Tag Archive | Prism Book Group

Spatzle Speaks: Feta & Freeways (Book Review)

Burlap_To_Cashmere Steve and Johnny

The really Johnny Philippidis and Steven Delopoulos from Burlap to Cashmere in concert

Feta & Freeways is the third book in the Orchard Hill series. Seriously? Will my mom ever get off her chair and take me for more walks? She got so obsessed with the band Burlap to Cashmere she had to write a story about the lead singer, Steven Delopoulos and his cousin Johnny Phillipidis. Really? Oh, they still go to Orchard Hill Church and names have been changed to protect the unwary.

Niko Acton is the lead singer and acoustic guitar player for a fictional band called Specific Gravity. They are playing their last concert of a tour when someone tries to kill him. He doesn’t know this though until after the show. That’s when he realizes that their manager who has been with them for years, was seriously wounded trying to protect him.

FetaandFreewaysCover copyJohnny has known all along that Tia Bartel, the manager, has loved Niko forever. Niko is now only realizing how little he knows about this woman. With some prodding, Niko reads Tia’s journals while she’s fighting for her life in the hospital. How rude! The truth hits him and the blinders fall off.

The rocky ride to love and romance takes off from there. As Tia recovers, Niko is shaken awake and the band prepares to launch another road tour. I don’t want to give away any spoilers except that while they do talk about getting a dog, they never do. Come on, Mom. What’s with that? She promises to put a dog in a future story and make him very important. I’m waiting. Not getting any younger here.

The romance is sweet and the dynamics between Niko and Johnny are fun as well as the rest of the band. Romance on the road? Dating a wife? A sweet young woman who’s been faithful, but now has to learn to trust that someone really could love her . . . it’s all there along with great music. Oh, Burlap to Cashmere didn’t have the time or money to record mom’s songs so you’ll have to imagine how great it is or listen to one of their tunes. Moody Greek musicians – and she gets two books out of these guys? The next one is titled Root Beer & Roadblocks and tell’s Johnny’s story. Again. No dogs.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Well, I love my mom and I don’t mind Burlap to Cashmere’s music which she listened to all the time as she was writing and editing this story. So I’ll give it five bones in hopes that she’ll take me for a long walk and some extra belly rubs. I’m a dog. That’s how I roll.

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Spatzle Speaks: The Baron’s Blunder (Book Review)


THE Baron's BlunderMy mom, Susan M. Baganz, wrote a book as part of the Love is . . . series with Prism Book Group.
Now, generally I like mom’s writing but she went and put a bird in a book? What was she thinking? We have a bird in our home but Quincy the Quaker parrot  just makes messes. And his talk? Utter nonsense.

The Baron’s Blunder illustrates the passage from 1 Corinthians 13, “Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in the truth.” While this is part of the Love is . . . series it is also a prequel for mom’s Regency Romances, the first of which will  be available Spring 2017. The Virtuous Viscount at least has a dog. ‘Nuff said.

Lord Charles Percy is wealthy, titled and single. All that Jane Austen would say makes him in desperate need of a wife. Charles isn’t really interested in that. He’s got secret work he does for the British government. (shhh. He’s a spy!). And he seems to have developed a penchant for capturing ne’r-do-wells who would rob coaches.

That’s how he meets the beautiful Honorable Henrietta Allendale, sister to Viscount Remington. She’s a little older than your normal debutante and sees no need for a husband. She’s a bit strong-willed and unbeknownst to anyone, she’s also, gasp! A spy!

Well, he rescues her when she didn’t really need rescuing. He lies. She suspects. She rescues him and then he rescues her but at the expense of . . . well, let’s just say while both start out refusing marriage, one changes their mind.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

There’s a lot packed into this novella and it’s a delightful romp filled with wit, adventure and love. So go buy it so mom can afford to purchase me more bully rings. Oh, wait. Maybe you shouldn’t. She might choose to get my hair cut instead and I hate going to the groomers. I’ll give it five bones anyway because she’s my mom and I love her. And in spite of a bird being this story, I know she loves me best.

5 bones for blog

One Way A Book Gets Written

For all the books I’ve written, the stories have come from my imagination. I’ve written the stories and later contracted them. I’ve had rejections for those stories and I’ve taken the tales and revised, edited and revised again.

But The Baron’s Blunder is the exception.

Every November since 2009 I’ve written a story during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I’ve written some stories that I’ve felt inspired to write. I’ve written flash fiction, short stories, novellas and full length novels. I’ve written contemporary, historicals and romantic suspense. I’ve never submitted a story idea to an agent, editor or publisher that I haven’t already written – at least the rough draft.

I work as an Acquisitions Editor for Prism Book Group. It’s a smaller e-book publishing house. One of the benefits of being in a family of authors like Prism’s is that they become family. Authors supporting, praying, encouraging each other and cross-promoting books. Another up-side is that occasionally our Editor-in-Chief comes up with a crazy idea to do a novella series.

FragileBlessingsWe did a collection last fall of Christmas stories. All authors could participate. I’m an author and had a manuscript that I dusted off and sent in Fragile Blessings. That wasn’t the original title but I love it. A historical novella I’d written years ago that needed a lot of work, finally was read by others. It ended up as an e-book as well as in a collection of historical novellas called Love’s Christmas Past.

All that to say is my “boss” decided we should do a series of novellas based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. Each story was to show some aspect of that chapter. Authors submitted their ideas and soon all the topics were taken. Authors stared writing and as an editor, I started to work on edits for a bevy of stories and I had the majority of them finished before November 2015.

I wrote another novel for National Novel Writing Month in November of 2015. I finished and in December I got back to work on edits for my authors. My boss sent me an email asking me if I could write a novella for the Love Is series about the topic: Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in the truth.

THE Baron's BlunderWell, I’ll try. I thought about trying to add a novella in my Orchard Hill series but the story idea I had for the next book didn’t quite fit that subject. I looked at my Regency series. It has five books and I wondered if perhaps I could pull a minor character from the first novel and give him or her a romance. I remembered that my main man, Lord Marcus Remington in The Virtuous Viscount (a Regency romance coming soon I hope!), had a sister. The Honorable Henrietta Allendale arrives mid-story, throwing a stumbling block in Marcus’s romance with Miss Josephine Storm.  Henrietta is married to a man named Lord Percy. So for this novella I wrote their romance.

I had so much fun. I was afraid I couldn’t write on demand but obviously that was a lie. And I hope readers enjoy my Regency romp of a romantic suspense as I did writing it. The Baron’s Blunder is up for preorder and releases on Friday, August 26th, 2016.

Writer Wednesday: Andrea Boeshaar

AKB 2013_small picI met Andrea a few years ago at a writer’s conference. Later we began carpooling together to our local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writer’s meetings. We had so much fun we became not only friends, but critique and accountability partners for our writing and pray for each other over all the ups and downs of life and writing. I’m glad you got meet her!

When did you decided that you would be an author? Was it something you fell into, felt called to… ?
I started writing as a child. My earliest recollection of actually producing a work of fiction, was when I was in 4th grade. I wrote a story called “Little Miss Mouse.” Each day, on my way home from grade school, I used to stop at the library and write. I was quite proud of my lined notebook and penciled story. Little did I realize my mother kept it. I found it among her belongings after she died in 2012.

What’s your pet peeve?
Cleaning my house. Seems such a waste of time. It just gets messing/dirty again.

What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer?
Realizing that a proposal I had sent to an editor had many, many misspellings in it.

What has been your most difficult challenge as an author?

The slow pace at which I now write. It didn’t always used to be that way. In the 1990s, I could write four 50K word novels and one novella per year. Now it takes me a good four to six months per book!

ebook_seasonsoflove copyHow do you process rejections and/or negative reviews?
My first book was published in 1994 by Heartsong Presents (Barbour Publishing). Since then, I’ve written some 40 books, fiction and nonfiction. Therefore, the way I process rejection and negative views has morphed greatly over the years. While once I let such things ruin my day, now I don’t let it rent space in my head. Too many characters live there anyway. Writers cannot take rejection personally. It happens. It’s a part of being a writer and journeying toward publication. As for negative reviews…if a reader states something like, “The book was too boring. I set it down after two pages.” I consider the comment, but compare it to the other reviews posted. If all other reviews (except that one) are glowing, I discount it as merely one reader’s viewpoint. But if the majority of reviews are negative, I take them to heart AS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE and try to figure out how I can make my next book better.

What do you feel is the best success so far in your writing career?
I have helped at least a dozen authors get published and when I see their success, I rejoice. They are precious gems in the crown I will lay down at my Savior’s feet someday. I love to encourage other writers which is one of the reasons I partnered with Lynn Coleman, Tracie Peterson, and others to begin ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

What would be your top three pieces of advice to newer, up and coming authors?
1) Don’t give up. 2) Work on being the best author you can be. 3) Rejoice with others when they share their good publishing news – even if you’re feeling envious you can’t share similar news. Amazingly, God will use that for His good – and I speak from personal experience.

As a Christian author, what would you like your legacy to be?
I want to be known for stories that are Christian-based faith in action. Stories that touch others’ lives, whether they’re Christians or unbelievers, in search of the Way, Truth, and Life. I’m already seeing a wee bit of my legacy in one of my sons who is writing a nonfiction book. And I see my legacy unfolding in one of my grandsons, who, each time he visits, has to sit at my desk and pretend he’s “writing a book.”

What is your current work in process?
I’ve actually got more than one WIP because, even though I might not actively be working on a book, it’s still percolating in my head.

ATSF cover_smallToo Deep for Words, book 2 in my Shenandoah Valley Saga (coming February or April 2017). After it’s finished, I plan to work on revisions for a super cute novel for Prism Book Group that I’ve tentatively Building a Dream. I can’t wait to dive into that project. After that, it’s on to a secret fiction project that I can’t yet discuss (but I can tease about…ha, ha…) I’ll follow that novel up with writing There Is a Season, book 3 in the Shenandoah Valley Saga.

Links to social media:

Website: www.andreaboeshaar.com

Facebook      Twitter       Pinterest

Blog: “Everything Writerly

 

Spatzle Speaks: Evidence Not Seen (Book Review)

This fabulous tell of mystery and family secrets by Carlene Havel is a great addition to the “Love is . . .” series by Prism Book Group. Evidence Not Seen beautifully illustrates “love keeps no record of wrongs.”

Jeff Galloway grew up with his father in prison and his mom single-handedly raising him. A grown man and a successful attorney he comes to a crossroads when his girlfriend dumps him for greater fortunes in another town. A chance encounter brings Melanie Clark into his path and the soft-hearted social worker stretches his faith in fresh ways while helping come to grips with the past as his father is released from prison.

Did his father commit the crime? if he is as innocent his mother claims, why would he go to prison for it? Where was the proof? As he investigates he is forced to learn to let go of the past as he realizes the truth of all that happened 27 years ago and start afresh to learn the integrity of the father he’d long disdained.

This story looks at our own perceptions and beliefs and the associated emotions that can knock us off stride and away from truth–and love. Melanie becomes a force to help him realize the truth and let go of the past, and forgive. This beautifully told story deserves five bones. I’m a dog. I don’t do stars.

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Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Navy Blues (Book Review)

loveis_navyblues-copy-2Navy Blues by Julie Cosgrove is book #7 in the “Love is . . .” series by Prism Book Group and explores “love is not self-seeking.”

As a Maltese, I’m really not that fond of the Navy. Gotta tell you water is not my favorite unless it’s to drink or in the form of snow for me to shove my nose into. My mom likes to watch JAG which is about some military lawyers . . . she’s just weird that way. But that has little to do with this story.

Emma West had traveled a long way to see her fiancée, Trey, only to find him in bed with another woman. Running away she ends up seated on an airplane next to Dr. Ryan MacKenzie. a lieutenant in the Navy who is returning soon to civilian life. Through a series of misadventures she begins to find her heart falling for the handsome doctor and his ability to help her out in any crisis.

Discovering their final destination is in the same town knits their journey together further as they seek to return there in good time. Trials and heartache are shared as they navigate the journey. Upon returning home though Ryan gives Emma wide berth because he believes she needs time to be without a man, to recover, before starting a relationship with him. His return into her life though comes in a timely manner as Trey arrives to try to convince Emma he needs her.

Emma realizes all he really needed as her father’s wealth and connections. But cutting ties isn’t always easy and Ryan steps in to help.

This story is filled with adventure and romance. Ryan is as faithful and protective as a dog (although mom says probably better looking than one although she think’s I’m pretty cute), so I’ll give it five bones. I’m a dog. I don’t do stars.

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Crux of Honor (Book Review)

crux of honorMom told me Paula wrote a fascinating romance in her novella, Crux of Honor. This is book 6 in the “Love is . . .” series by Prism Book Group illuminating “love does not dishonor others.”

When Chelsea Wilson breaks up with her Amish boyfriend who decided to return to the fold, she didn’t forsee the consequences his Rumpspringa would have on her future beyond a broken heart. She had been banished from her parent’s home for her association with the young man and now, pregnant and alone, she would lose her current apartment as well.

Dr. Kevin Alley returned home from a stint in Iraq to work in his small hometown. The last thing he expected was to run into his long-lost love, Chelsea. When she shares just how she’s messed up her life since he’d last seen her, compassion compells him to help out. Giving her a place to live and assistance as she navigates her challenges he keeps his hands off and his heart locked tight.

Chelsea learns about what true love is from Kevin’s respect and care for her. I don’t want to give away too much of the story but the journey they take is a powerful one and Kevin lives up to the idea of a gentleman of honor. As a dog I have to give this five bones because honor is a noble virtue. And I dont’ do stars. I’m a dog.

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.