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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

A very enjoyable read, this Christian historic romance’s heroine is Lydia Pallas, a young woman orphaned at an early age. Lydia is proud to be out on her own with her own place, though she struggles on her present salary to keep what she has. She works as a translator for the Navy.

When she meets charming Bane, a young man with looks hardly any woman can resist, she is determined to resist him, but they are destined to be together. Bane has his own demons from his past and he’s dedicated his life to wiping out the opium trade. Lydia gets drawn into the mix.

The information about the opium trade and those it impacted are based on true facts and Camden held my interest by making its two main characters people who I soon came to care about. I give this book 4 ½ out of 5 stars. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Review: The King's General

I have never been disappointed with any of Daphne DuMaurier's work. She masterfully weaves her story, building believable characters while adding a sense of foreboding--one of her trademarks. Usually something tragic unfolds or there is a dark secret or both. The King's General falls under the gothic category and DuMarier did extensive historical research.

The main character in this story is a beautiful but wild eighteen-year-old girl named Honor Harris. The youngest in her family, she has been spoiled. Her beauty and unwieldiness culminate in rebellion when she meets up with Richard Grenvile who is a commander in the king's army and who has a reputation for strictness with his men, cruelty to those in defiance and womanizing. The story begins in 1653 just prior to civil war (one of several in England) and as Honor defies her mother's order to stop seeing Grenvlle, we know the stage is set for tragic love. Like a moth to a flame we can only watch knowing that everyone who comes in close contact with the Grenviles is doomed to be used or crushed.  I won't giveaway too much of the details but suffice it to say that I keep very few books after reading them but this one is going on my shelf. I'm giving this a rare five out of five stars.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Launch & Author Interview: A Brother's Vow by Naty Matos

My guest author today is Naty Matos. Naty's fourth book, “A Brother’s Vow” just released. This drama filled novel deals with struggles of addiction, religiosity, grief, the power of family support and faith. This Contemporary Novel expresses the reality of spiritual warfare and sends a message of hope to even those in the direst situations.This e-book is being launched on, Barnes & Nobles, and Smashwords. Print copies will be available within the next few weeks.

Book Description

A crazy promise made during a night out with his twin brother will change Randall’s life forever. 
Will he be able to keep the promise he made or will his past cause him to go against everything he’s worked hard to

Book Blurb

Randall Benson didn't think life could be any better. His job with the family business allowed him to travel and meet new people. His relationship with his girlfriend the model, gave his access to all the red carpet events and parties, yet there was no requirement for him to be faithful. Although his family doesn't approve of his careless lifestyle, they love him and do whatever they can to keep him from self-destructing. Yet Randall’s only Randall’s world begins to come undone after a series of unexpected events. As Randall tries to settle down and become more dependable , his twin brother Brian seems to be headed down a path that Randall is way too familiar. Brian makes an unusual request that nonchalantly he agrees to keep. He never thought that he would have to keep his word, but he does. As Randall struggles to fulfill his promise to his brother, he is confronted with challenges from his past. Will he succumb to his past and risk losing everything he’s worked so hard to accomplish?

What inspired you to write this book?
I am always inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son and that’s part of what inspired this story. There were times where decisions are clouded by condemnation or rebellion; so I decided to write a story from that standpoint.

How did you come up with the title?
To be honest my first title was “My promise to keep” Because the story centers around a promise that Randall, the main character, makes to his twin brother Brian and the events that follow him trying to fulfill that promise. I found that there were too many books with that title already so I changed it to “A Brother’s Vow” as it is more fitting to theme in the book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That no matter how far gone or deep in trouble we think we are, God always welcomes us with open arms and there’s always the chance for new beginnings. 
How much of the book is realistic?Nothing, this is a pure work of fiction.

What book are you reading now?I just finished “Waking up Married” by Mira Lynn Kelly a few weeks ago which I truly enjoyed. I’m about to start “Until Forever” by Darlene Shortridge

What are your current projects?I have a powerful book on the subject of domestic violence titled, “Breaking Free” that is at the second draft revision and a Christmas romance novella, “Lost Love on Christmas Day” which is also at the second draft revision level. I’m hoping to be able to release those next year.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up and keep on writing. Be open to correction and feedback. 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Open yourselves to the opportunity of supporting indie authors. You will find that some traditionally published books are great and some are not; the same is true for the indie books. I have recently been watching some indie movies and found some great ones. It is time to open our minds to the concept that quality doesn’t always come behind a corporate label. 

Happy reading!

Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction.
She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at

Friday, October 4, 2013

How to Improve Your Outlook and Performance

I  wish I could take credit for this but I borrowed it from a psychologist who was on TED TV, and, being a bad writer, I failed to write down his name.(smile).

I have, however, started putting what he said into practice.  He said that you can improve your outlook and performance (includes job performance) by doing the following. You need to journal it so you stick to your routine and you are more likely to follow through if you write it down daily, at least for 21 days. Why 21 days? That's how long it takes to form a new habit.

Here's the "formula."  Do each of these daily for 21 days for it to become ingrained in your routine.

Write down three things you are grateful for.

Write down a positive experience.


Meditate for at least 15 minutes (For me, I pray.)

Do one random act of kindness for someone.

Since starting this regime I nave noticed that I pay attention more to what I am grateful for and I also try  to help people more. All of this takes the attention off of me.  People who make this a part of who they are are happier. If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes. I'm about halfway through.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review – Be the Blessing by Paula Mowery

Carpe diem to help and encourage others is the theme of this book by Paula Mowery. Addy Townsend, a pastor’s wife, is the main character. Life is hard sometimes and Addy must face a series of difficulties, starting with her father’s stroke. Sometimes, even in the midst of these struggles, we can be a blessing to others through our attitude and willingness to give back. Addy stands as a positive example of how to weather these storms.

The lesson in this story will linger long after your finish the book with the words, “be a blessing,” returning to remind you of ways you can live out your Christian faith and make a difference. I give this four out of five stars