Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


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Carrie Stuart Parks is an INTRIGUING New Author!

I’m so excited for Carrie! She’s one of my agency siblings and I confess, I’m living vicariously, hoping for the day when my first novel will have a publisher! Woohoo! Here’s her latest blurb from her website and why I’m so stinkin’ excited about her book:  Continue reading


Review – Submerged by Dani Pettrey

A new favorite!

Seriously – my current all-time favorite!

Dani Pettrey’s Submerged grabbed hold of me, forcing me into my deepest fears. Tweet This! Continue reading


Author Interview with Janice Olson

One of my most-honored mentors is the current president of the Dallas chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the DFW Ready Writers. Janice Olson leads one of the critique groups I frequent and has personally taught me so much, so I’m delighted to support her debut publication! Woohoo!

Continue reading


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Debut Author Gives Insight on Callie

I’m so excited about this debut novel and the three that I hope will follow it! I got to meet with author Sharon Srock at the recent ACFW Conference and besides being delightful, she is a NASCAR fan! Woohoo! Hope you enjoy getting to know her and Callie! Continue reading


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Interview with Kellie Coates Gilbert, Author of MOTHER OF PEARL

I’m so pleased to welcome Kellie Coates Gilbert to Faith~Driven Fiction. She’s an inspiring author, and a dear critique buddy. I’ve been so excited about this book! I hope you enjoy meeting Kellie!

When did you decide to become a writer? Continue reading


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Historical Romance at its Best!

I stayed up way too late last night finishing debut author, Keli Gwyn’s, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. What a delightful story; three crying opportunities! LOL!

This book is propelled by its characters. And such characters! A widow/single mom with bull-dozing determination insists on proving her capabilities. A fastidious widower harboring a guilt-filled secret refuses to revisit the vulnerable position in which affection places him. An adoring mother whose meddling ways instigate complicated interaction. A talkative nine-year-old with the sincerity and wonder of one much younger, but the intellect and daring of one much older.

A Bride Opens Shop follows Elenora Watkins to the rather new California town of El Dorado where she finds disappointment, unwarranted suspicion, and discrimination. Rather than allowing the attitudes to defeat her, Elenora used them to strengthen her resolve to prove to the townspeople, and maybe more to herself, that she has the capabilities to accomplish her goal.

What I loved most about this book was the consistency of the characters. Not that they remain the same, both main characters complete a satisfying arc. But as they adjust and redirect, they stayed true to their personalities. For example, only a desperate emergency would persuade the always well-dressed Miles Rutledge to disregard his appearance.

In fact, Elenora stays so true to her character, she builds up regrets about it. I must say, during a special contest, I had hopes that she would step down rather than risk injury to someone else, but true to form, she can’t seem to shrink from a challenge.

These people seemed so real in their reactions, they make the reading easy, the changes believable, and the story an absolute gold mine, worthy of the name El Dorado! Five hearts! ♥♥♥♥♥

From her bio: Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives is currently available.

When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, the Coach factory outlet store, and Taco Bell.

Website and Social Media Links

Website – http://www.keligwyn.com
Facebook Timeline – http://www.facebook.com/KeliGwyn
Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/KeliGwynReadersGroup
Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/KeliGwyn
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5411901.Keli_Gwyn
Title: A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California

The story is a sweet romance with hints of humor that readers of Margaret Brownley, Erica Vetsch, or Karen Witemeyer’s work might enjoy.


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U is for UPLOAD!

We are an electronic reading family. At least the females are. Sweet hubby and Dear boy still like books they can hold in their hands, but the girls and I love downloading what we want to read instantly. And my friend Patty Carroll uploaded an amazing book just this weekend! Woohoo!

Precious Redhead has been chomping on the bit to get her hands on this book since I got to read an advanced copy last summer. Liberty Belle was by far the best book I read in 2011 and one of my favorite all-time books! Can’t wait to read it again in its final form!

Patricia PacJac Carroll has captured the charm of the old west without losing the intensity of a suspense-filled story. Riveting! Liberty Longstreet connected with me immediately through her humiliation and the manipulation she endured. She kept me with her determination and compassion. Then she twisted me into emotional knots as I rode with her through impossible circumstances.

If you’re a fan of Christian fiction, this indie author has got all of the talent and inspiration of the great ones! Liberty Belle is available digitally at Amazon.com and will be available soon in paperback!

About Patricia PacJac Carroll:

I am a writer, Christian first, and blessed beyond my imagination. I live in the Dallas-Ft Worth area in Texas with my wonderful treasure of a husband, my spoiled dog Jacs, my 90 yr old Father in law, and my awesome grown son, Josh. Did I say I was blessed?

  • I love the Lord, got zapped by the Holy Spirit while watching Jesus of Nazareth
  • I used to own a pet store
  • Have a degree in accounting
  • Got in a tussle at a republican primary election in 1988
  • Have been to the Philippines and have seen the Chocolate Hills
  • Love the old west, westerns, and historical fiction set during that time period.
  • Am an optimist
  • Love to be free
  • Am excited to see what the Lord has planned for me.
  • God is Good


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Review – Wildflowers from Winter

I had a lovely time this summer reading books til I turned purple. Okay not quite. But I did read several books. I didn’t review all of them, but for a while, book reviews were a weekly event at my blog. I’ve compiled those reviews on my new page, For Readers. Hope you enjoy browsing!

And in that same spirit, I’m utilizing my A2Z Blog hop article to share a Review of a new favorite!

AVAILABLE TODAY!

Wildflowers from Winter: A Novel

Wildflowers from Winter: A Novel by Katie Ganshert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Halfway through this book, I stopped and told my daughter, “Katie Ganshert is Michelangelo with words.”

I’m in total awe! Her main character, Bethany Quinn, is terribly realistic. I say terribly because she alternates between sweet and self-absorbed. She proves easy to identify with (I hate to admit) but not always easy to like. Her personal agendas and hidden pain provide many of the conflicts in the story.

But those same flaws make her real. Keep her true to her character throughout the story. And though the story, for the most part, is told in third-person, Ganshert’s delve into 1st person flashbacks are masterful. The connection to Bethany Quinn strengthens as each layer rolled back.

The hero with a past, Evan Price gives a good balance to Bethany, but I really connect with her best friend, Robin, and look forward to reading more about her – hopefully in future books!

I’ve found a new favorite author and can’t wait to keep reading!

Wildflowers From Winter is available TODAY! Celebrate it’s premiere by ordering your own copy!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books a Million
ChristianBook.com
IndieBound
Lifeway
Mardel
Parable Christian Stores
Powell’s Books
Random House

Special thanks to the author for an advanced copy for an impartial review!

View all my reviews on Goodreads


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Shame – Bethany’s Story

I’ve loved reading a brand new book, Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert, which comes out next week! (So excited for her!) She had a series of posts where her main character, Bethany, borrowed her computer and she’s given me permission to repost one of them today.

After reading this, I was totally intrigued and loved getting to know Bethany better. Stop back by on Friday for another visit from Bethany as she’ll be discussing Redemption!

*****

Back in the beginning, when Katie was trying to get to know me, she asked me this question.

Are you ashamed of your past?

I just sort of stared at her.

First, because she was really starting to remind me of Dr. Nowels, sans the toupee. And in case you don’t know Dr. Nowels, let me assure you, the comparison is not meant to be flattering.

Second, because I thought the answer was obvious.

My past isn’t exactly something to be proud of.

I grew up in a trailer park with a mother who had to work third shifts at an aluminum plant. We drove a rusted out Pinto with a faulty muffler and I had to wear my brother’s hand-me-downs. I did one stupid thing when I was twelve and had to spend the next year in therapy. The next ten with a stigma that refused to go away.

Is it any wonder I left?

Nobody likes feeling shame. It’s not an endearing emotion.

When I explained all this to Katie, she raised her eyebrows and sucked on the end of her pen. Like whatever I’d said nudged an invisible puzzle piece into place.

I didn’t rise to the bait. I didn’t ask what she was thinking.

Because it doesn’t matter. I’m an architect, a really good architect. With a masters degree from Texas A&M. With a new car and closet full of nice clothes.

I’m well respected. I’m independent. And that stigma I had growing up? Nobody sees it here. I know how to hide it. In fact, I can almost pretend it never existed.

You’ll want to read Bethany’s story in Katie’s book Wildflowers from Winter. You can preorder now from:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books a Million
ChristianBook.com
IndieBound
Lifeway
Mardel
Parable Christian Stores
Powell’s Books
Random House


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Books that are COMING SOON!

I am so excited about some books that are on the horizon and due out in the coming months! I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” several of the authors and like them and enjoy their blogs so much that I’m chomping at the bit to read their debut books!

Bonnie Calhoun, whose tagline is Snark and Suspense – LOL,  is the author of Cooking the Books which is due out in April. It sound like a great mystery and full of humor – right down my alley. This is the summary I found on Goodreads:

After her mother dies from a heart attack, Sloane Templeton goes from Cyber Crimes Unit to bookstore owner before she can blink. She also “inherits” a half-batty store manager; a strange bunch of little old people from the neighborhood who meet at the store once a week, but never read books, called the Granny Oakleys Book Club; and Aunt Verline, who fancies herself an Iron Chef when in reality you need a cast iron stomach to partake of her culinary disasters. And with a group like this you should never ask, “What else can go wrong?”

A lot! Sloane begins to receive cyber threats. While Sloane uses her computer forensic skills to uncover the source of the threats, it is discovered someone is out to kill her. Can her life get more crazy?

Cooking the Books is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbooks.

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Katie Ganshert is one of the first writers whom I met when I began my career last spring. Her blog has inspired me, both in the realm of writing and in spiritual blessings! Her new book, Wildflowers From Winter, is also due out in April. This is the summary I found on her website – oh, and she’s offered the first chapter there as a preview! Woohoo!

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

Wildflowers From Winter is available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbooks.

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Keli Gwyn has blessed me with her wise words and unassuming manner. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know her online! A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California comes out in July by Barbour Publishing. I’m looking forward to it! Here is the summary I found on Goodreads:

An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for the two of them? Miles can’t help but stick his well-polished boot in his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way to win her heart while destroying her business? Miles’s mother, Maude, is bent on Elenora becoming her new daughter-in-law while Elenora’s daughter, Tildy, thinks Miles would make a perfect papa. How far will these meddlers go to unite this enterprising pair?

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California is also available for pre-order from the booksellers above.

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Another book I’m excited about isn’t by a debut author. In fact, Lena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning author with over 20 books to her name. (And I think it’s closer to 30 than 20!) This lady is amazing! She inspires me to push on and better myself and her books are delightful! Maggie’s Journey, the first in her McKenna’s Daughters Series, was so good that I can’t wait for the number two book, and neither can my precious redhead! But we have to wait until May. Here is the short summary I found on Christianbook.com and I’m so excited to have found the cover there as well! Woohoo!

In book two of the McKenna’s Daughters Series, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly and take care of her younger siblings when her mother dies. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?

Mary’s Blessing can be pre-ordered as well, but only Christianbook.com has the cover to show!

So I think I’m set with my early summer reading. If I could just decide on books right now, I’d be happy!

What new book are you most looking forward to reading???