just the type of guy that Amaryllis can see herself falling in love with. Of course, the story is riddled with complications and trouble for the emotions between Nathan and Amaryllis. Past lovers. Jealousy. The person controlling the aspect in her life.  

The Bound Heart (The Everstone Chronicles, #2)With a historical surroundings of the Gilded Age, I enjoyed exploring the lives of the rich and famous from the era of the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers. The story showed trips to the countryside for the young people while they partied and made each other jealous. Emotions ran wild between the characters in the plot.

While I truly became immersed in the relationship between Amaryllis and Nathan, I had only one issue with the plot. The problem was the whole scene with the person controlling Amaryllis past. Someone wrote a letter to the Boston Conservatory of Music, unjustly expelling her from the music program. Toward the end of the book, we find out who the person is and his reasons for wanting to ruin Amaryllis’s life. Most of the story didn’t mention anything about this person or the role he played in the story. As an avid reader of suspense, there is usually a trail of incidents that suggest something sinister is going to happen, but this plot never mentioned an outside source wanting to harm Amaryllis and destroy her future.

The Captive Imposter (The Everstone Chronicles, #3)If you are a fan of Jane Austen’s writing with character driven plots where the entire story focuses on the emotions and lives of the characters, then this is the book for you. The characters drive the whole story. Personally, I enjoyed The Hesitant Heiress and wondered if Nathan and Amaryllis actually will find love in each other and earn her inheritance. The character of Amaryllis were relatable and interesting. The rest of the characters stood out, not being cardboard cut-outs to color the backdrop. Faith and drama fill the pages with purpose and deepened the personality of the characters.

  There are two future releases in the Everstone chronicles. The second book, The Bound Heart, releases in November 2014, and The Captive Impostor releases in February 2015.

Dawn Crandall writes long inspirational historical romantic suspense from first person point of view. She has a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University and lives in northeast Indiana with her ever-supportive husband, her three cats [Lilly, Pumpkin and Clover] and their newest addition, a little baby boy. Member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since July 2011. Secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter, and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She loves to connect with her readers and you can follow her at,, her Facebook account ( ), or see her Pinterest board ( ).
Author Dawn Crandall

Dawn Crandall is giving away prizes with her new book at the end of every week and a grand prize at the end of her blog tour at the end of August. All you have to do is answer the posted question at the end of my blog with your e-mail address, which will enter you into the drawing each week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize--all of which will be announced on Dawn's author blog ( Here is the prizes:

 THE FIVE WEEKLY PRIZE PACKS: a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

THE GRAND PRIZE (at the end of week six): a Kindle Fire, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

Here is also the link on Dawn Crandall's blog, which lists all the blogs that are participating in The Hesitant Heiress blog tour. Leave a comment on their blogs to have more chances to win!!!

Here is the question to be entered in the drawing:

What do you like most about Christian romance and historical novels?

Don't forget to leave your email address to be included in the drawing.