Monday, August 26, 2013

CFBA Blog Tour - "In Golden Splendor" by Michael K. Reynolds

#Christianfiction, #Irish

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
 is introducing
In Golden Splendor

B&H Books
Michael Reynolds


Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada.

Irish immigrant Seamus Hanley is a lost soul, haunted by his past as a U.S. Army deserter and living alone in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in 1849. But after witnessing a deadly stage coach crash, he finds purpose in the scattered wreckage -- a letter with a picture of a beautiful and captivating woman named Ashlyn living in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush. Moved by her written plea for help, he abandons all and sets out on an epic journey across the wild and picturesque American frontier. While being pursued by those who want to hang him, Seamus encounters fascinating characters including a young Pauite Indian who makes the ultimate sacrifice in helping Seamus to cross the snowy Yosemite Valley. Battered but changed for the better, Seamus reaches San Francisco on Christmas Eve as the city burns in the tragic fire of 1849. But there is little time for rest, as an even greater, more harrowing adventure involving Ashlyn is about to begin.

If you would like to read the first chapter of In Golden Splendor, go HERE.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review - "The Mark of Salvation" by Carol Umberger

The Scottish Crown Series ( Book 3) 

Book Description
What do you do when your captor becomes more than a friend? 

When asking for help means risking a man’s very life? 

When love simply cannot happen . . . and you know it already has?

Countess Orelia Radbourne came north with her husband, expecting to claim a new estate once the English army trounced the rebel Scots. But her beloved is now dead, the Scots have won the day, and she is at the enemy’s mercy, guarded by a scowling soldier named Ceallach--a haunted and hunted man whose emotional scars are even worse than his physical ones. Yet he is also loyal and patient, and his steadiness soothes Orelia’s grief in ways she never expected.

Almost against their wills they forge a bond, though a long-ago vow forbids their love. Besides, her future is in England . . . and Orelia must return home to claim an inheritance. Ceallach promises to come if she ever needs him, though she knows she will never ask. But when the countess realizes her greedy in-laws will stop at nothing—even murder—to keep the inheritance from being passed on, she realizes she has only one place to turn.

My Review
As everyone who knows me, knows I love Scottish historical romances--especially if they are Christian fiction. This is a touching book, a heart-warming, emotional story showing a widow overcoming her grief and a man who needs to accept his past in order to move forward with his future. The characters are personable, but with flaws that do not make them seem too perfect. The story line is believable and compelling. The Scottish time period of the late medieval era is intriguing and the way Carol Umberger writes, draws you into the story, painting history as if it is still that way today. Unlike most people, I would have liked a little more of the Scottish brogue in the dialogue, but it is a great read and a novel I would highly recommend.

Visit Carol Umberger.

Buy on Amazon!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Reading Scotland Challenge


Join the adventure!
Read anything Scottish this year!

Create your own public post of participation
at Goodreads, on FB, Pinterest, etc

The more genres we explore the richer our experience.
Poetry, history, biography, memoir, essays, fiction, YA,
children’s, contemporary, mystery, romance, fantasy,
spiritual, time travel, photography, recipe books..
Whatever involves Scotland,
whether author, location, subject, is on target.

Then determine your level of involvement  ~
Bairn at 1 – 3 books
Lass at 4 - 7
Laird at 8 - 11
Queen of Scots at 12 +

Pick up your participation button [top]!

Wanting to add a Scottish themed Giveaway during the year?
Definitely welcomed!
All who complete their posted commitment level
will be entered for a surprise Scottish treat
at the conclusion of the Challenge Nov 30th 2013!
Looking forward to sharing our Scottish adventures!
When tweeting about the challenge ,
Please use hashtag #ReadingScotland
THANKS for joining us!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review - "As High As the Heavens" by Kathleen Morgan

Book Description
It is 1568 and Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned in Lochleven Castle. But her supporters, including noblewoman Heather Gordon, are planning a rescue. Heather travels to a cottage in the frigid Highlands to teach a simple man--who just happens to resemble someone with access to Lochleven--how to act the part of a nobleman in order to gain entry to the castle. But in the close quarters of the cottage there is more stirring than political rebellion.

A suspenseful story of deceit and betrayal, love and secrets, As High as the Heavens will capture readers' hearts.

My Review
Anyone who has read my previous reviews of Kathleen Morgan's work, knows that I love her writing style. This book is no exception in drawing you into the story and giving one a bird's eye view of each character. The plot is well-planned and carries through as one might expect, unfolding and revealing the motivations of each character. This isn't the type of book where you will be surprised by hidden twists and turns. The key highlight of betrayal is carefully woven through the story and builds from the beginning and doesn't disappoint.

I do believe that sensuality and attraction are a must in a romance, even a Christian romance. However, I felt like the first quarter of this book concentrated very heavily on the hero and heroine's thoughts about each others bodies a bit more than necessary. Still, this book stays true to Christian romance standards and is a wonderful tale. I'm glad I discovered it and would readily recommend it for anyone who enjoys historical Christian fiction set in bonny Scotland! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Highland Crossings" Now Available, Novella Collection of 4 Generations


Highland Crossings Novella, Feb 2012
1) Healer of My Heart (1740) by Pamela Griffin
2) Printed on My Heart (1758) by Laurie Alice Eakes
3) Sugarplum Hearts (1789) by Gina Welborn
4) Heart's Inheritance (1815) by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

The four stories in  Highland Crossings is centered around the lives of the McKay and McPherson cousins and their descendants. A priceless brooch is given to an ancestress for a good deed she once performed for the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots and serves as the motivation that tears the family apart. It plays a role in bringing the sisters together after twenty years of separation, gives a daughter a start on her dreams, and a granddaughter a new plan for the future. Each finds her way in the New World, the new nation, and a new century, finding God’s purpose for their lives and the loves of their hearts.

Places to Purchase Highland Crossings

Monday, January 2, 2012

M's Female Celtic & Gaelic Names

Mab, Mabbina - Joy
(Gaelic, Irish)

Macha, Machara - Plain
(Irish, Scottish)

Mada - From Mathilda

Madailein - From the Tower, Form of Madeleine

Mai, May - Pearl, Form of Margaret

Maighdlin - Magnificent

Maillle, Mailsi - Pearl

Mair, Maire, Mairin, Mairi, Mairia, Mali - Bitter, Form of Mary
(Gaelic, Irish, Scottish, Welsh)

Mairearad, Mairghread, Mairead, Maggie - Pearl, Form of Margaret
(Gaelic, Scottish)

Mairead, Margaret - Pearl, Saint Name

Majella - Saint Name

Malise - God's Servant
(Gaelic, Scottish)

Malmuira, Malmuirie - Dark-skinned

Malvina - Peaceful Face, Sweet
(Gaelic, Irish)

Maoli, Maola - Handmaiden

Margred, Mererid - Pearl, Form of Margaret

Marsali - Pearl

Maude, Maiti, Maitilde, Maitilda - Strong Battle-maid, Form of Matilda

Maureen, Moreen - Great

Maureen, Maurine, Moire, Moira, Maurya, Mairona - Bitter, Form of Mary

Mavis, Mavelle, Mavie - Songbird

Maeveen, Mabina - Nimble

Maeve - Mythical Queen

Maeve, Mave, Meara - Joy

Megan, Meghan - Pearl
(Irish, Welsh)

Meinwen - Slender, Fair

Melva - Ruler

Melva - Sweet Place

Meredith - Protector of the Sea
(Celtic, Welsh)

Mildread - Gentle Advisor, Form of Mildred

Modlen - From the Tower, Form of Madeleine

Moibeal, Maible - Lovable, Form of Mabel
(Gaelic, Irish, Scottish)

Moina, Moyna, Mona - Noble
(Celtic, Irish)

Moireach - Lady

Monca - Wise

Moncha - Alone

Morag - Blind

Morag  - Great One

Moreen - Great

Morgan, Morgane, Morgana - Lives by the Sea
(Celtic, Welsh)

Morna - Dearly Loved

Morrigan - War Goddesss

Morrin, Muireann - Long-haired

Morwenna - Maiden

Moya, Moira - Exceptional

Muira, Muire - From the Moor

Muirne - High Spirited

Murel, Muriel - Knows the Sea

Myrna, Merna, Mirna, Moina, Morna - Beloved
(Celtic, Gaelic, Irish)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review - "Here Burns My Candle" by Liz Curtis Higgs


Book Description
Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?

Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet, joy still comes knocking, and hope is often found in unexpected places.

Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections?

The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night, a sparkling gem of redemption and restoration set in eighteenth-century Scotland.

My Review
Mine is the Night picks up exactly where Here Burns My Candle ended. For this reason, I do feel that it would be best to read them in chronological order. It's a story of redemption and restoration, following the biblical plot line of Ruth and Naomi with a different setting and era. 

Higgs does a wonderful job creating believable characters who will steal your heart and make you feel their heartaches, joys and disappointments. A new cast of characters are introduced with excellent characterization to set them apart and create their own places in the story. 

There are at least three romances that bloom and you see each character's growth from the first book to the second. For this reason, there aren't many character flaws in Elisabeth. She seems almost perfect. The flaws she once possessed where overcome in the first book. The hero is almost perfect as well. The only character flaw I could see in Lord Buchanan was the fact that he was unconventional for his station in society, which is a necessary ingredient for the the plot to be fulfilled with biblical accuracy. 

Romance readers may find themselves a bit impatient as Elisabeth doesn't even meet the hero until after 160 pages. Still, the pacing is quick and it flies once the two finally meet. I enjoyed how Higgs used the political conventions of 1746 Scotland to resolve the ending conflicts of the plot in a similar fashion to the biblical plot of Ruth and Naomi. It's a very enjoyable read and one I would highly recommend. 

To buy the book, go here.

Visit Liz Curtis Higgs.