Aloha July, ROW 80 check in

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July is almost gone and it's time for another ROW 80 check in.

I have kept up with my blogging and character writing. I have not worked as diligently on my WIP.

Some goal changes . . .

Continue to keep up with blogging.
Continue to work on characters.
Polish WIP

The Bachelorette Finale . . . Not really

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The lead in is the sweeping ocean coast of Antigua. We see scenes from the past dates, and the guys she has said good-bye to.

Des is so hopeful, and goes on about how she wants a love that lasts forever . . . is that what she is going to receive.

She tells us about the three guys left . . .

Chris was the first to tell her that he loved her, and he understands her awkwardness.

Drew she says would be a great father and husband because of how he cares for his handicapped sister.

Brooks she says is who she sees her future with. His goofiness, he is spontaneous. They have words to describe where they are in their relationship and they were at a run.

Des and Jake's mini me have a great time exploring Antigua. She knows how he feels for her and she doesn't have to question it! Their date is rained out so they get out of the rain.
She's kissing Drew and she says she doesn't want to stop, I think that says something about how she feels about Drew. Sharing the fantasy suite is something Drew wants to do, he wants to wake up with her.
Drew kicks out the film crew, very cute!

I am beginning to think that even though Des loves Brooks, he is like that guy in high school that you always wanted but never had.
I love the BachelorNation Speaks out comment. In Des's mind, Brooks is Harvard, Drew is that totally cute liberal arts college near by, and Chris is safety school. I have to agree!

Cut to Brooks walking through a park, and he has been thinking about the hometown date that was a week ago and he is concerned about what will happen with the fantasy suite and telling her that he loves her.
Hello, McFly . . . you came on the Bachelorette to find a wife, if you didn't feel that Des was the one you should have left!
Talking with his sister, and Mom he says he wants to be in love, but he doesn't know why he is not farther along then he should be. 
Brooks is ridiculous! Just hearing him talking to his mom and sister he is in love, he just doesn't want to admit it, for whatever reason!

Chris is up for his date and they are going to explore the island in a helicopter. He loves Des and is excited to add this to another memory.

Chris and her have a physical connection, I'd say seeing them kiss laying on the beach. They are actually pretty cute together!
More kissing, he says he is more in love with her than before.
They go to the fantasy suite, which is a cabana, and it is beautiful!

Des goes on about how she is falling in love with the other guys, her feelings for Brooks go much deeper.

Chris H. shows up at Brooks' bungalow to talk. Brooks goes on about how they have had amazing dates, the conversation has flowed, then after the hometown date he began to question if she is really the love of his life.
Brooks says whatever he needs to feel he isn't feeling crazy love to her. He says he is ready for love, and to commit.
Whatever he does, he says, there is going to be tears and heartache. You think?!?!?
It is quite clear that Brooks should have left a long time ago, and he didn't have the balls to face the fact earlier. 

He is so serious when he gets to her that she knows something is wrong right off the bat.
He feels like she is so much better than her . . . she disagrees.
He feels like he looses what they have when they are apart, and Des misses him every day.
Here is the bombshell he wants to be madly in love with her, and he tells her not to cry! Jerk!!!

Why now? He didn't know. Seriously!!! He doesn't feel it! Does he not understand that love isn't always a feeling it is an action.
He wants to comfort her after he has broke her heart! How about you take a long walk off a short pier!!

Instead of the finale, this should have been titled, Brooks' the chicken who has no idea what love is or means! Des is better off without him!

Tattered Innocence

Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Blurb:

A tale of passions indulged, denied, and ultimately forgive.

On the verge of bagging the two things he wants most—a sailing charter business and marrying old money—Jake Murray’s fiancée/sole crew member dumps him. Salvation comes in the form of dyslexic, basketball toting Rachel Martin, the only one to apply for the first mate position he slapped on craigslist.

On a dead run from an affair with a married man, Rachel's salvation is shoving ocean between her and temptation.

Rapid fire dialogue and romantic tension sail Jake’s biker-chick of a boat through hurricanes, real and figurative. A cast of wannabe sailors, Rachel’s ex, Jake’s, a baby—go along for the ride.
The many-layered story weaves together disparate strands into a seamless cord. Mother and daughter look eerily alike—down to their lusts. Their symbiotic bond, forged in the blood of childbirth on the kitchen floor and cemented by their secrets, must be cracked open. A son must go home. Sin must be expunged.

Tattered Innocence is for anyone who’s ever woken up sealed in a fifty-gallon drum of their guilt.

My Thoughts:

Rachel is running from an affair with a married man, and Jake is running from a broken heart. When Rachel answers the Craigslist add she is floored that the captain of the Smyrna Queen is a young hot guy, not an old sailor. 
Within the pages Ann writes a story that is true to life, the characters are real and that makes you want to care and cheer for them.
I was completely pulled into the book. The spiritual element is not overwhelming, but is there, and it makes you evaluate your own life and choices.

I highly recommend this book, and it will be on my top reads for 2013.

Slow, and Steady Wins the Race

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Worked on WIP # 2 and making my characters more 3 dimensional. Will continue that and maybe adjust goals for the month of August.

The Rockin' Chair

Friday, July 26, 2013

Book Blurb:

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy Grandpa John calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

My Thoughts:

After the death of his beloved wife, Alice, Grandpa John brings all the family home. There are a lot of painful emotions in everyone coming home, and the rockin' chair is a sense of comfort for the family members. 
Each member of the family has to deal with his or her own memories, good or bad. 
Some have misunderstood actions and when the misunderstanding is revealed it brings about healing.

For the most part this was a good book, and I enjoyed it. My only issue with the book was the insert of curse words where they didn't belong.
Other than that I recommend it!

The Littlest King has a name . . . His Royal Highness of Cambridge

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I didn't expect them to name him so quickly. He has quite a name for a baby. George Alexander Louis, His Royal Highness of Cambridge.
I am not a fan of George. I was really hoping for William George Spencer, to honor Diana.
Diana would have been a great Gramma and she is smiling down on the three of them.

Making slow, but steady progress

Two reviews were written since Sunday, working on characters, and plot.

Harvest of Gold

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Harvest of Gold
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2013)
Tessa Afshar


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.


The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?

A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Harvest of Gold, go HERE.

My Thoughts: This book is one to be savored, slowly. Sarah and Darius are great characters that pull you right into the story. When Darius really see's Sarah, his wife, it is beautiful. Tessa Afshar is becoming a favorite of mine. I highly recommend this book! Pick it up and travel to Jerusalem without leaving your home.

The Men Tell All . . . or better known as the Whinners Whine!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Des, the men tell all, or rather the whiners whine!

The show starts with Chris’ prattle about the guys who gave Des such a hard time.
Then he and Des hit the road to see all The Bachelorette parties. We get to check in with Jason and Molly, JP and Tricia. I love JP and Tricia!

We get back to the set and now girls from former seasons are going to weigh in on how to handle a bad – boy.
Ashley, Emily, and Allie are with Des helping her how to deal with the guys she is nervous about.
They all give her some great advice.

As the guys are introduced there are cheers and boos, especially for James and Ben.
Juan Pablo seems to be the fan favorite!!!

The show clips from the show with all the drama. The guys don’t hold back. It is pretty wild!

Ben is in the hot seat first. He used his son to get to Des, and there were definitely some issues with why he was there. His comments in the limo were so wrong! He gets booed about his exit and limo comments.
He still does not own up to what he said, or that he was there for fame, not Des.

James is next. He goes on about how he was attacked by four guys and he didn’t know how to handle it. Kasey attacks James for the conversation with Mikey about making it to the final 4, and if he didn’t get Des he at least had the chance to be the next bachelor.
James keeps saying that he was mad, like that matters, when he told Des he was falling for her, but he had a back up plan.

Juan Pablo has a huge fan base, and he wants a family, he wants someone to be a mother to his daughter. He is really genuine.

Naked Zak is up next. Chris teases him saying thanks for wearing clothes. ;)  The invisible poem that he wrote in the back of the journal was really sweet!

Finally, Des comes out! I was getting a little bored!

Stalker, Jonathon apologizes for his actions the first night. Hey, James, Mikey, Ben, and Brian check out the real man in the group!!!!

Ben SHUT UP!!!! He still wants Des to think his behavior is okay. OMGEE!!!

She goes after James saying that while she liked him, he was thinking of his second wife while he was with his first. She hit the nail on the head! He doesn’t have to agree, which he doesn’t. He manipulated her and he doesn’t want take ownership!

Juan Pablo, she doesn’t say his name right which is cute. She said she probably got the most hate mail sending him home. He wants to know why he never got a one on one, she tells him she chose the dates according to the relationship and she was considering his daughter too.

Zak is going to sing. He is in love with her and saying good-bye after the home towns was hard. Sadly, it is part of the process.

The bloopers are hilarious!

Preview of the season finale. . . that is two parts.

We see all kinds of shots of Des kissing the guys, and she is in Brook’s arms last and she says she loves this man. Then it is Chris H and Des and she is in tears.
The guys don’t even get what is going on.
All the emotion and tears are just horrible.

We will see next week!

A Royal Baby

Monday, July 22, 2013

Across the pond the littlest prince was born to Dutchess Kate and Prince William. It seems like the world has been waiting with baited breath for this newest little royal. Most believed that Kate would have a little girl, policy in London was changed because they thought a girl would be born, so that if a boy was born second he would not usurp his older sister's chance to reign.

The little prince wasn't so little; he tipped the scale at 8 lbs. 6 oz. Now, we wait for a name for the little one.
Speculation is that he may be named George, yet there are other possibilities . . . Arthur, Henry, Charles, William, Spencer to allow Diana to be apart in some way.

What are your thoughts?

I am partial to William George Spencer!!!

The Brotherhood Conspiracy

Tom Bohannon's discovery of an ancient scroll led him on an international adventure and through mysteries of faith and politics, ending in a place not even he could imagine: the Third Temple of God hidden under Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But soon after his remarkable discovery, the future of the world changed again. Tom watched as a chasm tore apart Temple Mount, as new rivers swept through the Kidron Valley and into the streets of Old Jerusalem, their discovery swallowed by an earthquake, crushed under tons of stone and debris. A biblical prophecy realized. The final days were upon them.

Wondering how to recover from such a momentous find and such horrendous destruction, Tom's adventures are not over. No one knows how much time is left in these last days--a year? A hundred years? A thousand? Plagued by murderous dreams, Tom fears members of the Prophet Guard--killers who wear the Coptic cross with a lightning bolt slashing through it--are back and looking for him. But they are not the only threat to Tom and his team. Forces behind the Arab Spring have sinister plans. And underestimating their determination would be a fatal mistake.

The same fast-paced, page-turning prose that readers loved in The Sacred Cipher is back in Terry Brennan's eagerly awaited sequel, The Brotherhood Conspiracy.

My Thoughts -

I read Sacred Cipher and it was a great book, so I was excited for this book! I wish that this book had come out after Sacred Cipher, I think it would have made more sense. I got lost with all the characters, and some of the storyline. I did go to my Bible for some clarification which was good.

Round of Words Sunday check in #80

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I didn't get all I wanted done for ROW80, but I wrote blog posts and worked on a story plot. I really wanted to work on characters, but it just didn't happen.
Hoping for a better week next week!

Documentary, Affair of the Heart, Rick Springfield - Reviewed

Friday, July 19, 2013

WOW!!! I am completely and utterly blown away by the women in this documentary. I just watched this free on and it is quite clear that Rick is more important to them than their children, husband, any thing, and I don't believe that that is what he would want.
In this documentary, while you see great clips of concerts and hear him sing old and new music, some of the women are just ridiculous! Following him from concert to concert, even going on cruises, leaving their husbands at home to care for their children, saying that this is their break from being a mom. A break from being a mom is a girls night to dinner and a movie, not traipsing all over the country to see a teen idol.  If he happens to be in your town or close, then by all means go see him, but putting seeing him above everything else is just wrong!

I saw Rick in concert, in the pouring rain in 1984 in Florida. I was 18. We followed him to his hotel, and he waved at us from the balcony, we were of course thrilled to the bone, we were also TEENS!!! It is what teen girls do! Not grown women!

My mom was a huge fan of Wayne Newton, and saw him a lot when I was a kid. My dad and her went together. She didn't go off on her own to see him with her girlfriends!

I honestly don't believe women understand what they do to their husbands when they admire a celebrity, and I didn't understand what it does to a man's armor until my husband told me. I posted something innocent on Facebook about watching a movie with sexy Richard Gere and his best friend who married us, said something about it that really chapped my hide. When I spoke to my husband about it he told me that men's ego's are very fragile. We, as women, wouldn't think of their ego's being fragile, but they are. When we say things about how sexy or good-looking another man is we put a chink in their armor, and they feel like we don't think that way about them which is most likely untrue.

You will see in this documentary the husbands of these two crazed fans, and how hurt they are, yet their wives act like they don't care.

The documentary is good, it has great concert clips and Rick singing old and new music. Be ready for the obsessed women!

Round of Words in 80

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Not sure how I found this, but I am glad I did. Writing and finishing a novel is a big deal to me, and I just haven't seemed to put my feet to the process. This seems workable.

  • Create realistic characters.
  • Write 500 words a day.
  • Unplug from all Social Media for an hour a day.
I will start digging in with my characters.

Thanks ROW80

Weighing in on Trayvon Martin

This video was posted on Facebook and I found the pastor on point, in many ways.
However, George Zimmerman should have paid something for Trayvon's death. Regardless of what Trayvon was or was not doing he did not deserve to die.

Now, celebrities are boycotting Florida because of the Stand Your Ground law. I say let them boycott!

I lived in Florida, and loved it. I call it home, and I am saddened by this entire thing. Trayvon is dead, and I can't even imagine the pain his family is in.

There are only three people who know exactly what happened that night. One is dead, Trayvon, the accused, George Zimmerman, and God who saw it all.

George Zimmerman may not go to prison for the death of Trayvon, however, he has to live with what happened for the rest of his life.

It is my hope that both families get some peace in the midst of all of this.

Des Hometowns

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Des, Hometown dates.

First up is Zak, our naked Texan. He starts talking about some crazy dream he had, I couldn’t understand or follow it. He leaves Des on a bench and comes back with the family snow cone truck.
Des goes with the flow and gets in the truck.
Zak’s family is way, way out there. His mom has roses on the table and tells Des she could give Zak a rose right now and end the show.
His family serenades her. Oh my goodness I would be out of that house like a shot!!
Des and Zak go outside and he has a gift for her that he bought in Atlantic City. It is a ring in a antique box, and he wants her to keep this, and he tells her that he loves her.

On to Arizona for Drew’s, Jake’s mini-me hometown; they go to pick up his very handicapped sister, Melissa, and Des is super sweet with her. They all go back to his parent’s home for dinner.
His dad talks to Des alone and asked if she believed in angels and she said yes, he then asked if she had seen one and she said no, he then told her about Melissa and what she has taught them and that she had met an angel today. Des loves his family and says that she doesn’t want to leave. Drew tells her that he loves her and that he wants her to be apart of his family.

Next up is Chris the poet, in Oregon. Chris picks flowers for her. They go to a baseball diamond, play catch and hit baseballs. After batting practice she shows him some pictures she has sketches she has done of their relationship so far. She says it is important for his family to like her.
Chris’ dad toasts to everyone, his toast is a little out there. He then asks Des if she’d like an adjustment. Yea dude, I just met you and I’m going to allow you to give me an adjustment . . . NOT!!!
His family didn’t like Chris’ last girlfriend and so he is worried that they won’t like her. Chris tells his mom how natural everything is with them, and that Des’ independence really appealed to him.
His family approved, and loved her. She didn’t want to leave him. Sooner or later Des, you will have to make a choice. You can’t have all of them.

Onto Mormon country for Brooks, hometown, with the Mormon temple in the background Brooks is walking up a hill, and they run to each other. They are sitting on the grass and Des pulls out a paper that she has fashioned into a rose. You can tell she is trying to make Brooks feel better, since she is dating more than one guy and she knows this makes him uncomfortable. Uh – hello . . . most of us wouldn’t agree to it in the least. In the rose she has written down all of their special moments. The first date, the bridal shop him carrying her over the threshold, at the Hollywood sign, finishing each other’s sentences, his broken finger, up in the clouds, meeting his family. They go out on a lake in a canoe, Brooks tries to get closer to Des, and they tip and take on water, and Des doesn’t even get upset. They walk to his parent’s house. Des has a gift; she didn’t give a gift at any of the other hometowns. This family is HUGE!!! They are all wearing name tags which is just hilarious.
The family is so large you immediately have the sense that they are Mormon.
His mother loved Des, and said that they all trust his judgment.
Des says that they have all been great and one of the family members says “don’t let this be a huge waste of time.” Brooks says “we gotta go, love you guys.” It was really cute.
He doesn’t want her to leave, he wants her to stay.

He’s back . . . Des’ brother, who ruined it with Sean. They are in LA and things are very tense. She is trying to tell him who each of them are and why she likes them. He wants to get in their heads, she says no, because she doesn’t know what would come out of his mouth. UH me too! She says that she will consider allowing him to talk to them.  I agree 110%!! I would not let him near the guys.

Enter Chris Harrison for a heart to heart with Des about the week, and she says again that she loves Brooks, but he hasn’t said it to her, she says that they get each other so she is able to be more confident with him.

Rose Ceremony, Des says the one going home tonight will be completely shocked!
1st up Brooks
2nd Chris
3rd will be Drew! Zak’s little gift was too fast and overwhelming.
Knew it!!!!

Des is in tears as she tells Zak good-bye, telling him that she just isn’t in the same place he is and that she shouldn’t keep the ring he gave her, it was such a sweet gesture.
Zak is confused in the limo, saying he feels numb.

Next week is the reunion show. I can see fist’s flying! Oh boy here we go!

In two weeks, Des will be with the last three and have to choose two. The guys are in love, and who will be the last two. She is in tears again.

Bloopers, a game between Des and Drew with his family called Drew + Des = Destiny. Similar to the newlywed game they must guess the way the other would answer. Cheesy but cute.

In Golden Splendor

Monday, July 15, 2013

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In Golden Splendor
• B&H Books (July 15, 2013)
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, July 9, 2013

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Worthy Publishing (May 7, 2013)
Neta and Dave Jackson


As a husband/wife writing team, we are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together we are the authors or coauthors of over 120 books. (You can see our Publication Record by clicking HERE.) In addition to writing several books about Christian community, we have been privileged to coauthor numerous books with expert resource people on a variety of topics from racial reconciliation to medical ethics to ministry to kids in gangs.

But over the years the we have especially enjoyed writing for children and young people! This includes our award-winning TRAILBLAZER series, historical fiction about great Christian heroes and heroines for young people ages 8-12, and the four-volume HERO TALES: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Great Christians, and the companion book, Heroes in Black History.

Somewhere along the way, our own children grew up! Son Julian is Director of Experience Design for the Alder Planetarium in Chicago where he “provides the experience of exploring space” for visitors. He has two sons, Liam Isaac and Elijah David. Daughter Rachel graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and after working in the field of rape-crisis prevention went on to earn a Masters Degree in counseling from the University of Illinois. She is now a counselor at “Uni High School” in Champaign, Illinois. She is the loving mother of Havah Noelle (our first grandchild!) and Noah Zion, our youngest grandchild. The Jackson family also includes a Cambodian foster daughter, Samen Sang, who has four children.

We live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years we were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. We are now members of a multi-racial congregation in the Chicago area.


...But Hope May Be Just Across the Street

Grace Meredith is a beloved contemporary Christian recording artist whose career--and personal life--hits unexpected turbulence. She feels grounded--in more ways than one. Grace s fiancé, bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and her near-constant travel, has broken off their relationship. Exhausted and unable to continue her current concert schedule, Grace returns home to Chicago, where she is soon stranded in a major snowstorm. Facing new questions about her future and her faith, Grace finds herself connecting for the first time with the residents of her neighborhood. What she discovers in these unexpected relationships could change everything.

Welcome to the Neighborhood The first in the Windy City Neighbors series, Grounded is an uplifting, contemporary story about ordinary people wrestling with the spiritual and practical issues of real life. The series employs the innovative storytelling technique of parallel novels, each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters lives become intertwined and affect one another. Grounded welcomes you to Beecham Street--a typical, isolated American neighborhood that might just be a place of hope.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Grounded, go Here.

My copy arrived the day before the 4th of July, and I have barely cracked the cover. I did read all of the Yada, Yada series and loved them. I know this will be another hit!

Des in Madeira, Portugal . . .

She arrives with the guys on an antique ship and it’s beautiful. Before they have even docked Michael has said he has to get a one on one before the hometown dates, Chris wants the same thing. She has upped the anti, there will be 3 one on one dates and one two on one dates. Jake mini me says if this doesn’t set the scene for love, nothing will. Really?!?!?

Des is concerned about the guys she has left so she invites a few friends from last season to help with the guys she has left. She invites Catherine? I was looking at the TV thinking you have to be crazy.
As soon as Des gets down to pool side where the girls and they scream like girls do when they get together. Questions about Sean and Catherine are asked and Catherine said that Sean told her to give Des good advice. The guys start heading to their pool below and the girls use the binoculars to look at them.
In spying on the guys they are asking Des who is who, Brooks is the only one not shirtless and they tell him to take off his shirt. They talk about the guys’ athleticism. The next questions are of such a childish nature, who is the best kisser – Drew, most athletic – Chris, best body – Drew, best eyes – Brooks. Most adventurous goes to Naked Texas dude.

Brooks and Des go on a one on one date; he knows that they have a great connection. Des arrives in a smart car, to take him on this date. They drive up on this mountain, and they are in the clouds, it is breathtaking. They arrive on the top of a cliff, and with the clouds all around they talk about where their relationship is. Brooks tells Des that he feels their relationship is so comfortable in that he doesn’t have to know when to grab her hand or put his hand on her leg while driving, it is just natural. They scream, I’m on cloud 9.  At dinner they talk about the hometown dates and he wants her to meet his family and she feels good about that. They continue to talk about adjectives that are between like and love. Des says, stepping, skipping, running, and the finish line. Finish line would mean that’s love. He asks where she is and she says going into a run.
They have a personal fireworks show. And Des says when I kiss Brooks I feel fireworks, AURGH! So cheesy!

Date card arrives and Chris gets the next one on one. Prior to leaving Chris says he wants to take her home to meet his folks and as they leave the guys are watching from their villa, and say good-bye. Brooks says good he’s not holding her hand, and then they do and a comment is made “I’ll break those fingers.” by Michael.
Chris and Des walk down to the pier on to a yacht to go out on the ocean. He is jazzed to have time alone with her, no interruptions. They have a picnic on the cliffs, and write a poem to put in a bottle. I thought it was very romantic. They walk through the city streets to their dinner location and I’m starting to get bored!
Chris asks her about what kind of family she wants, and she says she is from a tight nit family so she wants 3 or 4 kids, he says he had a brother, and two sisters and he wants kids to be close. He wants to tell her that he loves her, and he is nervous, fidgety, and sweating.  She tells him not to be nervous and reads her a poem. UGH! He tells her that he loves her. In the park, they are kissing and Chris is saying he has found the one. Maybe for him.

Back to the villa, date card, Michael gets the last one on one.  They are going to explore the city together. They walk to a bench, and surprising there is wine, over looking a water fall. Des has told Brooks, Chris, and now Michael that she loves what they say. Really? They go down this hill in a toboggan. Michael prattles on about a devastating break up, and that he is feeling those feelings again. He does say he doesn’t want to be known for being a great prosecutor he wants to be known for more. They go for a walk and there is a singer by a fountain that is awful!

The group date card has arrived and says “I’m looking for a man that can make my heart race.”
I am getting super bored.

This has to be the worst episode ever! I am not sure why it is so boring, but it is. It is like watching paint dry.

Zak and Drew are talking with the other guys about how excited they are for this date, and they both want the rose.
Zak is so ridiculous, saying that their in some pretty quick machines, and the track looks like a formula one track. UGH! Be quiet! It’s a track for go-carts not race cars, you dork!

Zak and Drew are going to go at it. Please let Zak loose so he will go home! I can’t take any more of him!
Zak wins . . . so not thrilled! Can we please just get to the rose ceremony.
At the picnic, Des says she feels like that she is with two guy friends who she is romantically involved with. She takes Zak off to talk and he has drawings to give her. Des’ favorite phrase is “I love that.”
Drew and Des go off to talk, we hear him saying that this has been a long week, and he tells her that his family would fall in love with her. He tells her about his handicapped sister, and how excited she gets when they come to pick her up, and he asks Des if she would go with him to pick her up, and she says of course I would.
He tells her he is falling in love with her and he has never had these feelings before.
Zak is so egotistical he honestly believes he is going to get the rose, and SCORE he doesn’t!!! Adios naked Texas dude!!!!

Chris comes in to talk to her before the ceremony. Des’ dress is gorgeous, love the open back.
She says she doesn’t want to break anyone’s heart; it’s not about the quality it’s about the relationship. UH, don’t the two go hand in hand. He asks her about the guys, “What is it about Drew?” He is the best looking guy she answers, and he is so sincere in everything he does.  He asks if he is husband material for you, and she says YES.  Chris says he wants to see her face when he says Brooks, and she smiles, and giggles. She goes on to say she is 100% herself with him and she feels like he can be with her. She told him about the adjectives and used Finish Line. Even with saying what she said about Brooks, she is still keeping an open mind. She is even falling in love with Chris.

Rose Ceremony

Drew has a rose from the two on one date.
Brooks – he is my favorite!!!!
Zak . . . UGH!!! I thought naked Texan would be gone. So uncool!

She walks Michael out. She tells him she thinks the world of him, blah, blah, blah.
He gets in the limo and he says he is tired of being hurt by women he is falling in love with.
He calls his mom, to tell her she wouldn’t be meeting Des, she sent him home.

Hometown dates next week. I am so hoping it is not a bore fest like this one.
Her brother is back! Really! He was a jerk with her hometown date with Sean. I wouldn’t trust him period!

Fearless ~ Mike Dellosso

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Realms (May 7, 2013)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson for sending me a review copy.***


Mike Dellosso is the author of numerous novels of suspense, including Darkness Follows, Darlington Woods, and Scream. He is an adjunct professor of writing at Lancaster Bible College and frequent contributor to Christian websites and newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers association, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer’s Network, and FaithWriters, and he plans to join International Thriller Writers. He earned his BA degree from Messiah College and his MBS from Master’s International School of Divinity. He lives in Hanover, PA, with his wife and daughters.

Visit the author's website.


A child mysteriously appears in the lives of Jim and Amy Spencer. Will her presence be a blessing…or a curse?

When a nine-year-old girl named Louisa mysteriously appears in the middle of a house fire with no memory of how she got there or where she came from, Jim and Amy Spencer agree to take her in. Wrestling with the recent loss of their own child, Amy is hurt and angry while Jim is just trying to make it through each day and hold their marriage together.

For Jim, Louisa is the daughter he always wanted, but Amy isn’t as comfortable with her. The girl has a special gift, and soon that gift will unknowingly push them all into contact with a serial killer who has been terrorizing the small town of Virginia Mills. Only by uniting can Jim and Amy save themselves and Louisa before it’s too late.

Product Details:
List Price: $11.28
Publisher Realms (May 7, 2013)
Language English
ISBN-10 1621362418
ISBN-13 978-1621362418


Jake Tucker coughed in a half sleep, a raspy, dry hack that burned in his lungs. He was dreaming of drowning, of being pulled into murky, dark waters by some unseen hand. Above, through ripples of water, he could see the sun, a blurry orb, disjointed like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and fading quickly. His lungs tightened, felt as if they would burst. Water pressed around him. He flailed his arms and kicked his feet, but it did no good. He sank farther and farther away from the surface, away from that tiny wriggling light. He coughed again, and in his dream he could take the pressure in his chest no longer and sucked in a mouthful of water, welcoming the cold liquid and the death it would bring. It rushed down his windpipe and into his lungs. He tried to inhale again, tried to draw oxygen from the water, but he was paralyzed. Suffocating.

Jake Tucker hacked, a forceful bark that brought up a wad of phlegm, and awoke. Thick, acrid smoke filled his living room. He’d fallen asleep on the sofa while watching the evening news and . . . and what? He’d been waiting for something. Something to cook. But what? Panic seized him.

He rolled to the floor where he found a layer of cool, fresh air. Pulling it in through his nose, he coughed again, expelled soot and smoke from his lungs. The kitchen was engulfed in flames. Wicked things as tall as a man and angry, they clawed and licked at the doorway to the living room, blackened the jamb and molding. The linoleum peeled and melted, curled around the edges.

But what had he been cooking? What had caused the fire? Jake thought of heading for the front door, but there was something he needed to get, something he was forgetting. He drew in another breath and hacked again.

Yes, Jovie, his cat. He’d put her in the cellar but couldn’t remember why. The cellar door was in the kitchen, though, the kitchen that was now an inferno. But he couldn’t just leave her down there. She was family to him. Pushing to his knees then his feet, Jake pulled his T-shirt over his nose and mouth and stumbled through the smoke. He struck his knee on something hard. The coffee table. He was moving in the wrong direction.

The fire roared like a living beast hungry for the flesh of man, but it sounded like it was all around him. It was spreading fast, growing, gaining strength, sucking the oxygen from the air. Oxygen he so desperately needed. He wheezed, coughed. His eyes burned and watered. But still he felt his way through the gloom. Sweat droplets dotted his forehead and cheeks now, soaked his shirt. The temperature in the house rose exponentially, slowly baking him.

Over the raging flames he heard a low meow. Jovie. She was just on the other side of the door. If he could only make his way to her. He tried to follow the sound of her yowling but the smoke and fire were so disorienting he repeatedly came back to the same wall, the one with the family photos on it. His parents and grandparents. His siblings. Marta, his wife, his long-mourned wife. And Raymond, his son. Dear Raymond.

Jake leaned against the wall. His mind was slowing, trudging through mud. His chest felt like it was in a vise. Pressure grew around his lungs and heart, squeezing his ribs until they hurt. The pain, a deeply intense ache, radiated down his left arm and up into the left side of his neck and face.

“Raymond!” But Raymond couldn’t hear him. He was three thousand miles away in California. “Raymond, I’m sorry. Please.”

He coughed again and this time brought up some blood. The pressure in his chest worsened, like someone was standing on him. His left shoulder blade felt like it was being ripped from his back.

Still Jovie meowed, over and over, rhythmic, like seconds ticking off time on a clock. The charcoal smoke swelled around Jake; the heat built. He dropped to his knees and tried to crawl to the sound of Jovie’s cries. His eyes burned and watered so badly he couldn’t see a thing.

Raymond was on his mind, though. His son, Raymond. He’d never see him again. Never . . .

The eggs. Yes, that was it. He’d put eggs on the stove to boil then went to lie on the sofa and watch the eleven o’clock news. The pot must have burned dry and started the fire.

In one last moment of semi-clarity Jake Tucker almost laughed at the irony of it all. Done in by a pot of eggs.

He fell to his side and rolled onto his back. A ceiling of smoke hung above him like a phantom. Maybe it was a ghost; maybe it was the angel of death come to take him over to the other side where he could see Marta, hold her again, tell her face-to-face all the words he’d spoken to her photo over the past five years.

Somewhere in the distance but not too far Jovie still wailed. But her holler faded quickly as if she was on a boat drifting away into the fog, farther and farther away, so far that he could no longer hear her. Jovie.

The weight on his chest had increased, and his left arm had numbed. He couldn’t feel the left side of his face either.

Then the swirling smoke began to change colors, red and white and blue. It flashed and stuttered, red-red-white-blue, red-redwhite- blue. His mind fixated on it, on the colors, the rhythm. They must be the colors of heaven. The gates were opening and welcoming him home, bidding him come near and see his Marta.

Jake coughed again; his chest spasmed. Smoke was such an awful thing to inhale. He had to remember to turn the stove off next time. He still couldn’t remember why he’d put Jovie in the cellar. He couldn’t hear her anymore.

Something in the house cracked. Sounded like wood busting, splintering. A hideous sound. But he didn’t open his eyes. He was being pulled under, just like in his dream, but instead of fighting it he had succumbed to it. There was no way out now. This was how it was going to end. And how it would all begin.

Suddenly he felt a presence there with him and opened his eyes. A face materialized out of the smoke, hovered over him. Small, soft, white . . . the face of an angel. Blue eyes that seemed to glow from their own light. Hair the color of flax and pulled back off her face. A girl. A young girl, just a child. She smiled at him and placed her hand on his chest. Her smile was sweet and innocent, the smile of a child who’s never known the worst of this world. Oddly, in the midst of such chaos, such hellfire, she showed no signs of fear.

When she spoke, her voice was meek, the voice of all that is pure and right. “Mr. Tucker, you can’t go yet. Raymond needs you.”

Raymond. His son. His dear son. How did she know about Raymond?

“He loves you.” She smoothed his hair with her hand. “He needs his father.”

She had freckles across her nose, a spattering of them shaped like a butterfly.

“Tell Raymond you love him. Tell him how much you love him. Tell him you forgive him.”

Her hand lifted from his head, and she faded from view. She was an angel, had to have been. His time had arrived, and he was about to be ushered into eternity by this precious little angel.

In the distance, so far away, he heard a faint knocking, then more wood breaking. The house was falling apart around him, but he didn’t care anymore.

“Live, Mr. Tucker. Live. God has given you life.”

He heard his name. A man calling him. Muffled. Another angel. They were coming to get him, coming to give him eternal life. A strong hand wrapped around his ankle and pulled. Something went over his face, something cool. He was floating now, breathing in the clean, fresh air of the heavens. His chest no longer ached, and the numbness was gone in his arm and face. He felt new again. Whole. Young.

Small Town Girl


How long can two people stand on the brink of love without plunging in headfirst?
In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates with apprehension, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can't draw her interest.

Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything and Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways. Could she truly be in love with him? And if he enlists, will she ever see him again?

In her gentle and textured style, Ann H. Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip your heart and stir your spirit. Fans of Gabhart's Angel Sister will love seeing Kate Merritt all grown-up, as well as other characters they have come to love.

                       A beautiful story that grabbed me from page one. Ann H. Gabhart Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as several other historical novels, including Scent of Lilacs, Orchard...
Continue reading about Ann H. Gabhart

My Thoughts: As a fan of Angel Sister, it was great to see Kate all grown up. Kate has her own thoughts  and ideas, which doesn’t thrill Carl who believes they are a  "couple." Jay, or Tanner as he wants to be called has sparked her interest. Pearl Harbor changes everything for them, like it did for everyone in 1941, with Tanner fighting in the war what will happen between him and Kate.

I highly recommend this book!

Widow of Gettysburg

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Widow of Gettysburg
River North; New Edition edition (April 12, 2013)
Jocelyn Green


Jocelyn Green is a child of God, wife and mom living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also an award-winning journalist, author, editor and blogger. Though she has written nonfiction on a variety of topics, her name is most widely recognized for her ministry to military wives: Faith Deployed. Her passion for the military family was fueled by her own experience as a military wife, and by the dozens of interviews she has conducted with members of the military for her articles and books, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. She is also co-author of both Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan and Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front (forthcoming, May 2012). Her Faith Deployed Web site and Facebook page continue to provide ongoing support, encouragement and resources for military wives worldwide.


When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering--and a Rebel scout who awakens her long dormant heart.

While Liberty's future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty's hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.

In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it? Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Widow of Gettysburg, go HERE.

My book just arrived. A full review to follow.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Des is hopeful, she likes all the guys she has, and this is a great place to fall in love.
I wonder if that is scripted, because it is the same mantra every week.

Seriously these idiots have to have someone to hate on. First it was Ben and now it is James. Really bozo’s! How about you concentrate on your own relationship with Des and leave the rest alone. However, James is a problem.

Enter Chris to tell the guys about the dates . . .
A group date and two individual date’s roses up for grabs on all the dates. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

No cocktail party, so use you’re time wisely.

Drew – Jake’s mini-me gets the first individual date card.
It says, Drew lets build a foundation for love. He says he doesn’t want the tension with James to affect their date, he’s going to concentrate on his date with Des. We’ll see!
She says their going to explore the city. He says he can’t stop thinking about a kiss, so he kisses her. Des said a strong foundation to build the day on, and off they go.
It’s cold and rainy so they get hot chocolates, they drink from a fountain that when you do it means you will come back to Spain.
They go to a little place to eat, and Drew pours out his heart about his dad who is an alcoholic and has cancer, and he is the person who has made him who he is.
Des is glad he was able to share his feelings; she wants a man who can share his feelings.
They sit down to dinner, and his emotions are getting the best of him, so he steals her way, they go down a corridor, and they start making out.

Back at the castle, the date card arrives.  It is a group date, Brooks has the card.
Juan Pablo

Zak – naked Texas dude didn’t want his name on that card because he wanted to spend time with Des.

In the corridor, Drew begins the conversation about James giving her the choice of whether to know what he overheard. She says she does, so Mini-Me tells her about the conversation he and Kasey overheard from James. He felt bad for telling her, and she was grateful.

She’s super mad that James isn’t as honest as he led her to believe, and she’s crying.

The group date, the guys are excited, and she wants to believe that James’ comment was taken out of context or misunderstood, and she wants to give him the benefit of the doubt and have fun with the guys on the soccer field.

She tells the guys they are going to be playing a game against her team and she comes out with a bunch of girls and they think it is nothing serious . . . it is professional from Spain.

The girls are kickin’ butt!!!!

James is a scaredy cat in the goal, he won’t even block the ball. So, the girls win.

They go back to Des’ place and Kasey mentions again that something needs to be said about James.

Des takes Chris to go talk, and he even says something about timing to tell Des about James, it’s becoming a whine fest. She shows him her room, and she has written him poetry. A change.  She tells him he is athletic, we knew that, thanks for the update.

Back to the living area and the guys confronting James, he looks like he is going to pounce on one of them.

Brooks is going on about how emotionally invested they are and how surprised he is about it.

Confrontation continues and James, denies he ever said it. James continues to rant saying that he never said if he made it to the final 4 he’d have a chance at being the next bachelor, he continues saying that Mikey said it and it was guy talk. Oh really dude!
He says he was just kidding around, that is how he is, and he didn’t come here to make them understand him.
James is a child, and needs to leave. What a jerk!

So, now Kasey is telling Des about James.

She sends all the guys back to the castle, except James and she’s going to talk to him.
She confronts him about what he said and he is lying straight to her face.
He goes on about how the guys don’t like him because they have something and they are jealous.
Uh- not happening dude! They have a relationship with her, if you didn’t say these things why didn’t you expose Mikey, because you said them.

James feels robbed, really jerk! What about Des, she’s the one having to figure out whose telling the truth. Crying and acting like he did nothing wrong, the guys are right about him, he is not ready to be a husband, and he is definitely not able to handle the environment.

One on One with Zak – naked Texas dude, their off to explore the art of the city, they end up at a art studio, where they draw the statue in front of them, he’s embarrassed about his drawing, so they decide to draw each other, they are laughing and smiling at each other’s drawings.
In comes a male model who drops his robe and Des is worried about how Zak will react with the naked model.
He goes on saying this is all about Des, and being romantic. He leaves and comes back in a robe. He drops his robe, and is in tighty whities, any way for him to be naked. Des laughs because she wants someone who can go with the flow and have fun.
Dinner is in a wine cellar. His parents have been married 31-32 years, and he believes that the reason he is still single is because he wants that independent person. He goes on about her being an exceptional person, and that’s why he came. She gives him the rose, she likes his adventurous and curios spirit.

At the castle, James asks to talk to Drew, mini-me. Drew, is kind and lays it out and James continues to say that he isn’t positioning himself; he was just saying that was the worst that could happen, if he doesn’t end up with Des.

Zak was just talking about his date, and Des comes in and asked to talk to James.

Outside the conversation between Des and James is tense. He says what they were talking about was just scenarios nothing more. Really?!

Mini-me, Brooks, and Kasey are on the balcony talking about the entire situation, and how they won’t be able to believe she’ll keep him.

Des starts crying and he tells her not to cry, and that if she doesn’t see a relationship with him then said him home but don’t send him home because of this.
More tears!

He walks back in to the room, and tries to be so polite asking to sit down. Can I have a bucket now!
He goes on about how this isn’t reality and when he goes back home he will date etc. The guys say when you’re with someone you aren’t thinking about the next girl.  It is clear that James came in with an agenda, and he expected to get away with it. You will be found out.

James is a manwhore and needs to take a hike.

Brooks!!! YAHOO!!!!

James, Juan Pablo???, and Kasey don’t get roses.

Juan Pablo prattles on about how he wants a family, Christmas’, and birthday parties.

James goes on about how he had a conversation in a car, and nobody will know the truth.
He got bullied out the door. OH PUHLEASE!

They toast to Madera and we see lots of kissing, and more tears for Des.

She is just a mess! Will there be a moment without Des crying.

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