Feature Fiction Friday – Kadee Carder

I’m pleased to have fellow Clean Reads author, Kadee Carder, here today talking about her new release and her top five favorite books. Kadee’s a reader after my own hear, she titled her list, her top five favorites, for now 🙂 Here are her recommendations:

5) The Heir by Kiera Cass – This YA novel is Book 4 in The Selection series and was my favorite. The idea of The Selection series is like a futuristic “Bachelor” for the royal family. The Heir follows the princess and her journey to selecting her own future husband and I adored the girl’s feisty attitude. Ain’t nobody tellin’ that queen who she needs to be with.
4) The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott – “Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she’s had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be her personal maid on the Titanic. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men—a kind sailor and an enigmatic Chicago businessman—who offer differing views of what lies ahead for her in America. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes, and amidst the chaos, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat.” The Dressmaker follows Tess through those harrowing days following the survival of the Titanic, which is a story I’ve never even thought about before. Imagine how those people felt, knowing so many others had died, and they lived. Well, you don’t have to guess, because Alcott paints an extraordinary and heart-wrenching picture here that gave me goosebumps and ended with a poignant smile. If you like historical fiction, I highly recommend this one for you.
3) A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle – “Fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace and the unicorn Gaudior undertake a perilous journey through time in a desperate attempt to stop the destruction of the world by the mad dictator Madog Branzillo.” I read this book, the third book in the Wrinkle In Time series, during my Master’s degree classes. At the time when I read it, my world felt quite shaky. Absorbed in work and classes, I didn’t know which way was up or down, but this book brought such insight and peace to my troubled heart. I adore L’Engle’s passion coming through her writing. She brings these fantastic worlds to life, with unicorns of all creatures, and the book is easy to read, inspiring, and offers numerous poignant moments to reflect on what we’re really doing on this planet.
2) Wild Storm by Richard Castle – If you’ve followed the TV show, “Castle,” then you know the Castle books. Which. Let’s just stop and be awed that a TV show created a whole series of actual books that followed the TV show, which the TV show could reference and the TV show characters are in the books. But I could talk about that for too many hours. However, while Castle’s popular books were the Nikki Heat books, I loved Wild Storm, following the daring adventures of Derrick Storm, as he traveled the world stopping bad guys and taking names. And a few hot girls along the way. I loved the quick pace, the fabulous wit, and intriguing plotlines of this thriller. A must read!
1) Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle – Be still my heart. Here’s the book blurb: “Addressing the subject of “faith and art” head on, this masterful work examines the difference between Christian art and secular art, as well as the relationship between the two. Award-winning artist L’Engle exhorts artists to listen to, remain aware of, and to respond to creation through one’s own art.” This book changed my life. Recommended by a fellow writer, I dove into this book and didn’t breathe until I was done. Each line spoke directly to me, as someone who sought purpose and intentionality. L’Engle offers so many kickin’ one-liners that it’s a good thing memes weren’t a thing when she wrote this. She offers inspiration, purpose, and thoughtful insight into writing, art, and faith. This will always be my favorite book and I believe that if you’re frustrated with what you’re doing, aren’t sure what to do with your time on this planet, then you’ll glean some crucial wiincomplete-kadee-cardersdom to help you figure out your unique gifting.

Now, let’s talk about Incomplete, Kadee’s new book which just released this week. Here’s Kadee’s comments on the book: We humans have to be stronger than we ever imagine, love ourselves in the process, and dig in when the ground seems to sink. We not only relish adventures, we create them. That’s the basis of Saylor’s story in my young adult science fiction trilogy, Insurrection. Volume Two of the trilogy, entitled Incomplete, is now available on iTunes, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook!

 

Blurb: Saylor started out on one adventure and ended up on another. After finding herself on a Caribbean island filled with strange noises, dazzling beaches, and a secret military base, Saylor must clutch the missing pieces of her fate. While harnessing her ability to communicate with deadly weapons of mass destruction, attending the annual gala, and fighting her growing feelings for the hunky Australian soldier, Saylor’s instincts become increasingly distressed. Tempted by greed and independence, she must determine what she stands for and on whose side she belongs. Power within in her. War without.
They wanted a warrior. They got one.

Excerpt: Silent, smooth, and undefined, he slipped beside me, the two of us watching the horizon and the navy sky, dotted with starlight and swaying under the breeze. In the same way that chocolate nestles down slowly and sweetly on the taste buds, or like a crisp spring morning drifts dew over the dawn, he slid his right arm around me, pulling me close. Satin brushed against cotton and hope dashed against the rough breakwater of changing tides.
“Against my own rules, the other day I allowed in the thought about what losing you would feel like,” Tucker said. “Those monsters hovering over you were a greater risk than the Commander’s orders. Holding you in my arms after you fell, motionless,” he shook his head. “That was the flip of the switch.”
Several clouds meandered overhead, blocking out starlight and passing by, finally clearing out again, and I could once again accept oxygen into my lungs. Letting a smile tease my lips, a rosy glow burned across my cheeks.
“I’m terribly challenged in the area of accepting someone loving me,” I admitted. “I have buckets of love. But they’ve been boxed up, packed away, and I don’t know how to carry them.”
He turned to me, his eyes glinting in the light, probably imagining my struggle with big gray metal sand castle buckets.
“Well, that’s convenient,” he answered, somehow moving closer, arms circling, tightening around my waist, until we faced each other. “I have pretty strong arms. I’d be pleased to help you carry them.”
​Somewhere, innocent lips blew the wispy seeds from a dandelion bud, somewhere passionate lips sputtered rhetoric and jargon, and somewhere else, lips dripped with lies and temptation. But his smoldered.

 

A little about Kadee: Deep in the heart of Texas, Kadee Carder resides with her husband and daughters. Carder earned a BA in Public Relations at Howard Payne University and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. She teaches English courses on the university level and plans her schedule around coffee availability. When she’s not dancing around the living room with her daughters, she helps at church activities, creates encouraging blogs, and orders pizza like a boss.

Kadee would love to connect with readers. Find her online at her website: KadeeCarder.com or on various social media platforms:

 

Twitter: @kadeecarderink
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadeecarderink/
Instagram: kadeecarderink

Who doesn’t love free?? She’s giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to her email list at kadeecarder.com. The book is called Ignite and offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace.

Incomplete can be purchased at most ebook outlets:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2m3uW4D
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/incomplete-kadee-carder/1125528337?ean=2940157351953
iTunes: https://itun.es/us/5rqpfb.l

Thanks for visiting, Kadee, and all the best with your new release 🙂

Feature Fiction Friday – John Theo

Fellow Clean Reads author, John Theo Jr., is here today to talk about his favorite books and his own new release:

John Theo Jr.:
You asked me to write about a few of my favorite books. Tough task, but here goes.

1. The Bible: I read the King James. As a believer I know that solutions to all of life’s problems can be found here. This is part of the reason secular stories don’t hold my attention very well. Stories of man trying to fix Man’s problems is (to me) trying to reinvent the wheel and working harder rather than smarter.

2. Lord of the Rings. A powerfully written tale that resonated with me on so many levels. It took me years to figure out what about this story held so many people’s attention more than other fantasy stories, and it was the spiritual component. Tolkien was a devout Catholic and the story is riddled with religious symbolism.

3. Narnia chronicles. Again for the same reason as Tolkien. The spiritual component just locked me in.

4. The Little House Books. A fascinating read from a guy’s point of view. An amazing window into our country during one of the most chaotic rapidly changing times in US history.

Can you see a theme here. Young Adult fiction (to me) can resonate with both adults and children and teach powerful lessons.

A little about John Theo Jr.:

John received an MFA in creative writing from Pine Manor College, in Chestnut Hill MA. He has a long publishing history in non-fiction. White Mountains’ False Flag is his fourth fiction novel. John lives in Massachusetts with his family and teaches screenwriting at Endicott College in Beverly Massachusetts.

John can be found online here:
WEBSITE: WWW.JOHNTHEO.COM
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_tXTp-mEENYHe2Ex3LJeXg
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Theolotics5
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579062130

john-theo-jr

A little about John’s latest book, White Mountain’s False Flag:

TAG LINE:
A New Hampshire Park Ranger uncovers a government conspiracy buried deep in the woods.

BACK COVER BLURB:
Ransom Doniphon is a Park Ranger working in New Hampshire’s White
Mountain National Forest. While on a helicopter search-and-rescue mission he spies a make-shift shelter deep within the woods. When Ransom and his partner investigate there is a shootout leaving three men dead. What at first appears to be a mobile drug lab hidden in the woods turns out to be a home grown terrorist cell with roots that run deep into state and federal government.

 

​White Mountain’s False Flag is available wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon. Click here to get your copy.

New Release – Kisses, Kids, and Bundles of Joy

kkbj-boxed-setI had the privilege this week of being involved in the Release of this new boxed set by a group of fabulous writers. I also got to read an advanced copy of one of the seven stories and REALLY enjoyed it. So I thought my readers might enjoy this set. Here’s a little bit about the stories:

​Box Set Blurb

Snuggle up with seven brand new, never before published Christian winter romances from bestselling and award-winning authors. Kisses and kids abound in this collection of novellas that will warm your heart all winter long.

One Winter Kiss – Lindi Peterson – Deena Ross travels to Ohio to try and sway her grandfather from making a big mistake, a mistake his neighbor Andrew has been encouraging. When a winter storm hits, and Deena is forced to stay with Andrew and his young son, Evan, Deena’s vision of love is tested and she might lose her heart in one winter kiss.

Childish Ways – Jenn Faulk – Kevin Peterson, a teacher at a small town elementary school, is unexpectedly reunited with Lisa Walker, a girl who spent most of their childhood tormenting and bullying him, when she comes back to town where she helps organize a winter carnival to benefit her niece’s school. Lisa has no idea who he is, though, and as they work alongside one another and Kevin sees how much she has changed, he begins to question whether or not he can really trust her and let her into his life.

The Baby & the Bachelor – Cindy K. Green – Playboy bachelor, Alec, discovers a baby on his doorstep only days away from being appointed to a political office, prompting him to appeal his assistant, Jane, for help. Misunderstandings and accusations from the press abound, leading Alec to wonder, even if he were prepared for a ready-made family, could sweet, church-going Jane ever find it in her heart to marry a sinner like him?

For Tracy – Trisha Grace – One phone call led to Sarah Carter becoming the guardian of her favorite student, Tracy, while waiting for Tracy’s Uncle Keith to show up. But Sarah has no idea Uncle Keith was Keith Sutton, Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, and doesn’t realize how much trouble she is heading for.

Tropical Kiss Or Miss – Liwen Y. Ho – Therapist Olivia Chan can’t wait to escape it all—a failed marriage, a struggling practice, and her son’s recent health scare. The Hawaiian getaway she planned, however, gets rained on—quite literally—by a tropical storm and the unexpected arrival of her estranged husband Matthew, who’s determined to win her back.

To Gain a Mommy – Tanya Eavenson – When Hope Michaels decides to face her past, she unknowingly purchases the house across the street from her former fiancé—the man her twin sister married, then widowed. Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him—some things never change.

Foolish Heart – Cindy Flores Martinez – Judy and Graham have feelings for each other, but they won’t admit it. After all, she lives in America and he lives in Scotland with his daughter, Mairi, who he could never leave to be with the woman he loves.

​Available through Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes. The great news is you get all seven stories for only $0.99!! A fabulous deal 🙂

I read Tropical Kiss or Miss by Liwen Ho and LOVED it!!

Have a great weekend and happy reading!

Feature Fiction Friday – Crystal Walton

arms-of-promiseI had the privilege of getting my hands on an advanced copy of this lovely new release. I really enjoyed it and am quite sure you will too 🙂

A dancer who won’t back down. A soldier indebted to a promise. The only thing more dangerous than the threat pitting them together is the secret keeping them apart.

Contemporary dancer Anna Madison is determined to honor her mom’s memory. With the life she’s built in downtown Chicago hinging on an upcoming audition, now’s the worst time for her childhood best friend—and the only man she’s ever loved—to reenter her world. Her dad’s current DA case instigates enough danger without adding on the risk of losing her heart. Again.

Army Ranger Evan O’Riley has always known his place in Anna’s life. Letting his feelings compromise her safety simply isn’t an option. Especially when his promise to protect her drives him off the sidelines and into the one place even his special ops training can’t save him from. Anna’s arms.

Keeping her from uncovering the real reason Evan returns is one thing. Trying to hide the reason he left to begin with could destroy them both. But when the past they’ve both tried to outrun launches them down a heart-pounding road of threats, secrets, and attraction, resisting love may turn into the greatest risk they face.

If you like emotional romances mixed with humor, depth, and characters who come alive on the page, then you’ll love Crystal Walton’s moving story of love and forgiveness. ​

If you get a chance to read this great book, let me know what you think 🙂
​Available from Amazon

A fun interview of me by Book Goodies…

About Wendy May Andrews:
Hello! I live in Toronto with my husband, and am rarely without a book in my hand. I have been an avid reader since I was a small child, but only became a writer recently as a result of a dare from my husband. I write Sweet Romance set in England during the Regency era. When not reading or writing, I love to travel. We always have a couple of trips in the works. Exploring the world helps me form the characters for my books. I have started to make an effort to be more health conscious of late so I can occasionally be found hiking around my neighborhood. It’s a great way to work out plotting issues
What inspires you to write?
This is a tough question because I find nearly everything inspiring. A conversation overheard in a coffee shop, song lyrics, movies, a situation a friend is dealing with, something on the news… anything can trigger the thought: “How could this be used in Regency England?”
Now, if this question was meant to ask me what inspired me to become a writer, that one’s easier. My husband doesn’t quite “get” how absorbed I can become when I’m reading a good book. And he certainly doesn’t understand why I read so MANY books. So one day he said I ought to write a book instead of reading them all the time. I didn’t think I would be able to do it but I decided to try. And I fell in love with writing
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m trying to become more of an outliner. Usually I have a rough idea of who my characters are, what the situation is when they start out and where they’re heading. But the details along the way usually get worked out as we go. My next project is going to be a trilogy so I will need to plan for that a lot more than for stand alone novels.
What works best for me is to plan for a two-four week period where I have less commitments, I freeze meals ahead of time and stock up on easy to prepare food. And then I sit down and write the first draft of a book. I’ve done National Novel Writing Month successfully for the past three years. And Candace Havens’ “Fast Draft” works really well. This method works for me because my head really stays in the story. I don’t lose track of details when I stay immersed. And I get in “the zone” and the story just flows. I love it!!
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t usually feel as though my characters are talking to me even though they do feel very real. It’s more as though I’m eavesdropping on fascinating people and writing it all down without them really being aware of me. I feel like a spy reporter
What advice would you give other writers?
Join a community. Writing can be a very solitary endeavor. There is nothing more affirming than attending a writers’ workshop and being with “your people”. Other writers “get” you in a way that non-writers just don’t. And never stop working on the craft of writing no matter how long you’ve been a writer. You will never know everything there is to know.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I felt very strongly that I wanted the affirmation as well as the accountability of being with a publisher. Because I write “Sweet” Romance (as opposed to steamy) it was difficult to find a publisher but I finally found a small press that specializes in “clean” fiction (no graphic violence, foul language, or sex on the page) and have felt at home ever since. Some people are very successful at self-publishing, but there are also many books out there that should never have been put on the market. I wanted a professional opinion other than my own as to whether or not my work was marketable. This is a very personal choice and I think it would be difficult to advise another writer on how they should manage their own career.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
While so many around us are becoming aliterate (unwilling to read, although able to do so) I believe strongly that books are here to stay. Avid readers still rule the world! With technology, digital books are becoming ever more popular, but even paper books are deeply loved by many and I doubt they will disappear completely.
What genres do you write?: Historical, Regency Romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook

​Thanks for having me @BookGoodies 🙂

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