Friday, February 2, 2018

Audiobook Reivew The Trampled Rose Series

Miracles in Disguise, The Trampled Rose Series  By Michelle Lynn Brown
Narrated by Jessica Carter Buy Book Here

Sweet Story  
This story is about a woman trying to overcome her past. Christina had a rough life because of a stern father and abusive husband. Despite that, she had a passion to help others and be a good teacher. In the end, she was able to grow closer to God and find love again with someone who, not only, was worthy of her through God's eyes, but most importantly, truly loved God himself.

Sound Biblical message  
Even though Christina's ex husband misused and distorted God's word to manipulate her, she somehow, still trusted God and knew he would answer her and get her through. She even had some positive and supportive people , such as her new pastor's wife, to remind her of that when she really needed advise.

The author had many similarities to remind Christina of her past. The new love interest was a church leader, like her husband. His dog had her ex husband's name. Their was even poor Barbara, a teenager and Christina's student, who was harassed and attacked. All of these things were there to link Christina to memories of her negative experiences. I think there were a few too many parallels, but I understand why the author did it.

The Struggles Were Real  
Christina did have real fears that came from real situations. She dealt with them much  like most of us do. She questioned God and blamed him for some things. It is easy to do that when we do not understand what is going on and especially WHY some things happen.

Details  I am a person who likes a bit more description. Not a lot, just enough to get a picture in my head. I'm not sure what Christina or Nathan look like or any of the side characters. A defining detail to help remember them would be nice. I even like a few words about where she lives. Is it brick house? Are there fragrant flowers that line the walkway? Again, not pages and pages of description, just enough to get a picture in my head.

There were some parts of the story that I would've loved to have seen developed further. I've discussed them with the author privately because I didn't want to divulge any spoilers for the readers. Another point I will speak about is Barbara who was attacked by her classmate. I would've been interested in Barbara's point of view. Maybe even some of the trial. There were some hints of a rich family and there being some ups and downs that could've hurt her case, but nothing more. I was relieved that she won her case, but it would've been nice to have some indications of how that came to be. 

Smooth Talker
The narrator was Jessica Carter. She did a great job. Her voice is easy to listen to and she does a great job making the characters come to life. I would definitely listen to other books narrated by her.

I think Michelle Lynn Brown is a good writer. I liked her story line and how sound the biblical message was. I got interested enough to want to know more about these people and their lives. My advise to her would be 'tell me more'. I would give this book three stars out of five, because I wanted more information. But, a five out of five for the positive message and biblical beliefs. I may listen to more of her books in the future.  Learn more about Michelle and her books here

Thank you for your time and interest in this book and my review. I have loved books my whole life and look forward to more opportunities in the future to show my enthusiasm for the written word, especially when it includes God's word.

- Victoria Skyes

Michelle Lynn Brown is the author of the best-selling Trampled Rose and Reconciled and Redeemed Series. She fell in love with the written word as a teenager, and as a writer, she uses this passion to share with others the joy of having a personal and intimate relationship with Christ."

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Valentine's Day Mega Giveaway

Coming Feb 14 you can enter!!

Welcome to A Great Valentine's Giveaway!

Where you will have 3 Great opportunities to win

1. You can enter to win A Paperback from Samantha Fury  

2. You can Enter to win one of our 4 Grand Prizes

    See the original post here

    Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    Christian Editor Pam Lagomarsino

    CIAN Editor Spotlight   Pam Lagomarsino Above The Pages 

    We hope that our Authors will enjoy this intro to Above The Pages. Please take a look at one of our many CIAN editors. 

    Pam Lagomarsino has a informative website so if you're in the market for an editor check out her site. 

    Above the Pages – Equipping authors to touch the lives of their readers. Pam Lagomarsino is a Christian editor who provides thorough, affordable editing, proofreading, and manuscript review services. I work with nonfiction, devotionals, inspirational, fiction, children’s materials, and home school curriculum. I also do fact and Scripture verification.  Whether you need a light proofread, substantive revision, or anything in between, I will go the extra mile to help you create a captivating piece to engage, inspire, or educate your readers.  I do all work in Microsoft Word using Track Changes. I offer free sample edits to see if we are right for each other. I will also work with you on payment options or discount pricing for multiple services. 

    A few words about Pam
    Pam Lagomarsino has owned and operated Above the Pages since early 2015 when she established it as a business.  Pam has edited proofread; beta read: Christian & nonfiction books, devotionals, sermons, Bible studies, homeschool curriculum, children’s books, and Christian fiction. Additional experience includes working in a rural library, writing frequent articles for area newspapers, being a sales rep of children’s books, and home teaching her children through high school. Her college coursework included English, literature, library science, and child development.

    As a child, Pam was an avid reader and book lover and would read stacks of library books or encyclopedias during her summers. Her love of books grew into editing when an editor friend invited her to beta-read his book and then encouraged her to pursue editing. Several months later, God orchestrated the events for Pam to begin editing. Pam is a Silver Member of the Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network; a member of Author's Community where authors, writers, and entrepreneurs can accomplish their goals while learning how to market their product on their own; and a member of the Freelancer's Union. She also is a part of TriStone WordsmithsA Community of Independent Christian Authors, Artists, and Editors   Pam has volunteered extensively in various Christian ministries in the areas of teaching or leading children's ministry, girls' retreats, or Bible studies for adults and children for over twenty years. This included building relationships, teaching, and event planning. She is familiar with the Bible and Christian doctrine and teachings.

    Learn more about Above The Page with these handy links 

    Friday, November 3, 2017

    Interview with Lynnette

    We are here talking to Lynnette today. She has a new release. Check out the interview below and her
    new release HERE

    What started your writing career?

    I grew up overseas without electricity or TV, so I was a reader from my very early years. I loved to immerse myself in story and sometimes wouldn’t reemerge until hours later. Eventually my love of story turned the bend to me beginning to pen my own stories. Or I would read a book and think “it could have been so much better if they’d done it this way.” I started several books, but never finished one until I was doing some research about the town I lived in at the time and found some tidbits from history that I knew had to be told. That research turned into my first published novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis.

    You were born and raised in Africa?!  Did that have any kind of influence on you as a writer?
    For sure! I often tell my kids that I wish anyone who interacted in politics in our country would be required to first live for 2 years in an African village in the middle of nowhere. But we aren’t here to talk about politics (thank goodness!)

    When you’ve seen people living in truly abject poverty and watched them live overcoming joy-filled lives despite their circumstances, you can’t help but be changed. When your best friends growing up lived in a mud and brick home and slept each night on a grass mat on a hard cement floor, yet were more than happy to share their meal of corn porridge and vegetables, it can’t help but change you.

    I hope I am a more giving person because of my upbringing. I hope I am less judgmental of poverty. I hope I am a writer who shows that no matter your circumstances in life, there is One who can give you joy beyond measure.

    One story I wrote, that I likely wouldn’t have written were it not for my upbringing is the Sonnets of the Spice Isle serialization. The research for that book was heartbreaking, even though some of it I knew to expect.

    I’m very thankful for my rich heritage.

    Are you a full-time author or do you have another job?

    For many years I worked and wrote. Now I am privileged to be a full time author.

    What is the hardest part of being an author?

    I have to pick one? Haha. Okay, I’d have to say the self discipline. I’m my own boss. There’s no one leaning over my shoulder making sure I get my work done for the day. And some days the words come much easier than others. On the hard days, it can be a challenge.

    How has becoming a published author changed your life?

    I love being able to wake up in the morning and go to work at a job that I love (as much as anyone can love a job, I suppose. :) ) I love being able to share Truth through story. I love the reader friends that I “meet” through social media or emails—those whose lives have been impacted by my stories. So…maybe not changed my life, but certainly given it a lot of fulfillment.

    What genre(s) do you write and what drew you to it/them?

    All the stories I write are stories that share Truths from God’s Word. For me, it is important to use the gifts He gave me to return what measure of glory I can to Him. So under the main banner of “Christian” I’m published in historical romance and contemporary romance. I also have a fantasy story that I’ve been working on for years, but no published fantasies yet.

    What is it about historical fiction that appeals to you as an author?
    I love writing about a simpler time, and yet showing that people of those times struggled with many of the same sins and issues that we face today. I’ve sometimes gotten negative reviews because readers say a sin I presented in the story would have never happened “back in those days.” I don’t believe that. I believe sin has tripped people up since Eve ate the fruit, since Cain killed Abel, Since David, a man after God’s own heart, stole another man’s wife and had that man murdered to try and cover it up.

    What is the craziest thing you've done in the name of research?

    Ha! Well…one of my stories required my heroine to be tied up, hand and foot, and gagged. I needed to accurately be able to write what that felt like and how she might escape from that, so I had my husband tie me up. :) The look on my son’s face when he walked in to find me tied up on the floor with his father standing over me while we both laughed like ninnys…that was priceless.

    What is a typical writing day for you like?
    After getting my daughter off to school, I generally check email and Facebook. I might do some promotion or work on my website for a bit. I try to write from 10 – 2 each day, but try is the optimal word there. I also run a cover design business, so I sometimes have clients that I’m working with on certain days. Sometimes I don’t get to my writing till 11:30 at night what with sports schedules and family time etc. Some days I get no writing done at all and other days I get 3-5,000 words in. It just depends on the day. I love the flexibility of working for myself.

    When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
    I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve dabbled in writing since I was in junior high. But it wasn’t until I was finally able to complete my first novel and it got accepted by a publisher that I realized I might actually be okay at it.

    What do you find the most challenging part of being a writer?
    I always want to include a message of Truth in my stories. Nailing down exactly which one truth I want to bring out in each story can be a struggle. There is often more I would like to share, but the more you try to pack in the more it gets watered down, so picking just one message is important. I think that’s often my hardest task.

    How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
    Ideas are everywhere. They come in a dream. They come when you are standing in line at the grocery store watching a three year old throw a temper tantrum. The come while you’re in traffic listening to the radio and you hear a snippet of a testimony, or a line of a song. They come during sermons. Sometimes they come from secondary characters in a book already written. I love that moment when I’m hit with a new idea! So much fun.

    If you weren't a writer what would your dream job be?
    Hmmmm…. Hard to answer when I’m doing two of my dream jobs at the moment. What kind of job would let me travel the world for free, stay in luxury hotels all along the way, and not require me to sell my soul to do it? I’d want that job! haha

    What is your favorite book/author?
    Unfair! Only one? I’ve put off answering this for at least an hour… and I still can’t pick just one. So I’ll give you my favorites in no particular order. As I glance over at my bookshelf, the first series I see is the Theyne Chronicles by Angela Elwell Hunt. Oh what great stories! Medieval castles and knights and damsels in distress—what could be better?

    Bodie Thoene has long been one of my favorite authors. I love how she brings to life the Jewish culture and opens my eyes to things in the scriptures that I never saw in quite that light before. Pick any one of her books and you are going to have an amazing read.

    Jeanette Windle is another favorite. She’s a fellow missionary kid, so that endears her to me too I suppose, but wow can that lady write! My favorite book of hers is DMZ— a pretty American journalist finds herself in the South American jungles, captured by an evil drug cartel. Add in a handsome undercover CIA agent, a harrowing escape, and lots of adventure and you have a can’t-put-down story.

    Linda Windsor is also a favorite author. She knows how to make clean romance pop and sizzle. And her humor catches me off guard and often has me laughing out loud. 

    I could go on to mention other favorites like Louis L’Amour, James Fennimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott (waving my thanks to Mr. Bannister, my high school English teacher), Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, Denise Hunter, Susan May Warren, Francine Rivers, Linda Chaikin and Tamara Leigh. I could tell stories about each one and why I love what they do.

    Learn more about Lynnette here

    Friday, October 6, 2017

    New Release from Susan Foy

    Susan started writing novels in her mid-thirties at the encouragement of her twin sister, who said, "Write something for me, and I'll read it." She has completed five novels and has currently published three of them. The first two are contemporary Christian fiction and the other three are historical fiction, all with serious themes but with a dash of romance.

    Ellen's Endeavors


    Life with the Huguenots

    My fifth novel, Ellen's Endeavors, was just released last Saturday. In many ways, this book was the most labor-intensive of all of them. It occurred not just in a historical setting, like its prequel Johanna's Journey, but with a specific group of people that many Americans know little about - including myself before I started researching them!

     The Huguenots were French Protestants in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France, followers of Jean Calvin (aka John Calvin). Although theologically they resembled the Puritans in England, they differed from the Puritans in the fact that they lived in an overwhelmingly Catholic country and had relatively little political power. As a result, they suffered severe persecution at different points in their history, to the point where there were nearly eradicated in France. Many Huguenots fled the country during these persecutions, ending up in Switzerland, England, Holland, and America.

    Ellen's story takes place in America, when Ellen escapes her broken heart by traveling with her friend to a small town in New York settled by Huguenots. (This town, although fictional, was based on New Rochelle, NY.) Although the characters have left France, several flashback scenes describe their trials and persecutions in their home country, which become relevant as the story progresses. To research this time period, I traveled to New Paltz and New Rochelle, both towns settled by the Huguenots in America, and also read several books, one about the first-hand experiences of a French galley slave!

    I also needed to research various medical procedures, since Ellen as an aspiring midwife helps to deliver a baby and also amputate a leg. I read a whole book about smallpox in order to describe a case in the story.

    Writing Ellen's Endeavors was a lot of work, but also fun and educational as well. I hope that my readers will learn something about history while reading a great story!

    Friday, August 18, 2017

    Appreciating the “Greatest Generation"

    The Greatest Generation
    By Author Linda Ellen

    As I was writing my first novel for publication, I wanted an angle or trademark to set mine apart. Since my first story took place in Louisville where I reside, I decided to make my future stories take place in the ‘Ville as well.

    Once I finished my first series, which was centered on my own parents’ love story (Once in a While is book 1 of that series—the Cherished Memories series), I looked around for a theme on which to build a new series of books. One thing that kept coming to mind was one of our local landmarks, Fort Knox, so I started tossing around ideas for how I could use the famous army base prominently in a story.  The answer, of course—since I wanted to keep it historical—was a WWII tale.  From there, it took off. 

    Fort Knox is literally a household word, and “Locked up tighter than Fort Knox” is a common saying.  The name embodies the stuff of legends, and it has always fascinated me—especially, of course, the famous “Gold Vault”. If you’re one of the millions who have seen the 1964 James Bond spy film Goldfinger—parts of which were filmed at Fort Knox—you probably think that’s what the interior of the vault is like... don’t feel bad, for years, I did too, lol.   The reality, however, is far different, because Hollywood was told, “Absolutely not,” when asked if they could film inside.  It is one of the most secret and guarded places on the planet—a Presidential order is required to even gain access. 

    By the way—the correct title for that auspicious building within the grounds of the renowned army base is the United States Bullion Depository, and it’s located, literally, at the juncture of Gold Vault Road and Bullion Boulevard—how cool is that??
    A few tidbits I uncovered...
    Did you know that in 1933, during the height of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102, forbidding the hoarding of gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates by American citizens, and forced them to sell these to the Federal Reserve?  That sounds barbaric, but to clarify, armed treasury agents did not confiscate it, and not all gold was subject to the law. Gold coins of small denomination were exempt, as was gold used in manufacturing, dentistry and jewelry production—and each person in a household could retain up to five troy ounces of gold bullion coins.  The order was issued, basically, to help shore up the country’s sagging economy. Citizens all over had been stockpiling gold since the Crash, the result of which was an alarmingly dwindled reserve in the banks. Things had gotten so bad that the survival of our great democracy was at risk.

    As a result of the order, however, it wasn’t long before the federal government needed a large gold depository in which to store it all. So, in 1936, the U.S. Treasury Department began construction of a massive fortified structure at Fort Knox, which was 1,000 miles inland and would be well protected. The first gold shipments began in January of 1937. The transfer took six months and used 500 rail cars!  By the end of 1937, the vault contained $12 billion of gold, consisting of old bullion, new bars made from melted gold coins, and some intact coins, as well.  (And by the way—that is $430 billion in today’s money). Then, during WWII, the depository held the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, key documents from Western history, original copies of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, three volumes of the Gutenberg Bible, reserves from European countries, and a portion of the Hungarian crown jewels, to prevent them from falling into Soviet hands.  The repository also held one of four copies of the Magna Carta, which had been on display at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

    Would you be surprised to learn that during the war and even into the Cold War—until the invention of different types of synthetic painkillers—a supply of processed morphine and opium was kept in the depository as a hedge against the US being isolated from sources of raw opium?  Who would have thought a “gold vault” protected items such as those?

    There are many more interesting tidbits about the vault included in my story, such as minefields, alarms, electric fences, and layers of artillery. No one person knows the complete combinations required to unlock the vault. The fortress includes a separate emergency power plant and water system. The vault’s main door weighs 20 tons, is blast-proof, and there is an escape tunnel from the lower level to be used by anyone who might accidentally become locked in—I wonder if that’s ever happened... J

    For more exciting tidbits, check out this Wiki page:

    My Soldiers of Swing Series 

    In order to write my Soldiers of Swing series, I had to really dig in and learn not only facts about the base, but its early history as well.  Taking a trip out there (30 minutes from my home) and touring the Patton Museum was the highlight of my research.  The gold vault is not the only fascinating aspect to this huge (109,000-acre) military post.  Many of the facts I discovered about the infamous Fort Knox are included in my story, Her Blue-Eyed Sergeant.

    Ahh, but our beloved Kentucky/Indiana area has so many more intriguing places.  Like the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, located in Charlestown, which I feature prominently in the second book of the series, Her Blue-Eyed Corporal.  That 10,000-acre, now-defunct facility with 1,700 buildings and 30 miles of fencing was a story unto itself! The details of its record-setting speedy construction and production are nothing short of mind-boggling.  It was the world’s largest smokeless powder/rocket propellant plant, owned by the federal government, but operated by the E.I. DuPont Company. In my research, I found accounts of visits by a real spy for Hitler, as well as attempts at sabotage, which I embellished in my novel. ;)  

    And then I needed one more location, so I chose our wonderful Bowman Field as one of the army bases featured in book #3, Her Blue-Eyed Lieutenant.  Some of the things I discovered in my research for this book will make your mouth drop open with shock or laughter. J

    Louisville and its surrounding environs are rife with history, mystery, and even scandal that will no doubt provide me with fodder for stories for years to come.  I’m thinking about researching what Louisville was like during WWI or the Civil War, or even before that, like when it first became a city, and use that in a future series. The possibilities are endless.

    Let the adventure begin!

    Linda Ellen, Author
    Amazon Author page:
    Pinterest with boards for each book:

    Linda Ellen is the author of the Cherished Memories Series (based on her own parents’ 1930’s romance) and the Soldiers of Swing Series (WWII soldiers stationed state-side who fall in love with local girls).  She writes 20th Century (30’s & 40’s) Historical Romance rich with history, love, heartache, and plenty of period music and style.  Her stories are clean with no profanity or graphic sex. She’s an active member of the Facebook groups Clean Indie Reads, The Rumor Mill, Second World War Club, Christian Indie Authors, and Kentuckiana Authors.  Linda resides in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband of 36 years.