Seasons of a Life: Interview with D.H. Barbara & Giveaway

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Screenshot_2017-05-22-13-37-10Book title: Seasons of a Life

Author: D.H. Barbara

Release date: May, 2017

Genre: Inspirational fiction, family drama, romance

Time passes with little regard of human perspective. At times painfully slow and often it slips past more swiftly than we’d like. Sammie Young is a testimony to the changing of life’s many seasons. As life deals it’s harsh blows, she stands strong. Now, with two of her five children left at home, change whizzes toward her at the speed of light. Frequently down, but never beaten, Sammie steps out in faith to face the new and exciting seasons awaiting her family.


Interview with D.H. Barbara

  1. Will you tell us about your books?

My Lakeville series is about the Young family who has overcome some hard things and how their faith impacts their lives. Sammie is the widowed mother and main character of Season of a Life. I plan on 8 books when the series is finished, but we’ll see how the Lord leads in that. I have a stand alone novel about an angelic encounter, sort of an homage to A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life. I’ve been playing with another book featuring Clarion (the angel). I also have another series in the beginning stages about a pastor in an inner city mission, and a few others percolating. One of my favorites was writing a fan fiction of The Dragonriders of PERN.

2.  Are you a plotter or a panster?

I’m probably more of a panster. I get an idea and just plop down and start writing. I was never a good note taker in school, and always failed outlining.

  1. Do you like to listen to music while you write?

Oh yes! Each Lakeville book has a page titled “The Song Behind The Story.” I listen to those songs over and over. Sometimes I’ll just put on some contemporary Christian music.

  1. If you could live in any time period, what would it be?

I am quite happy in the here and now, although I could totally live on board the Starship Enterprise.

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors? Why do they inspire you?

Good writing inspires more good writing, I think. J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is incredible. Lewis’s Narnia, McCaffrey’s PERN. All amazing and intricate worlds. Steven King’s ability to get into your mind and scare you. John Jakes’s knowledge of history and how he projects his characters into it. It’s all inspiring in that the worlds I create, although not as sweeping or frightening, can draw others in. I love how Susan Sleeman, Colleen Coble, Chautona Havig and other writers of faith weave that aspect into their stories without slamming you in the head with a Bible. Every author I’ve read has inspired some aspect if my own writing.

  1. Will you tell us about your journey with Christ?

I was raised in a nominal religious home, where we did church because it’s what you did on Sunday morning. I became a loud and rebellious teen who found herself pregnant at 15. I chose to abort the child, knowing all along it wasn’t the right thing to do. After 6 weeks of depression and attempting to forget through more drugs and drinking, a girl at school reached out to me with the Gospel. I prayed with her standing outside the back of the school bus for the amazing, forgiving grace of God to wash me clean. The clincher is that I never saw that girl again. She was my very own angelic encounter! It hasn’t always been an easy walk, but it’s one I’m thankful to be on.

  1. What is your favorite food?

Oof! This is harder than the favorite author question! I grew up with an Italian mom who was a fabulous cook and wanted to attend cooking school myself. My all time favorite meal, though, is Thanksgiving Dinner.

  1. Do you like to travel?

Not really. We like day trips. My big travel adventure this summer was visiting my oldest son in Boston. They have excellent Italian food!

  1. Do you travel for research for your books?

Through Google!

  1. Why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve been storytelling since I was a young child. I wrote a lot through middle and high school, lots of horrible angst ridden stuff. Hopefully I’ve outgrown that! I began seriously writing to publish about 2008.

  1. What are your hobbies?

Reading, cooking, trying out different planners, and being the only NASCAR fan in Colorado.

  1. Do you like to cook? Would you share with us a favorite recipe?

Love to cook! Here is my family’s favorite side dish.

Potato Stuffing

5 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed

1 lb bacon, diced

1 lb country sausage (not breakfast)

1 large onion, diced

1-3 sticks butter

Salt, pepper, thyme

Cook the potatoes whole until easily pierced with fork. Drain and let cool to handle. Break into chunks in the pot you cooked them in.

While the potatoes cook, in a large frying pan melt 1 stick butter. Cook onions in butter till nice and golden. Add them to the big pot.

In same pan in remaining butter, start frying the bacon till crisp. I do this in 2 batches. Add to pot.

In same pan in all the good grease, fry sausage, breaking up as it browns. Toss it in with the onions, bacon and potatoes with any grease. (I did not promise this was low fat)

Toss all of this together with the salt, pepper and thyme. I eyeball it, but it’s probably 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tbsp thyme.

Turn on oven to 375*F

Transfer to a 9×13 pan. Dot top with another stick of butter. My hubby’s grandmother used this to stuff the turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil. Uncover and turn oven to broil for 5ish minutes if you want to crisp the top.

We rarely have any left over. It’s great with eggs the next morning.

  1. If you could pick any genre to write in besides your current genre, what would it be?

Science fiction. I love a good sci fi story!

  1. Can you tell us about your current work in progress?

I am working on the 5th and 6th books in my Lakeville series. One is the continuation of Tom and Sunnie’s story, and the 6th is a Christmas novella featuring Silas and Wynter.

  1. What is your favorite verse? Why does it encourage or comfort you?

I love the Psalms. David was an amazing author and songwriter. The Psalms are full of the comfort of the Holy Spirit in all circumstances. My favorite verse would have to be “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 Paul, another amazing author and theologian, knew that verse so well.


About the Author

Haropolous5921Writing and storytelling began in elementary school, including rewriting song lyrics. Often, I would rewrite them to God, and my favorite to sing was “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” I told elaborate tales to my Barbie and Dawn dolls, stuffed animals and imaginary friends.

My faith is vital to me, and my writing. I write inspirational fiction and fantasy because, frankly, I can’t help myself. I have tried to write without the faith element and it’s next to impossible. I want my story to reflect faith and honest struggles. The plots appear in my mind as if I’m watching a full length feature movie. At times, it’s hard for my fingers to keep up with my brain. I’ve moved from my beloved yellow legal pads and Crystal Bic pens to a keyboard, but the process is the same. I start at the beginning, find a “soundtrack,” and start typing. In the back of my books you’ll find a section titled The Song Behind The Story. Many times, I find a worship or praise song that fits the story perfectly and that becomes the main track I listen to while writing.

If I’m not writing something, I’m reading a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, theology and apologetics, to name a few. My favorite genres are, by far, science fiction and suspense. Some authors I enjoy are, in no particular order, Susan Sleeman, Anne McCaffrey, C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, John Jakes, Stephen King, Robin Lee Hatcher, Chautona Havig, Frank Peretti, Randy Alcorn, Dr. Richard Mabry, Tess Gerrison, J.K. Rowling, Peter Tremayne, Elis Peters, oh, the list could go on and on and on! I have the immense pleasure of interacting with some of them online via social media.

Currently, I’m working on completing my Lakeville series. Lakeville is a fictional town in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania.


Guest Post from D.H. Barbara

Thank you to Celebrate Lit for featuring the first novel in my Lakeville Series, Seasons of a Life, for this tour. I hope many of you enjoy your introduction to Lakeville.
So many people, when they discover my little writing hobby, ask me how I come up with ideas. I then attempt to explain that ideas are literally exploding out of my brain! That usually causes them to search my face with a rather alarmed or concerned expression. Such is the life of an author!
I had no problems writing Seasons of a Life; the story presented itself to me as though I were watching a movie. I even have a soundtrack. That will stay locked in there as I have no musical talent whatsoever. I did have a song that is the theme of the book, which I write about at the end. In each book I have a page that is titled “The Song Behind the Story.”
There is a lot of “me” in Seasons of a Life. While no character, specifically, is me, one is totally based on a wonderful friend. I was blessed to have a Victoria in my life for many years before we moved to Colorado. With the exception of hair color, Victoria is a tribute to my dear friend Diana. Also, the story of the Young Turkey Sandwich is true to my New Jersey mall rat youth. Yumm-ola!
Be Blessed and Dream Big!


Blog Stops

August 24: A Baker’s Perspective

August 25: Proud to be an autism mom

August 26: The Power of Words (spotlight)

August 27: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 28: Moments Dipped in Ink

August 29: Carpe Diem

August 30: Reading Is My SuperPower (interview)

August 31: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 1: Pause for Tales

September 2: Simple Harvest Reads (interview)

September 3: Quiet Quilter

September 4: Christian Bookaholic

September 5: Just the Write Escape

September 6: Mary Hake


Season of a Life giveaway

To celebrate her tour, D.H. Barbara is giving away a Lakeville Beach Bundle tote/beach bag containing: 1 copy Seasons of a Life,1 copy of my book Angels Unaware (inspirational fantasy), 1 sun visor, 1 cold drink bottle, and 1 box of drink flavoring packets!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Charity’s Cross Review + KINDLE FIRE Givaway

Charity’s Cross by MaryLu Tyndall is a 328 page novel in the Christian historical fiction genre.  It was published by Ransom Press and released on January 16, 2016.  To purchase your own copy, click here.

About the book

charity's cross amazon.Suspected of killing her husband, Charity Westcott flees on the first ship out of Portsmouth, England heading for the colonies. Loathing all men after her abusive marriage, she hopes to reunite with her family in Charles Towne, but the ship ends up in Nassau. When she spots her husband’s brother, who is intent on seeing her hang, boarding her ship, she jumps overboard.

Elias Dutton, preacher and son of the famous pirate, Rowan Dutton, must get to Barbados as soon as possible. His sister is in danger, and his parents have charged him with her safety. He cannot let them down—again.  But after rescuing a madcap woman from the bay, he now finds himself tricked into masquerading as her husband so they both can procure passage to Barbados.

Pirates, storms, shipwreck and betrayal threaten to delay the couple in their journey even as sparks fly between them. With her brother-in-law in fast pursuit, the last thing Charity wants is help from a man, especially a religious one, but she has no choice. After Elias’ heart was broken by a sordid woman who nearly ruined his life, he seeks a godly woman pure as the virgin sands of the Caribbean. He believes he has found such a woman in Charity. Until he discovers she is a murderer and is now faced with two choices: letting her go or turning her in to the authorities.

About the Author

MLtyndall-HeadshotAward-winning author MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. With more than seventeen books published, she makes no excuses for the spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. A Christy award nominee and Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award winner, MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, two grandchildren and several stray cats on the California coast.

My Two Cents

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. I can not emphasize those words enough! In fact, I loved this book so much, I am going to add a giveaway for you to win the ebook version. You have to read it! I picked up the book and could not put it down – I was captivated from the start.  Literally.  Pirates, escape, betrayal. I was on the edge of my seat.

This is my first time reading MaryLu but it will not be my last.  I loved her writing. Although this is book four in the series, it can be read as a stand alone.  This is the first book I read but I have since bought books 1 – 3 because I enjoyed this one so much.

Charity’s Cross was fast-paced and well researched.The plot line was expertly written and easy to follow.  The characters had depth and breadth.  I loved that there were time that I wanted to reach in and shake a character. Those make the best books!

MaryLu weaves themes of Christianity throughout the book.  When I finished reading Charity’s Cross, I was reminded and encourage by one theme in particular: GOD IS FAITHFUL. Sometimes we question if God hears us. Sometimes we question if God cares.  He does and Charity’s Cross shows that powerfully.

I give this book an absolute five out of five stars! An encouraging read.  A must read! At $4.99 for the ebook…this is a steal!

Want a chance to win the ebook version of this book? Answer this question below: What aspect of the book interests you? Comment below and be sure to add your email in a safe format (For example, simpleharvestreads(at)gmail(dot)com). If I get a minimum of ten comments, one lucky person will win! This contest will end on March 9. Be sure to share with your friends for them to have a chance to win!



Enter the Charity’s Cross giveaway here.

Blog Stops


March 2: simpleharvestreads

March 3: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 3: Mary Hake

March 4: Christian Bookaholic

March 4: Heidi Reads…

March 5: Just Commonly

March 6: cherylbbookblog

March 7: Daysong Reflections

March 8: Cassandra M’s Place

March 8: Splashes of Joy

March 9: The Editor’s Note

March 9: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 10: Bigreadersite

March 10: Bukwurmzzz

March 11: A Greater Yes

March 11: Texas Book-aholic

March 12: Singing Librarian Books

March 13: Raining Butterfly Kisses

March 14: Seasons of Opportunities

Shattered Memories + Huge Giveaway!


Shattered Memories FB pic 2

Be sure to come to the Facebook party to celebrate the release of Shattered Memories on Feb 29.  RSVP here.

Shattered Memories is a 265 page novel in the Christian Historical genre and was released on February 14, 2016. You can purchase the book here.

About the Book

Shattered Memories smallest fileThe Charleston earthquake has left destruction like nothing Doctor Andrew Warwick has ever seen. On a desperate mission to find the lady who owns his heart, he frantically searches through the rubble. He finds her injured and lifeless. After she regains consciousness, the doctor’s hopes are quickly dashed as he realizes she doesn’t remember him. Things only get worse when he discovers she believes she’s still engaged to the abusive scoundrel, Lloyd Pratt. Now Drew is on a race with the wedding clock to either help her remember or win her heart again before she marries the wrong man.

Waking in a makeshift hospital, Olivia Macqueen finds herself recovering from a head injury. With amnesia stealing a year of her memories, she has trouble discerning between lies and truth. When her memories start returning in bits and pieces, she must keep up the charade of amnesia until she can find out the truth behind the embezzlement of her family’s business while evading the danger lurking around her.

My Two Cents

One of the best books I have read. Ever. Intrigue, love, faith. This book has it all. It drew me in from the beginning.  I began reading and read for two hours straight because I could not put the book down.  I craved to see what happened!

The writing made me feel I was right there with the characters watching what happened.  This was the first time I read anything by Costello, but it will not be my last.  I love her writing and I rank her up there with my favorite authors.

This book takes place around the great Charleston earthquake. It was very obvious that Costello did her research while writing this book.  Shattered Memories brought to light what the people of Charleston suffered as well as the courage of the doctors who treated the patients.  The characters were well developed having breadth and depth.  The plot line was fast paced and unfolded well.

Shattered Memories was a joy to read. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  This book is only $3.99; A steal  for such a great book.  Pick this book up. You will not be disappointed!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and Debbie Lynne Costello for giving me this book in exchange for a review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views are my own.

About the Author

debbielynneDebbie Lynne Costello is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Sword of Forgiveness, a medieval romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina where she has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s Director. When not spending time with her husband, four children and grandchildren she hangs out with her Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.


I am excited to announce that there are TWO different giveaways for Shattered Memories!

  1. Enter the HUGE giveaway going on with Celebrate Lit that includes a KINDLE FIRE and a GIFT BASKET worth over $100 plus other great prizes! Enter here.shatteredmemoriesprizes
  2. If I receive 10 comments on this post, one lucky commenter will receive a copy of any DebbieLynne Costello books. Be sure to share with your friends!


Blog Tour Stops

Feb 15: Quiet Quilter

Feb 16: Daysong Reflections

Feb 17: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader


Feb 18: Simpleharvestreads

Feb 19: Rhonda’s Doings

Feb 19: Buwurmzzz

Feb 20: A Greater Yes

Feb 21: 100 Page Per Hour

Feb 22: The Editor’s Note

Feb 22: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Feb 23: The Christian Bookaholic

Feb 24: Blossoms and Blessings

Feb 24: Cassandra M’s Place

Feb 25: Bigreadersite

Feb 26: Singing Librarian Books

Feb 27: cherylbbookblog

Feb 28: Texas Book-aholic

Feb 28: Mary Hake

Feb 29: Raining Butterfly Kisses

The King’s Highway

The King’s Highway by Caryl McAdoo is a 218 page novel in the dystopian genre. It is indie published and was released on Sept 26, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.


Book Information

A mysterious dead man directs the small band on their journey to a much safer corridor he dubs The King’s Highway.

Airplanes are falling out of the sky, and all things electric rendered useless after a mysterious flash. It tests the grit of fifteen-year-old Jackson Allison when the care and safety of his younger siblings fall solely to him. No one knows for sure what’s happened, but danger lurks if they stay. With a fierce determination to keep his thirteen-year-old sister McKenzie and nine-year-old brother Cooper safe, the high school freshman is compelled to leave their Irving home in the shadow of the DFW Airport for their grandparents’ farm a hundred-plus miles northeast.

Thrust into a lawless, chaotic world, he’s guided by an ever-changing cryptic note that leads his growing troupe along the King’s Highway. Bullies, Russians, wild animals, gang-bangers, and kidnappers thwart their progress while a lack of drinkable water and food is a constant concern. Will he ever get his people to safety in the Red River Valley in far Northeast Texas?

Author Information


Award winning author brings her new Christian mid-grade release, book one in the  Days of Dread Trilogy THE KING’S HIGHWAY. The prolific, bestselling novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her and painting. In 2008, her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved her to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one ministers His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. She and Ron live in Clarksville, Texas with two grandsons, Christian and Benjamen.

My Two Cents

This book was intended to be towards the YA audience, however, I think people of any age can enjoy this book. I loved Boggs the dog. He was such an addition to the book.  Caryl wrote from his POV at times and I enjoyed reading his thoughts.  McKenzie is another character I liked.  She stuck to her guns and would not wobble in her beliefs. We can learn a lot for her.

The story was full of events that kept it moving.  I wanted to know what happens to the group. It was hard to put down.  

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  If you like dystopian fiction, you will love The King’s Highway!

Halo Found Hope

Halo Found Hope by Helo Matzelle is a 228 page memoir.  It was published by Dog Ear Publishing and released on Oct 10, 2014.  To purchase your copy, click here.


halo found hope award cover“Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room, was there any hope?
A young woman lay, packed in ice, as doctors attempted to somehow stop the swelling in her brain that threatened to take her life… and her family waited.

Six days turned into eight weeks. She awoke to discover that she was not the same. She saw two of everything, couldn’t feel half of her face, couldn’t hear from one ear, and could not speak. She couldn’t even tellIMG_0502 anyone that she felt hopeless… or could she?

Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife, and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor. An exceptional ENT, a brilliant neurosurgeon and a dedicated medical team tackle the tumor, setting off a series of unbelievable miracles.

Helo’s story is not one of survival, or of salvaging a life through a broken body. It is not about endurance through pain, but victory because of it. While the family heard her silence, God heard her prayer. Helo’s story is simply this: Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God is right there. He doesn’t need to be recognized by you, to be there for you. He can replace fear with courage and discouragement with determination, if you let Him. Helo did, and that is how she found hope.”2014-HeloMatzelle-024--2 copy

“Christian readers will find in these pages a powerful testament to the power of faith in dark times, and even agnostics will be uplifted by the joie de vivre of this remarkable woman.” — Kirkus Reviews


Halo Found Hope is a moving story about a woman who encountered a life threatening, life changing illness and trusted God.  Let me warn you, bring your box of tissues for this book! I cried sad, heartbreaking tears, I cried happy tears, and I cried tears of relief.  I. Cried. A. Lot. However, it was worth every tear to read this encouraging story.

There were so many things I loved about this book.  Helo wrote the book as if you were sitting in her living room having a chat with her.  She was so honest – sharing things that made her vulnerable, things that were wonderful and her disappointments, trials and struggles.

So many of us complain about our lives forgetting the blessings that God has given each of us.  Helo story will make you thankful for God’s grace and mercy; his watch care and sufficiency.  After I finished reading this life changing book, I wanted to do for people just like Helo does.

I give Helo Found Hope 5 out of 5 stars.  This is a book that will change your life, leave you thankful for God’s blessings, and appreciate that you have the ability to get up each morning….and do for others.



Enter below to win a hardback copy of Halo Found Hope, a $25 gift card and a poem beautifully written and framed by Halo. This giveaway ends on Nov 30 at 11:59 pm PDT.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Daughters of the Heart

Daughters of the Heart by Caryl McAdoo is a 310 page novel in the Christian historical fiction genre. It is the fifth book in the Texas Romance series but can be read as a standalone.  Daughters of the Heart is an indie publication and was released on August 28, 2015.  To purchase your copy, click here.

Daughters of the Heart


God’s perfect plan is oft so hard to determine. In his life, Henry Buckmeyer has never been so beside himself. His little girls are so young, just babies, too young. He hates the whole idea of men coming to take them away and is inclined to shoot every one of them, but praise God for a level-headed, loving wife and step-mother! She helps keep him sane amidst the female chaos. Packed with fun, romance, deception, action, heartbreak and tears, this delightful Christian novel keeps the twists and turns coming. Gwendolyn, Cecelia, and the youngest, Bonnie, make a pact never to break their father’s heart like their big sister did. Then their determination is sorely tried when suitors show up, and he gets so pigheaded with his rules. Will Henry survive his daughters coming of age? Will they endure and keep their promises to each other? From one man asking to court her—who Daddy sends packing—Gwen goes to three! How can she ever decide? Cecelia knows exactly who she wants, but she’s still a year away from Daddy’s acceptable courting age. What if her beau doesn’t know or won’t wait? And Bonnie hates being the baby and wants to be grown-up more than just about anything…except her man. She is for sure and for certain in love. Will the Buckmeyer home ever be settled and peaceful again? Will any of his daughters find true love…a man he’ll approve and to whom he can give his blessing?

My Two Cents

I thoroughly enjoyed Daughters of the Heart by Caryl McAdoo.  She has a way of writing that feels authentic and reflects her love of the Lord.  I loved the quirky sayings she included and the added humor made the book light-hearted and fun.

There were several characters in Daughters of the Heart, but the storyline was easy to follow.  The characters are well written and had depth.  There was tension, love, heartache, and the conflict of honoring your parents while staying true to yourself.  

I loved following the drama of the Buckmeyer sisters. It kept my attention throughout because I wanted to see what the girls did and if their father finally approved of a suitor. Having teenagers myself, I could relate to the Buckmeyer parents. However, at times I also felt bad for the girls.  Loving and being frustrated with characters make for a good story! Caryl did not disappoint!  

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. If you love historical romance that is God centered, you won’t want to miss this book!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit ( and Caryl McAdoo for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author


Award winning, bestselling author Caryl McAdoo currently writes four series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; The Generations, her Biblical fiction and a mid-grade The King’s Highway. The prolific novelist loves singing new songs the Lord gives her and painting. In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty+ years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons, Christian and Benjamen.


Caryl is giving away some great prizes:

  • Grand Prize: Set of Texas Romance books #1 thru 5 (Vow Unbroken, Hearts Stolen, Hope Reborn, Sins of the Mother, and Daughters of the Heart)
  • First Prize:  Set of The Generations Biblical fiction series (A Little Lower Than the Angels, Then the Deluge Comes, and Replenish the Earth)
  • Second Prize:  Your choice of the Texas Romances
  • Third Prize:  A Texas Surprise!

Click the word “Form” below to enter the giveaway. This giveaway ends on Sept 30 at 11:50 pm PDT.

Counting on a Cowboy

Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton is a 320 page novel in the Christian Contemporary Romance genre. It is book two in the A Four of Heart Ranch Romance Series but can be red as a standalone. Counting on a Cowboy is published by Thomas Nelson and was released on August 11, 2015. To order your own copy, click here.

Counting on a Cowboy


After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.

Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.

Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.

This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

My Two Cents

Counting on a Cowboy is an easy read and a very sweet story.  Abby comes to Wishing Springs reeling from pain and tragedy; hoping to start over and make a new life for herself. I loved how Clopton revealed Abby’s story piece by piece throughout the novel.  It made the story interesting and I wanted to keep reading.

I enjoyed watching Abby grow throughout this book.  Clopton has a way of drawing you into what her characters are feeling. She writes their raw emotions.  Clopton did not gloss over issues that she brought to light in her book which was very refreshing. There were issues of side characters that exposed. Sometimes when there are side stories it distracts from the main storyline.  In Counting on a Cowboy the side issues added to story by providing tension and made it more engaging.

My only disappointment with this book was that it seemed a bit unrealistic.  Bo seemed to not want to have anything to do with the women who were drawn to the town through his sister-in-law’s articles.  Yet, he seems to fall in love with Abby right away.  I think there was an opportunity for some tension to be provided and this would have added to the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and am glad I read it.  I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist who was first published in 2005 and has more than 22 novels to her credit. Along with her writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra is the author of the acclaimed Mule Hollow Matchmaker Series, the place readers tell her they wish was real. Her goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words. Visit her website at


One lucky winner will win a copy of Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton.  To enter, click on the word “Form” below.  This contest ends on Sept. 5 at 11:59 pm PDT.

Irish Meadows

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason is a 384 page novel in the Christian historical fiction novel.  It is the first book in the Courage to Dream series.  Irish Meadows is published by Bethany House and was released on July 7, 2015

irish meadows


Faced with an uncertain future, sometimes all you have left is the courage to dream.

Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry—as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

My Two Cents

Have you ever had someone plan your life thinking they know what is best for you? Or had your life all planned out to find that God has a different plan for you? This is exactly what the characters of Irish Meadows experience.  This book captures you from the beginning and I did not want it to end.

The historical accuracy in Irish Meadows is flawless.  I learned a great deal about history surrounding 1911; especially in regards to women’s rights.  At times this history was a little overwhelming and it could distract from the storyline.  However, it is plain to the reader the author conducted a significant amount of research and wanted to present the history as accurately as possible.

My favorite part of this story were the characters.  It was a joy to see how they grew in their maturity and their faith.  There were times I was so frustrated I wanted to throw the book, however, this makes for a good story! The characters had depth to them and although there were several characters, I could follow the story easily.  Sometimes when a story has many characters the story can get muddled.  That is not the case with Irish Meadows. Each character is well written.

I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.  If you are a fan of historical fiction, you won’t want to miss this book!

About the Author

Susan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. A member of ACFW, as well, she lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at


One lucky winner will receive a copy of Mason’s Irish Meadows. To enter, click on the word “form” in the link below. This contest ends Friday, September 4, 2015 at 11:59 pm PDT.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth Vogt is a 368 page novel in the Christian contemporary romance genre. It is part of the Destination Wedding series but can be read as a stand alone. This novel is published by Howard Books and was released on June 30, 2015.  You can purchase your copy by clicking here.

crazy little thing


Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?

My Two Cents

Crazy Little Thing Called Love is a sweet love story that reflects how our lives can derail when we do not include God and seek wise counsel in our life decisions. It also wonderfully reflects God’s grace and forgiveness.  The reader is reminded that through God’s grace, we grow and change which makes us wiser.

Vogt wrote great characters in Crazy Little Thing Called Love. A favorite part of the book is when Vanessa’s friend Mindy and Logan’s friend Max confronts each one respectively regarding the choices they are making.  Sometimes in life it is hard to confront our friends but if we love them we will tell them the hard things in love because we care about them.  Vogt incorporated this brilliantly in this story; really showing how rewarding those hard conversations can be.

Although there were many things I liked about Crazy Little Thing Called Love, I will state that I did find it a bit slow.  There were certain circumstances I found unrealistic and unbelievable. Vogt used flashbacks to give us a glimpse of Logan and Vanessa’s past history.  I enjoyed reading about their past, however, I wish there was more written in current time.  Lastly, I wish more time was given to the end of the story.  It seemed very rushed and it was hard for me as the reader to connect to the end of the story.

I give Crazy Little Thing Called Love 3 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to the Litfuse Chicks for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A 2015 RITA® Finalist and a 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth is a contemporary romance novelist with Howard Books. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. In 2015 she introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, Can’t Buy Me Love, (May) and a novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love(June).

Visit Beth online:  website, Facebook, Twitter


To enter to win Crazy Little Thing Called Love click on the words “Entry-Form” below.  This giveaway ends on August 5 at 11:59pm PDT.

Thriving in Babylon Guest Review by Jim Barela

Thriving in Babylon by Larry Osborne is a 199 page book in the Non-fiction Religious genre. It is published by David C. Cook and was released on June 1.  To order your copy of Thriving in Babylon, click here.



Meet a man forced to live in a fast changing and godless society. He faced fears about the future, concern for his safety, and the discouragement of world that seemed to be falling apart at warp speed.

Sound familiar? His name was Daniel, and with the power of hope, humility, and wisdom, he not only thrived, he changed an empire while he was at it. Though he lived thousands of years ago, he has a much to teach us today.

Even in Babylon, God is in control.

In Thriving in Babylon, Larry Osborne explores the “adult” story of Daniel to help us not only survive – but actually thrive in an increasingly godless culture. Here Pastor Osborne looks at:

-Why panic and despair are never from God

-What true optimism looks like

-How humility disarms even our greatest of enemies

-Why respect causes even those who will have nothing to do with God to listen

-How wisdom can snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat

For those who know Jesus and understand the full implications of the cross, the resurrection, and the promises of Jesus, everything changes—not only in us, but also in our world.

My Two Cents

Osborne’s book, Thriving in Babylon, is a book that is easy to follow and a fairly quick read. The language and illustrations used allow the reader to follow the author’s train of thought without much distraction from the message he delivers. As a reader I did find it helpful that the author chose to provide scripture references where he thought it would be helpful.

There were a few distractions I encountered as I read through the book. I will make every effort to be brief as I share just a few concerns.

– The book of Daniel is one book of the major prophets detailing what was to come and detailing the sovereignty of God in the affairs of man not to offer “us a model for not only surviving but actually thriving in the midst of a godless culture.”

– Though the author acknowledges the sovereignty of God, he then uses the phrase “then God showed up” in several places, as if God’s plan was not working out so well and He had to show up to fix things – the book of Daniel clearly shows that God ordained all that would take place according to His will.

– The book is supposed to be about how to thrive in Babylon but the author draws principles from biblical characters not related to the Babylonian captivity making it seem as though he had these principles in mind before deciding to use Daniel as the basis for his book.

– Living in light of the gospel is how the believer survives and thrives today. But, the gospel is mentioned and discussed only sparingly.

Readers should know that there are some important challenges to our modern thinking that are important for us to read contained in Osborne’s book. One challenge as well as reminder is the timeless truth that faithfulness does not guarantee an easy life. Many faithful Christians will endure suffering and hardships in their life as they encounter difficulties common to believers around the world. I recommend reading the book of Daniel at least twice before reading this book so that you have a firm foundation to build upon.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Many thanks to the Litfuse Chicks for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.

About the Author

Dr. Larry Osborne has served as a senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church—one of the ten most influential churches in the country—since 1980. Dr. Osborne is the author of numerous books, including Accidental Pharisees. He and his wife live in Oceanside, California. They have three grown children.

Find Larry online: website, Facebook, Twitter


Enter to win a copy of Thriving in Babylon by clicking on the words “Entry-Form” below. This contest ends on Monday, July 27 at 11:59 pm PDT.