Fiction Faith & Foodies

Fiction Faith & Foodies: February 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

thanks givings

~ that nobody was hurt in the NASCAR race last night, er...this morning. 
And that hubby stayed up to watch the race. 
What makes him happy, makes me happy.

~ that my mother's kidney surgery went well and that she's home, recovering.

~ that God fills me with what I need, even before I ask. I'm thankful for His strength this week.

~ I'm thankful for Book 'Em NC. 
For Katie Huneycutt, Patricia Terrell, and the enormous number of sponsors, volunteers, and participants who gave of their time, energy, and profits to support the cause ~ increasing literacy and reducing crime.

~ that our son's spring break starts this weekend. It'll be nice having him around for a week.

What about you?
What are your thanks givings?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book 'Em NC

Book 'Em NC is almost here! 
Saturday, February 25, from 9:30 - 4:00. 
If you live anywhere near the Lumberton, NC, area, stop by and check out books from more than 75 authors, including two New York Times bestselling authors, Carla Neggers and Michael Palmer, and more than 24 award-winning authors. And best of all, attendance is free!
From 3-3:45, make sure you step over to the Red Room for a panel discussion on Affairs of the Heart: Romance in Books with romance authors Lynette Hall Hampton, Karen McCullough, Ted Randler, and ME!
The Book 'Em NC event will be held at Robeson Community College in Lumberton, North Carolina, located at the crossroads of Interstates 95 and 74.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

The devil stealing your joy?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)

Have you considered what the devil attempts to steal from you? 
Could it be your joy? Your peace?
Does he plant the seeds of doubt in your job, 
little nuggets of distrust in your relationships, 
or snippets of resentment towards your daily tasks?
Anything to rob you of your joy.

In May last year, about a week before my first book released, 
he paralyzed me with fear and self-doubt. 
Sure, I wrote a book, but I had no idea
how to navigate the confusing world of publishing. 
For two days, the devil robbed me of joy and peace until I rebuked him by calling on the name of Jesus.

Fast forward to this year. 

My second Christian romance releases on March 30th. 
Already the devil has attempted to rob me of my joy and peace. 
Maybe he decided to start earlier because he sensed he would have to work harder. Or maybe he thinks with all the fiery darts he zings at me that I'll give up writing.
Plant a little seed of doubt here, throw in a nightmare about sleeping through a booksigning, and toss in a few fears that I still don't know what I'm doing. 

I'm having none of it! 

"Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27b (NIV)
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31b (NIV)
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

God promises that He will help me. He doesn't want me to be troubled or afraid. He surely doesn't want me to listen to the devil.
I trust God to vanquish my fears, to help me walk this path that He's set before me and to hold my hand along the way. 
He's done it before. 
I trust Him to do it again. 

What about you?
Is the devil stealing your joy today?

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

What is Book 'Em NC?

Book ‘Em North Carolina
Writers Conference and Book Fair


The Inaugural Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2012.

It is hosted by Robeson Community College, The Book ‘Em Foundation, Friends of the Robeson County Library, Robeson County Arts Council, Lumberton Visitors Bureau, the City of Lumberton and Communities In Schools.

An annual event is planned for the last Saturday each February. These events are open to the public and free for attendees, presenters and participating authors.

Book ‘Em North Carolina brings together authors under one roof to speak on a variety of subjects. Headliners are Carla Neggers, a suspense author who has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list more than 24 times; and Michael Palmer, author of medical thrillers, who has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list more than 9 times. They join more than 24 award-winning authors and more than 75 authors, total.

A series of talks will occur from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm:

  • Writers Conference Talks – for aspiring or published authors of all ages; 
  • Children’s Corner – readings for younger children as well as talks through young adult level; 
  • The Fictional World – for readers of various fiction genres, including mystery/suspense, romance, fantasy, science fiction, horror, and others; 
  • Historically Speaking – for readers of non-fiction, including historical work, biographical or autobiographical, true crime and events.

Authors will also sell and sign their books throughout the day. Publishers and authors pledge a portion of the proceeds raised from sales (a minimum of 40%) for Robeson County and Lumberton, North Carolina for the express purpose of increasing literacy and reducing crime. For additional information, visit

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stressful Day?

Stressful day?
Sit back and enjoy I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me.
Feel the pressures and troubles slip from your shoulders.
Take a deep breath.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Review of CHRISTMAS SANCTUARY by Merry Stahel

The Blurb:

Dea Lacey is on the run. Scared and alone, she has to protect her endangered nephew. If she can find Garrett's father, perhaps he'll keep the boy safe and learn to love the child she'd trade her life to keep.

Jesse McTavish has lost his family. Abandoning his faith, the seeds of destruction are sown. As he struggles with grief, the last thing he needs is a woman showing up with a child who's the mirror image of his dead son. But he can neither ignore nor reject the woman and child who threaten to break through the protective shield he's built around his heart.

Through the ensuing storm of pain and loss, Christmas teaches Dea and Jesse about faith and forgiveness.

Sanctuary may be what we ask for, but God gives us so much more.

My Review:

Emotion packed!

I enjoyed so many aspects about this book. Let’s start with the characters. Dea Lacey has raised her young nephew, Garrett, since birth, without finalized adoption papers. When Garrett’s mother terrorizes them, Dea takes off with Garrett, her only concern protecting her little boy while she tries to find his father. She’s determined to find a safe haven for Garrett, even if it means prison for her.

With the devastating loss of his wife and son two years before, Pastor Jesse McTavish rejects his faith and the ministry. When Dea shows up with Garrett, a replica of his dead son, Jesse dives back into his grief and rejects them. Ms. Stahel does a fantastic job showing Jesse’s transformation from pain and grief to love and life.

Christmas Sanctuary is 246 pages of emotion-packed romance mingled with a message of faith and forgiveness that kept me turning the pages, never quite knowing what to expect. I enjoyed Jesse’s transformation, the connection between Garrett and Alex (Jesse’s dead son), and the correlation between Jesse and Jesus (carpenter & pastor).

I regret that I didn’t have time to read Christmas Sanctuary during the Christmas Holiday Extravaganza offering by White Rose Publishing, but don’t let the Christmas title bother you. Christmas Sanctuary is a timeless message of renewed faith, forgiveness and love, which is nice to read anytime!

Merry Stahel is a new author to me. I won’t wait until after Christmas to read her next book. Congratulations, Merry Stahel.

Disclaimer: The author provided a review copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Introducing Journey's Edge


Journey's Edge 

Available on 3/30 
with White Rose Publishing
Book 2 in the Marshals of Journey Creek series

A Routine Audit? Hardly.

Red flags—including some goon who's following her—raise McKinley Frasier's suspicions that numbers don't add up at the insurance firm. When someone tries to snatch McKinley's daughter from school, she turns to police officer and ex-fiance, Renner Crossman—the cop who walked out on her a month before their wedding. But Renner's not the same guy who broke her heart ten years ago. He calls himself a "new man." She trusts the new Renner with her daughter's safety...but what about her heart?

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Review of SAMARITAN by Robin Bayne

A tender romance revolving around scrumptious goodies…
When Caterer Rachel Martin’s partner abandons their bakery to study in Paris, Rachel struggles to keep the storefront open and the stack of bills paid. Restaurateur Tim Gardner has worked hard to restore his family’s reputation and profit margin. With his parents away on an extended vacation, Tim boosts business by offering a signature dessert ~ a Rachel Martin creation. When Rachel confesses that she can no longer afford the high-priced ingredients and may not be able to fulfill their agreement, Tim considers litigation.  
I have to confess that I didn’t like Tim very much in the beginning of the story. Rachel was trying so hard, and Tim’s only focus was on his restaurant’s bottom line and his parents’ opinion of his management style. As the story moves forward and he realizes how hard Rachel is trying, his focus switches to helping each other succeed, professionally and personally. Those qualities that annoyed me about Tim in the beginning, actually endeared me to him in the end.
At 139 pages, Samaritan is a fast, gentle read, and easily finished in an evening or afternoon. Samaritan is a sequel to Prodigal, but it’s not necessary to read Prodigal first to enjoy this novella. Congratulations, Ms. Bayne.

Samaritan is available now with White Rose Publishing.

Disclaimer: The author provided a review copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Welcome LoRee Peery with SAGE AND SWEETGRASS

Sage and Sweetgrass 
by LoRee Peery

Diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating illness, Lanae Petersen vows to pursue life to its fullest. When she discovers mysterious love letters hidden within an antique desk, she begins a quest to discover who the young lovers were. Little does she realize that in trying to bring closure to their lives, hers will be turned upside-down.

After the death of his wife, cowboy Sage Diamond wants to be left alone on his acreage in peace and anonymity. When Lanae approaches him with letters to a family member, she not only threatens to expose his family secrets, but also stirs something inside him that he neither expects, nor welcomes. Sage fights his attraction, determined not to fall for a woman whose health is so fragile. Can Sage trust God's guiding hand, or will his fear of losing another love crush his chance for a future with Lanae?

The sky was clear and enormous where it met the horizon. The whinny of horses carried up from a pasture on the other side of the barn. The acreage represented everything she loved about being outside the city limits. Expanse, horses, a sprinkling of trees in the distance…God’s country.

When she caught sight of the cowboy, the vision was complete.

She sighed. Home. How crazy. She felt like she’d come home.

The cowboy rounded the corner of the wood-sided barn that she guessed to be sixty feet long. He loped in the loose way of a man comfortable on the back of a horse.

And she enjoyed every step as he approached.

He even tipped the brim of his hat. “Mornin’. You Lanae?”

Wow was the only thing she could think to say. But she kept it to herself.

Her mouth went dry.

His nose was bent, just off to the right of center. He had a full bottom lip, thinner upper, all accented by what she supposed was a year-round tan. Myriad facial lines gave testimony to a life lived outdoors.

She cleared her throat, mustered up some moisture for her vocal chords in order to answer, “That I am.”

“Sage Diamond.”

When he drew close enough, Lanae was dumbfounded at the impact of his eyes. They were an unbelievable piercing blue with a hint of lavender.

“Did you have any trouble finding the place?” Sage spoke in an unhurried manner.

Lanae wondered if he felt rushed about anything. She started to open the door.

“You always leave your car running?” A hint of amusement tugged at his mouth.

Oops. She turned the key. Great first impression.

He held the door.

Still caught in the lavender blue of his eyes, shadowed now from his hat, Lanae swallowed what felt like the chaff of an August hayfield.

No more singles ads for me.

Great excerpt, isn't it? Readers, look for Sage and Sweetgrass on 2/24 with White Rose Publishing.

Meet LoRee Peery: 
A Nebraska country girl most of her life, LoRee Peery feels she would be stifled surrounded by concrete instead of open spaces. LoRee and her husband live in a home built with their own hands.
LoRee clings to the word overcomer and the knowledge she has victory in Jesus. When she considers being set apart as a child of God, she is humbled. She believes in redeeming grace, and if we open our eyes, we will see the hand of God every day, no matter where we are.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Join us tonight for...

A Night of Romance
Christian Authors
Myra Johnson, Jennifer Hudson Taylor & 
Dora Hiers
Tuesday, February 7th 
at the Kannapolis Library
850 Mountain St, Kannapolis, NC
from 6:00 - 7:00 pm 
Get signed copies of books from all three authors after the program. Hope to see you there!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

A Night of Romance...

A Night of Romance
Christian Authors

Myra Johnson, Jennifer Hudson Taylor & Dora Hiers

Tuesday, February 7th
at the Kannapolis Library
850 Mountain St, Kannapolis, NC
from 6:00 - 7:00 pm 
Get signed copies of books from all three authors after the program. 
Hope to see you there!

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

My review of RESURRECTED LOVE by K. M. Daughters

Grieving and bitter, Beth Dunne blames her husband, Jack, for the death of their five-month-old son. After a three-year marital separation, Beth embarks on a pilgrimage to an orphanage in Valselo, seeking forgiveness and peace. Guilt-plagued Jack Dunne longs for reconciliation with his wife, but he gave up on God when he buried his son.

Enter matchmaking priest, Father Mark, the facilitator for the trip to the orphanage. Long-time friend, Father Mark appeals to Jack to travel with the group, claiming the orphanage needs financial support. When Jack offers to write a check, Father Mark convinces Jack to make the trip by telling him that Beth would be there.

I admit to being a little confused about the prologue. Was it necessary, and how did it relate to the story? I pressed on and was glad I did. The prologue introduced and set up a particularly sweet character that you’ll enjoy getting to know later in the story.

This is the first story I’ve read by K. M. Daughters. It won’t be my last. Resurrected Love is a beautifully crafted story of forgiveness and reconciliation with a powerful Christian theme. Congratulations from this reader! 4 Stars!

Resurrected Love by K. M. Daughters is available with White Rose Publishing.

Disclaimer: The author provided a review copy in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Events

Tuesday, 2/7/2012
6:00 -7:00 pm
A Night of Romance
Kannapolis Library
Let's talk inspirational romance. Join Myra Johnson, Jennifer Hudson Taylor and me for "A Night of Romance" at the Kannapolis Library, 850 Mountain St, Kannapolis, NC. Books will be on sale after the program.
Saturday, 2/25/2012
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Book 'Em North Carolina 
Writers Conference and Book Fair
Robeson Community College, 5160 Fayetteville Rd, Lumberton, NC

It's FREE and open to the public! Best-selling authors Carla Neggers and Michael Palmer will be there, along with  more than 30 award-winning authors, more than 75 authors of various genres, and more than 6 publishers. Book 'Em's goal is to increase literacy and reduce crime. What a great cause! Stop by if you're in the area, won't you?

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Secret of the Love Letters by K. Dawn Byrd

Zoe's cousin Emma thinks she's the recipient of some sick joke when an old boyfriend she thought dead shows up on the internet. Can Zoe solve the mystery that's causing Emma so much pain when her attraction to the town bad boy is so distracting?

When Zoe Mack moves in with her grandparents to start college, she's thrown into more mystery than she bargained for. Her cousin, Emma, is terrorized by a stalker who breaks into her house and leaves a photo-shopped image of Emma hanging from a tree. Nothing is as it seems and Emma soon learns that even the man she thinks she can trust is suspect.

Zoe can't wait to reunite with Nate, the bad boy who doesn't talk about his feelings much, but the passionate kiss he gave her last summer had to have meant something. When she arrives back in town and discovers that he's in trouble with the law, she must take matters into her own hands in order to clear his name. She has her hands full with a needy Emma, a cop who gives her the creeps, and Nate, the guy she desperately wants to call her own. Can Zoe solve the mystery, clear Nate's name, and make him fall in love with her?

K. Dawn, how did this story come to you? 
Sometimes I get the strangest ideas! I love a good mystery and I love romance, but you don't find the two together very often. Also, there are very few books available with college-age characters. I pitched the idea of combining all of the above to Desert Breeze and the rest is history.

Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I had already published several books with Desert Breeze when they opened a young adult line. I'm excited that they liked the idea for this new series.

Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I own two hairless Chinese Crested dogs.
I love sour things....pickles, lemons, sour candy.
I used to ride a Harley, but gave it up in order to have more time to write. (My husband always wanted to stay out way too long and take the scenic route home. He still has his bike, but I don't miss mine at all.)

What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I just finished the edits on my April release, Shattered Identity, which is the sequel to Mistaken Identity. I'm now working on the second book in the Zoe Mack series.

Parting comments? Thank you for hosting me! For those of you who love Christian fiction, please check my blog for weekly book giveaways. I interview 3-5 authors a week who give away their books.

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance and romantic suspense with five books published so far. Recently, she tried her hand at young adult fiction and found that she really enjoyed writing it. Three books in the Zoe Mack Mystery Series are scheduled to release January, June, and December 2012. Shattered Identity, the sequel to Mistaken Identity, will release in April.

K. Dawn Byrd is an avid blogger and gives away several books per week on her blog at, most of which are signed by the authors. She's also the moderator of the popular facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at!/group.php?gid=128209963444.

When not reading or writing, K. Dawn Byrd enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

Twitter: kdawnbyrd

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