8 Romantic Novels to Read for Valentine’s Day

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Finding Her Family’s Love

Kayla Kensington

Kendra visits the small town of Shallow Stream thrilled to meet her late husband’s family for the first time. To her shock, her grieving mother-in-law accuses Kendra of being a gold digger and rejects her. Will Pierce, her late husband’s cousin, offer her the love and family she seeks, or will the relationship create new heartbreak?

Buy using this link!

Alice’s Notions

Tamera Lynn Kraft

In this quaint mountain town, things aren’t always what they seem. 

World War II widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop. Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn’t know who she can trust.

Buy at this link!

On Cue

Bettie Boswell

Ginny’s musical may save the local museum, but restoring her trust in men is another matter. When theater professor Scott finds himself coerced to direct her musical, they must work through humorous misunderstandings and a couple of pet disasters, until they finally discover that forgiveness and trust produce perfect harmony.

Buy at this link!

Lost in the Storm

Tamera Lynn Kraft

Leading up to the turbulent Battles for the city of Chattanooga, will Lavena and Cage find the courage to love and forgive, or will they be swept away by their past mistakes that don’t want to stay buried?

Meet the Ladies of Oberlin, the causes they’re willing to fight for, and the men who capture their hearts.

Buy at this link!

Red Sky Over America

Tamera Lynn Kraft

William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?

Meet the Ladies of Oberlin, the causes they’re willing to fight for, and the men who capture their hearts.

Buy at this link!

A Match (NOT) Made in Heaven

Michelle L. Levigne

What’s a good church-going girl to do when everything seems to go from wrong to weird, and the crazy old lady who insists on helping her find true love doesn’t know the meaning of “No!” or “Not ever!”?

Buy at this link!

Resurrection of Hope

Tamera Lynn Kraft

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

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For Sale: Wedding Dress, Never Used

Michelle L. Levigne

Real love didn’t come back into her life until AFTER she decided to finally sell the dress, and let go of that particular dream. 

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

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Review of Deep Trouble by Mary Connealy

Deep Trouble

Mary Connealy

Get ready for a Grand Canyon tour de force by award-winning author Mary Connealy. Gabe Lasley and Shannon Dysart are an unlikely pair. He’s an aimless wanderer who wants nothing other than to be left alone. She’s a fearless female determined to find a city of gold. When they are forced together the mayhem begins. As they set out to find the treasure, trouble is hot on their trail. Will the dream of gold color every decision Shannon makes? Will Gabe fail yet another helpless female in his life?

My Review: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you’ve never read one of Mary Connealy’s novels, go out and buy one now. She combines romance, cowboys, and humor in a way no other author can match. In Deep Trouble, Gabe and Shannon are not right for each other in every way imaginable, yet they are down to each other as they face the worst trouble of their lives with the backdrop of the Grand Canyon.

God’s Not Dead 3: A Light in the Darkness Movie Review

GoGod’s Not Dead 3: A Light in the Darkness

Director: Michael Mason

Writer: Michael Mason

Stars: David A.R. White, John Corbett, and Shane Harper

My Review:  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

God’s Not Dead 3 was the perfect ending to the God’s Not Dead trilogy. The first movie focused on a student being challenged by his atheist professor. The second focused on a teacher losing her job because of her faith. In both cases, Pastor Dave was there to help them through times of persecution. In both cases, the people being persecuted fought back to declare the truth.

In this movie, the story focuses on Pastor Dave. When it starts, his friend and fellow pastor, Reverend Jude, is picking him up from jail. He was arrested for not turning in transcripts of his sermons. He didn’t turn them in at the end of the last movie. It goes down hill from there. Through an act of vandalism, Reverend Jude is killed and the church is burnt to the ground. To make matter worse, the college campus uses this incident to take away the church land and building using imminent domain. Pastor Dave is confused and angry and decides to fight.

What I Loved About the Movie: The theme of the movie is when should Christian fight for what is right, and when should they allow themselves to be persecuted to declare the truth in love. Christians throughout history have tried to maintain this balance. Martyrs have willingly laid down their lives. Reformers like Martin Luther and Christian abolitionists have fearlessly declared the truth and fought to reform the culture. This movie allowed both points of view and showed that, yes, we need to preach the truth, but we need to preach it in love, not out of the anger everyone is feeling in today’s world.

The movie also discusses doubt people deal with and how the church should handle those doubt with the truth, but in a loving way. There was a lot of meat to chew on in this movie, and the answers to all of these questions are never easy.

What I Didn’t Love About the Movie: I would have given this movie five stars if I could have gotten past this. There was an incident in the movie, I’m not giving any spoilers, that was wrapped up in too neat a bow in a way that was so unbelievable it was laughable.

Even though the movie cheated the audience in one part, I highly recommend this movie. We have to speak the truth no matter the cost, but we can’t do it in anger. People around us should know we are Christians by our love. That’s what this movie was all about.

Paul, Apostle of Christ Movie Review

Paul, Apostle of Christ

Director: Andrew Hyatt

Writers: Terence Berden, Andrew Hyatt

Stars: Jim Caviezel, James Faulkner, Olivier Martinez


My Review:  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

When I heard Jim Caviezel was starring in this movie, I knew I wanted to see it. I was right. Caviezel has been one of my favorite actors for a while now. He starred in some great Christian movies such as When the Game Stands Tall and The Passion of the Christ as well as some secular movies and TV shows.

The first thing that surprised me in the movie was Caviezel played Luke not Paul. The story was really about Luke as he struggled to support his friend, Paul, and help the Christians in Rome during their darkest hour. He was brilliant in his portrayal as was the actor who played a worn out, tired, old Apostle Paul who was ready for his martyrdom.

Another surprise was this was a story about one of the darkest hours of Christianity. The world was in chaos. It looked like evil had one. Christians, children included, were being lit on fire to light Nero’s garden parties and being thrown to lions in the Colosseum. Priscilla and Aquilla were struggling with whether to lead their Roman community out of Rome to escape the persecution or stay and show the light of Christ. Some of the younger men were struggling with anger and a desire for revenge. It was a dark time. At first, the movie seemed depressing. I’m glad I didn’t give up on it too soon.

This movie had an awesome theme of hope in the midst of despair and overcoming evil with love. It reminded me what true Christianity was all about. There was one poignant scene of Christians marching into death content and without fear. The only thing that was missing from the historical accounts was that in real life they sang hymns. I would have loved to have seen that. That is the only criticism I have with the movie, and that is minor.

This is a movie I recommend strongly for every Christian to see.

Review of Movie The Greatest Showman

Last week, I watched The Greatest Showman. I would love to give it a glowing review because it reminded me of the classic movies I love, but my review is somewhat mixed. First, here’s the trailer for the movie.

The Greatest Showman

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Zac Efron

Director: Michael Gracey

Celebrates the birth of show business, and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

What I loved about the movie:

For acting, storytelling, theme, and performances, I give this movie 5 stars. I loved they made in a musical. The romance between PT Barnum and his wife was heartfelt. The theme of everyone having value was well done. The character arcs of PT Barnum and his assistant Carlyle were believable and made the characters three dimensional and likable. The plot brought us on the edge of our seats, and in the satisfying end, caused us to leave the movie theater feeling good. This reminded me of the classic musicals that I love from years past. There were no loose ends to be tied up. If it had been a fictional story about a fictional character, I would have praised the movie and recommended it to all my friends.

What bothered me about the movie:

While the romance between PT and Charity Barnum rang true, very little of the story reflected the truth about PT’s life. First, the timeline was all wrong. Barnum didn’t start his museum until his forties, and he was in his seventies before it became a traveling circus. He was not the feel good person in the movie. He is credited with first saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” He would do anything to make money including exploiting his four year old nephew, the real Tom Thumb, and buying a 80 year old slave even though he was an abolitionist and claiming she was the 169 year old nurse of George Washington.

I do understand poetic license and changing the events to make a good story. I could have forgiven the rest of it, but one thing they changed bothered me more than any of the rest. In the movie, Jenny Lynd, the opera singer who toured America, was offered the tour by PT Barnum. That part was true.

What wasn’t true was that PT left Charity to go on tour with Jenny or that Jenny was infatuation with PT to the point of kissing him in front of reporters to get back at him for rejecting her attentions. PT was devoted to Charity, and Jenny Lynd never did anything like that. All of this was fake. Lynd, one of the greatest singers of the 19th century,  toured America and cut ties with Barnum because he insisted on too rigorous of a schedule to make more money from her. She donated everything she earned from the tour to charity. To cast her in such a negative light was shameful. This soured the movie for me.

Another part of the movie I didn’t like was how it was implied the museum was burned to the ground by people protesting the freak show. While nobody knows who burned down the theater, it is more likely it was because of the strong stand Barnum took as a politician against slavery before the Civil War and for equal rights after the Civil War. This would have made the story more powerful, especially if they showed Barnum exploiting a slave, Washington’s nurse, in the 1840s and becoming an advocate of abolition and equal rights later in his life.

As I said earlier, I wish the story had been about a fictional character because in reality, it was.

Don’t Let Your Fears…

by Carole Brown

…keep you from writing.

Fear #1: Fear of the Unknown

Yes, cost you some money — marketing costs, training costs, etc.

But if something costs you, say, $500 over the course of a year, and you generate, say, $3,000 during that year, is the cost really what’s most important?

Don’t let the fear of investing some money now blind you from the many different avenues to profit and readers.


Fear #2: I don’t have the time

Yes, writing does take time. There is no way around this.

So if you literally have no time to invest in building an audience and developing your talent in writing, you probably should give in to this fear and walk away now. But in my experience, most people do have enough time to at least get moving — even if it’s not as much time as they’d like to have (a distinction that is critical).

The key is to actually prioritize your personal goals and your future (because no one else is going to do it for you), and then make smart choices about what to do with the available time that you do have.


Fear #3: But I’m an unknown! How will I ever get enough sales to make money?


Patience with your timeline, take a big-picture view, and smartly follow the proven path laid out by so many people who have come before you.


Fear #4: Okay, but how can I be confident that I’ll make good decisions and not screw everything up once it’s growing?

Because you’re more capable than you think. And because there are so many mentors and examples out there whose lead you can follow.

And, more importantly, because your own intuition — once it is honed by the deep experience you will gain growing an audience and learning how to serve them — is the greatest and most underrated guide you will have.



Fear #5: This all just a crazy pipe dream.

It’s definitely not a pipe dream. The thousands of successful writers out there, and the billions upon billions of dollars they generate every year, are proof of that.

As to whether it’s “crazy,” well … maybe it is a tad bit crazy.

But you know what? Most successful writers tend to be a little bit crazy. So this fear is actually a sign that you’re on the right track. 


And just for good measure, here is one more fear you might be feeling …

Bonus Fear: How will I know what specific steps to take to succeed?

This is probably the most unreasonable fear of them all.


Because so many successful paths and successful strategies have already been tried, judged, improved, and refined by those who have come before you.


Take a moment and reflect on any of the fears above that may be affecting your thinking. If any of those fears are stopping you from taking meaningful steps forward, now is the time to consider whether or not they should be.

Because if they shouldn’t be, then these fears are holding you back from living the life you truly want to be living.

And that’s not a fear to respect.

That’s a fear to reject.

A New Mystery Book from Karen Robbins

by Carole Brown

Karen has some fun mystery books, and here’s her newest! 

The second book in her Annie Pickels Story

Pickle Dilly

IMG_4901 (800x600)

Links to purchase books:

In A Pickle:  https://www.amazon.com/Pickle-Annie-Pickels-Story-Pickes/dp/1974391868/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Pickle Dilly:  https://www.amazon.com/Pickle-Dilly-Annie-Pickels-Story/dp/1974397092/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8



KAREN ROBBINS is a writer, author, and speaker. She and her husband are travel addicts and many of her stories are enriched by their adventures in different parts of the world. She has written six novels, collaborated on two non-fiction books and contributed often to Chicken Soup For The Soul books. She is currently working on a Christmas novella, A Pocketful Of Christmas. While the world is fun to explore, Karen most likes to spend time with her grandchildren. They offer the greatest adventures of all.


Catch up with Karen at her blog, Wandering Writer (www.karenrobbins.com), Twitter (https://twitter.com/writerwandering), Facebook (www.facebook.com/KarenRobbinsAuthor) or Amazon (www.amazon.com/author/karenrobbins)


Happy Reading


Review of Barbara Ann Derksen’s: Redemptive Justice

by Carole Brown Redemptive Justice: Finders Keepers Mystery Series by [Derksen, Barbara Ann]


What happens when truth is perverted to suit the circumstances?

Christine Smith, owner of Finders Keepers Investigative Services, and Jeremy Goodman, owner of Goodman Investigations, discover the answer when they decide to help a woman recover her children from a Mennonite village in Mexico.

Drug running and human trafficking are justified by Church Elders who place money and control above the people they are supposed to lead. Christine’s new faith explores the contradictions in the search for Redemptive Justice.


My Thoughts:

Once again, Derksen delivers a believeable and entrancing novel with diligent detectives, Jeremy Goodman and Christine Smith. I especially like intense books with hard current topics written within, and Derksen brings it out beautifully!

And who’s heart doesn’t break at the plight of the little girl, despised and abused, with seemingly no hope? It makes you want to pull her from that despicable place and hugged her so tightly she’ll never feel pain or unloved again.

Then you have the detectives. I love the comradeship between them, their personalities and the way they work together. They bring life to the stories and draw readers into the setting.

But drug running and human trafficing are just two of the evils Jeremy and Christine must face as they work to save the children of one woman. Set in Old Mexico, the two friends and detectives face prejudices and danger as they labor together to save the day yet another time.

You won’t want to miss reading this newest book from Derksen. Written with a particularly sound ability to create realistic dialog and convincing scenes, you’ll find yourself using the midnight oil to finish this novel. Heartily recommended!


About Barbara:

Barbara Ann Derksen


Seeking to encourage, inspire, and invite, Barbara Ann Derksen writes about Kingdom living characters who live in a not-so Kingdom world. She has been scrambling letters into enjoyable fiction and non-fiction for over 20 years and a published writer since 2003. Her readers share how the books are hard to put down, keep them up at night reading long after lights out, and spur them on to a closer walk with their Lord.

Her favorite genre is mystery so, to thrill her readers, she composes a new one every year.

She has just completed the four book series, The Wilton Strait Mystery Series, now available through her website, on Amazon in Canada, Europe, and the US, and through Amazon’s Kindle store as e-books as well as Smashwords for e-book readers other than Kindle.

  • Vanished,
  • Presumed Dead,
  • Fear Not, and
  • Silence

are a series that provides hours of entertainment, food for thought, and keep her readers wanting more.

The first book in the Finders Keepers Series: 

  • Shadow Stalker, was released May 5, 2013 and is available on Amazon http://amzn.to/13pABhF. with mostly 5 star reviews.
  • In 2014, Book 2, Essence of Evil made its appearance with mostly five star reviews and now…
  • the sequel, Wicked Disregard, released February 2016, is making its debut.
  • A 4th book in this series is in the works with plans to publish in 2017.

Barbara has also penned a devotional series with six books, 4 children’s stories and two other non-fiction books. Dance With a Broom and Second to None

Barbara Ann Derksen has written 19 books, mystery, children’s and devotions. She and her husband, Henry, have been married for 46 years, have four children, and eleven grandchildren. Henry is a singer/songwriter with 8 CDs to his name, working on his 9th.

Connect with her here:

Website:  www.barbaraannderksen.com/

Twitter:  @BarbaraADerksen

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/barbara.a.derksen

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=37561352&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile


Buy her books here:

AMAZON:  https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Ann-Derksen/e/B006V4JD5M

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5154682.Barbara_Ann_Derksen

Website:  www.barbaraannderksen.com/

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/BarbaraAnnDerksen



Happy Reading!




A New Comedy Romance from Catherine Castle

by Carole BrownAGroomforMama2_200

A Groom for Mama

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal.There’s a new romantic comedy, by multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle, on the EBook shelves at Amazon, titled…

A Groom for Mama.

The book, which is full of plot twists, humor and drama, is loosely based on a play she and her author husband wrote as a contest entry for a local radio contest.

Readers are calling A Groom for Mama “simply delightful” and “an enjoyable read full of fun and wit and heart-felt emotion.”

Catherine’s going to give us a peek into the book today.


A Groom for Mama

By Catherine Castle

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.


With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.

“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”

“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”

“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.

“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”

Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”

Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”

A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”

“And just how do you know?” she asked.

“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”

“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”

Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”

Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”

He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”

“I don’t want—”

“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”

Want to read more? You can find A Groom for Mama at:


About the Author:
CT Bio 8x11

Catherine Castle, author of the multi-award-winning inspirational suspense romance, The Nun and the Narc, and the sweet romantic comedy, A Groom for Mama, loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she quilts and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place is in her garden. She’s a passionate gardener who won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.


Connect with Catherine here:

Website:  https://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com

Blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle

Goodreads page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AuthorCCastle @AuthorCCastle

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/catherinecastleauthor

Google+ :  https://plus.google.com/109253925035989625956/posts

Stitches Thru Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

SMP authors blog site:  http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/


Review of No One to Trust by Lynette Eason

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Today I’m reviewing a Christian romantic suspense novel by Lynette Eason. Here’s a blurb about the novel.

No One to Trust

Book #1 Hidden Identity Series

by Lynette Eason

Summer Abernathy must run for her life when she wakes up to find her husband Kyle missing, three men in her home intent on finding him, and the life she’s been living based on a lie.


My Review:  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Wow! From the first word of this suspense filled novel, I was hooked. It’s fast paced roller-coaster ride of a husband and wife running from mobsters never stopped. Interwoven in the story was a story of betrayal and redemption. Summer’s husband has been lying to her about who he is through their entire marriage. She finds out the truth as they’re running for their lives, but she can’t leave him if she wants to live. I loved how this novel kept me guessing with twists and turns along the way. I highly recommend this novel and can’t wait to read more by Eason.